Hastinapur: a Jain pilgrimage site
Introduction of Hastinapur
The city of Hastinapur, said to be the capital of the Kurus and the centre of all the political action in the Mahabharata, is considered a holy site by the Jains. Deriving its name from the Sanskrit, Hastin (elephant) and Puram (city), it has also been referred to as Gajpur, Brahmasthal and Shantinagar. Located as it is on the banks of the old ravine of the Ganges, about 106 km north-east from Delhi and 36 km from Meerut in Uttar Pradesh, India, Hastinapur, at an elevation of 202 m, displays a wide range of temperatures, bordering 40°C in the peaks of summer and falling to a chilly 4°C in December. It is a destination for many pilgrims as it houses several important Jain temples, a wildlife sanctuary and the historic Bhai Dharam Singh Gurdwara of the Sikhs.
History of origin of Hastinapur
Today, this small town houses a modest population of around 21,000, but excavations and studies by the Archaeological Survey of India in the 1950s, established a link between historical events in the Mahabharata to this scenic spot. About 300 years ago, during the time of British rule in India, the town was the capital of Gujjar King Nain Singh Nagar and it is said he built several temples during his reign.
Interesting places to visit in Hastinapur
- Shri Digamber Jain Mandir, the oldest jain temple in the area, constructed in 1801, it houses 16th Jain Tirthankar, Shri Shantinath, in the lotus or Padmasanaposture. On either side of the altar are idols of the 17th and 18th Tirthankara, Shri Kunthunath and Shri Aranath. Other temples are in its vicinity as are the Post Office, Gurukul, Police Station and places for comfortable stay with excellent vegetarian Jain food.
- Kailash Parvat Rachna: at a height of 131 ft, located within the Jain temple, this installation portrays the five auspicious events in a Tirthankar’s life from conception (Garbh), birth (Janma), practise of austerities (Tapa), gaining insight (Gyan) and the final liberation, Moksha.
- Jambudweep , this amazing sculpture displays the Jain cosmology and makes an interesting study.
- Shri Shwetambar Jain Temple, a 151 ft architectural wonder has been recently renovated.
- Hastinapur Sanctuary establishes in 1986, this sprawling 200km2 protected forests, designated to protect the ecosystem of the Ganga basin area, and is under threat from pollution from the neighboring industrial units, poaching, and other destructive activities. It houses many endangered species and attracts migratory birds and a movement has been launched by local and global NGOs to protect this important natural heritage along with the historical heritage of Hastinapur
- Bhai Dharam Singh Gurdwara: at Saifpur village, a couple of kilometres from Hastinapur town, is a historic site and place of worship for the Sikhs as it was established in the 17th century by Bhai Dharam Singh, one of the five beloved devotees of the founder of the Sikh religion, Guru Gobind Singh, and a core member of the nuclear group who formed the Khalsa or the Sikh order.
Your shopping list for Hastinapur
With several cultural and religious fairs being held here throughout the year, this destination would fetch you interesting village artefacts and handicrafts apart from religious literature and symbols.
Planning to go this place via Indian Rail?
Visit www.indianrail.gov.in. / for knowing specific trains going to this place. You may book your train tickets at www.irctc.co.in/
Planning to go this place via Bus?
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