Pilgrim centres and temples in Gujarat
Gujarat, where history and legend lie cheek-by-jowl, offers a rich spiritual fare to the pilgrim. Since time immemorial it has been noted for its temples like the Modhera Sun Temple, Somnath and Dwarka. Whatever be their size and wealth all of them share one thing in common - the intense faith of the devotees who can be seen trekking from far off places.
The temple of Somnath dedicated to Shiva is the first among the 12 Jyotirlingas. It is the seventh temple in living memory. Known for its fabulous wealth it attracted the attention of iconoclasts in the course of its chequered history.
Dwarka has been sanctified by Vishnu himself in the form of lord Sri Krishna who the legend goes led the Yadavas to the safety of Dwarka from Mathura to escape from the depredations of Jarasandha. Legend has it that lord Krishna ordered Vishvakarma, the divine architect, to build the place. The Dwarka of Krishna's period lies under the Arabian Sea.
Palitana - Jain Temple
Build in the 16th century, the Jain temple town of Palitana sitting atop Shatrunjaya Hill is famous for its 863 beautifully crafted temples.
Hilltop shrines like Ambaji, Girnar and Pavagadh are similarly steeped in legend and celebrated in history. Some of them like the Jain Centre of Palitana are known for their architectural splendour.
Modhera Sun Temple
Of the ancient temples, the Modhera Sun Temple believed to be constructed in 1027 AD during the reign of King Bhimdev I of Patan is a magnificent specimen of Gujarat's architects. Modhera Sun Temple is positioned in such a manner that at the equinox the rising sun strikes the images in the sanctuary. It also incorporates an amusement park, a museum, a cafeteria, picture gallery and a library.