We returned to the Jain temples at around 11:30. We took off our shoes and placed them near the entrance before entering the temple forecourt. Just like our earlier visit of Chandraprabhu and Rikhabdev Temple (and possibly the other smaller temples interconnected in the maze-like network), we soon lose track of where we had been or which parts we had yet seen during our visit of Shantinath and Kunthunath Temple. Again temple buildings were interconnected at more than one level. For outsiders like us, it was impossible to differentiate the statues and temple chambers from one another. Except the marble statues of tirthankaras, almost everything were carved in the local yellow sandstone. Temple interiors were filled with grotto like shrines, narrow passageways, exquisite statues, and wonderful dome ceilings of sculpted apsaras (celestial nymphs). On the outside, toranas (ceremonial gateways) and shikharas (towers) packed the forecourt. The rich visual experience was coherent throughout the entire visit as we meandered through the temple complex. Given their compact sizes, it was surprising that we had spent the entire morning just to linger around the seven interconnected Jain temples until lunchtime.
Opening time varies for non-worshipers. We had to wait till 11:30 to enter the Shantinath and Kunthunath temple.
Built in 1536, the Shantinath and Kunthunath were equally impressive to the ones we saw earlier in the morning.
We didn’t come to worship so we stayed outside of the temple altar.
From the torana gate to the inner shrine, everywhere in the temple complex was full of details.
From up close, we could admire the sculpted base of the shikharas (towers).
At one end of the temple, we entered a shrine hall where locals were assisted by a holy man to perform certain worshiping rituals.
The outer facade of the hall was beautifully sculpted with what looked like to be symbols depicting religious stories.
The locals left the hall after they finished their worshiping rituals.
Soon we were all by ourselves to admire the dome ceiling of sculpted apsaras (celestial nymphs) and the other statues in the shrine hall.
Some shrines and their sculpted ceilings were not as well restored.
On the upper level, we came to a quiet area. We had the upper level pretty much all by ourselves.
We took our time to check out the different statues on the upper level.
There were a wide range of statues from human sized figures to the very small ones.
Before we left, fellow visitors finally found their way up to the upper level.
At the upper level, we also encountered a interesting footprint carving on a stone counter.
At the lower level, we spent some time examining the statues of dancing girls with large hoop earrings.
Back out to the temple forecourt, we passed by the exquisite torana one last time. Toranas are sacred gateways common in Hindu, Jain and Buddhist temples.
Back out at the street, we had one final look at the screened balcony connecting the upper level of the two temples. Near the end of our temple visit, we spent quite some time resting on the balcony seat.
Posts on 2018 Rajasthan:-
Day 1: Jodhpur
DAY 1.1: IN TRANSIT TO RAJASTHAN
DAY 1.2: PAL HAVELI & THE OMELETTE MAN, Jodhpur
DAY 1.3: SPLENDOR OF THE SUN FORT, Mehrangarh, Jodhpur
DAY 1.4: SUNSET OVER THE BLUE CITY, Mehrangarh, Jodhpur
DAY 1.5: SADAR MARKET AND GHANTA GHAR CLOCKTOWER, Jodhpur
Day 2: Jodhpur, Osian, Jaisalmer
DAY 2.1: MARBLE CENOTAPH JASWANT THADA, Jodhpur
DAY 2.2: MEDIEVAL STEPWELLS, Mahila Bagh Ka Jhalra, Gulab Sagar, & Toorji Ka Jhalra, Jodhpur
DAY 2.3: PILGRIM OASIS IN THAR DESERT, Sachiya Mata Temple, Osian
DAY 2.4: SUNRISE AT THE FIRST GATE OF GOLDEN FORT, Jaisalmer
Day 4: Jaisalmer
DAY 4.1: RESERVOIR OF THE GOLDEN CITY, Gadsisar Lake, Jaisalmer
DAY 4.2: ARCHITECTURAL JEWEL OF RAJASTHAN, Patwon Ki Haveli Part 1, Jaisalmer
DAY 4.3: ARCHITECTURAL JEWEL OF RAJASTHAN, Patwon Ki Haveli Part 2, Jaisalmer
DAY 4.4: DESERT HERITAGE, Hotel Nachana Haveli and Thar Heritage Museum, Jaisalmer
DAY 4.5: LAST STROLL IN THE GOLDEN CITY, Jaisalmer
Day 8: Bhangarh, Abhaneri & Agra
DAY 8.1: ON THR ROAD TO AGRA
DAY 8.2: HAUNTED RUINS, Bhangarh, Rajasthan
DAY 8.3: CHAND BAORI, Abhaneri, Rajasthan
DAY 8.4: THE ABANDONED CAPITAL OF MUGHAL EMPIRE, Fatehpur Sikri, Agra, Uttar Pradesh
DAY 8.5: FRIDAY MOSQUE, Fatehpur Sikri, Agra, Uttar Pradesh
Day 9: Agra
DAY 9.1: CROWN OF THE PALACES, Taj Mahal, Agra, Uttar Pradesh
DAY 9.2: AGRA FORT, Agra, Uttar Pradesh
DAY 9.3: RAWATPARA SPICE MARKET, Agra, Uttar Pradesh
DAY 9.4: SUNSET AT MEHTAB BAGH, Agra, Uttar Pradesh