I remember distinctly that on a Mahaveer Jayanthi day the entire Ahmedabad market was closed being a public holiday. I just wanted to get out of the hotel room at Chicago and Alkesh Soni my colleague offered to take us around Ahmedabad in his car. We went to Hutheesing Jain Temple, on arrival we were asked to deposit our leather belt and shoes outside the temple. Suddenly the watchmen objected to visit since we were wearing black dress which Jains often don’t while visiting the temple. We dejectedly walked back towards the car, suddenly a priest came and requested us to return and visit the temple despite the black pant. It was a real miraculous occurance according to our colleagues.
This episode was in the back of mind when i told the auto guy at the Ahmedabad railway station that we want to quickly visit this heritage temple which he offered us to show at extra cost. We readily agreed since it was enroute to Sabarmati Ashram.
It was really nostalgic to visit this temple wherein once again a ceremony was in progress and everything was serene. Photography is not allowed in the temple precints however since a ceremony was in progress an official photographer was clicking away to glory. I too joined the party and started clicking. I remember the past episode when the entire group of devotees assembled turned their back and saw a gang of black pants and they gave a dirty look disapproving our arrival, this time it was just the opposite, a priest smiled and literally posed for a click.
This temple was constructed in honor of the XV th guru of the Jains namely DHARMANATHA. The construction was sponsored by a Jain businessmen Seth Hathisinh. However the edifice incomplete when he suddenly collapsed and died at the age of 49. His legacy of construction was carried forward by his widow Sethani Harkunvar. It took a huge toll in terms of expenses which was partly financed by the jain community. It is supposed to have costed over a million.
The temple was constructed at time of famine in Gujerat which employed lot of labourers in 1848. The temple is currently managed by trustees of Hutheesinh family.
The temple is filled with gopurams on all four sides, with two main gateways acting as entrance and exit whenever there is a huge crowd flow. The sanctum sanatorium consists of white marble image of the Dharmanatha the 15th Jain thirtankara. In addition there are small shrines for other thirtankaras on all three sides of the pavilion. A dome like structure is erected at the entrance of the temple.
A Keerthi stambha or a watch tower fashioned in line with the Vijay Stambh of Chittorgarh fort is the star attraction of this temple complex.
Overall Hutheesinh Jain temple should be part of itinerary for all tourists visiting Ahmedabad considering its close proximity to the railway station.
Photo Ack : Kalyan Shah Wiki