The religious importance of Girnar for Jains
Girnar also is known as Girnar Hill or Girinagar or Revatak Pravata. The mountain is older than Himalayas and about 3672 feet high. One has to climb 10,000 steps from the foot of the hill to reach the top. Girnar is considered the spot of enlightenment and attainment of salvation during meditation for the last of the Jain Tirthankaras, ascetics responsible for the promulgation of the alternate sect of Jainism. It has been an important religious place for Jains since the 3rd century. The Neminath Temple, built from 1128 AD to 1159 AD, is one of the major attractions. It is also one of the largest temples dedicated to Lord Neminath. According to Jain religious beliefs, Lord Neminath, the 22nd Tirthankar became an ascetic after he saw the slaughter of animals for food at his wedding. He renounced all worldly pleasures and came to Mount Girnar to attain salvation. The place is sacred & pious as it is related to 3 Kalyanka – (i) Diksha (ii) Gyan (iii) Moksha of 22nd Teerthankar Bhagwan Neminath. About 72 crore & 700 Muniraj like the son of Shri Krishna – Pradyumna Kumar, Shambhu Kumar, Aniruddha Kumar achieved salvation at this place.
His bride also followed his path and founded the Sadhvi Sangh, the organization of women ascetics. The rectangular Neminath temple has an idol of Lord Neminath in black granite with jeweled eyes. It is believed the 22nd Tirthankara Neminath has taken nirvana on Mount Girnar after 700 years of meditation. In Girnar the Jain temples are Baghwan Rishabhadev Temple and Baghwan Parshwanath Temple. Rishabhadev Temple, situated nearby, is in golden color. Another Jain temple in the region is the Parshwanath Temple, which is also known as Meravasi was built in the 15th century.
There are 5 tonks on the Girnar hill:
1) First Tonk – The first tonk is renowned for the Rajulmati Cave and idols of various gods such as Lord Bahubali, Lord Neminath, and Lord Parshwanath. There is spring water called gomukhi ganga and nearby the footprints of 24 Tirthankaras are available.
2) Second Tonk – Footprints of Muni Anirudhhkumat and temple of Devi Ambika.
3) Third Tonk – Footprints of Muni Sambukkumar who hs as attained nirvana from this place.
4) Fourth tonk – Footprints of pradhyman kumar, son of lord Krishna, who has attained nirvana from this place.
5) Fifth tonk – Footprints of Lord Neminath’s, the 22nd Tirthankar who has attained nirvana from this place.