Taranga is a three peaked hill in the Mehsana District of Gujarat. The river Rupen flows along the Taranga Hills; and the river Sabarmati flows to the east.

Taranga tirtha is considered one of the most important Shvetambar Jain temples, one of the five most important mahatirthas of the Jains. Of the 108 places known as Siddhachal, where holy people have attained enlightenment, one is called “Tarangir”.  It is popularly believed that 35,000,000 munis, including Vardutt and Sagardutt, attained moksha here. It is one of the few tirthas where both the Shvetambaras and the Digambaras visit. The place was historically associated with Buddhism also.

The Taranga hill bears the name of Taringa or Taranga, probably from a shrine that has long been there dedicated to a local deity Taran Mata situated 2.5 km north of the hill. The idol in the temple is of Buddhist deity Tara originally.

Under the guidance of renowned Jain scholar and poet Hemachandracharya, the Solanki King Kumarpala (1145-72), ruling from the capital in Patan, converted to Jainism and laid the foundation for this colossal temple, adding it to his growing legacy, along with the restoration of the ruined Somnath temple and the construction of the walls of Vadnagar. It was renovated on a large scale in the 16th century during the rule of the Mughal emperor Akbar, who supported diversity of religions.

The two hillocks named Kotishila and Sidhhshila have idols of Bhagwan Neminath and Bhagwan Mallinath of Vikram Samvat 1292, by the Jain calendar (1235 AD, by the Gregorian calendar). There are 14 Digambar Jain temples and one dharamshala in the foothills. Digambar Jains have been settled on this isolated hill since the time of Ajitnath Bhagwan, the 2nd Jain tirthankar.

On the highest elevation of the three-peaked hill there stands a “Tonk”, a shrine built by Digambaras, it houses a marble statue of the nineteenth Tirthankara, Mallinath. Nearby cave, locally known as Jogida ni Gufa has relics of four Buddhist statues under the Bodhivriksha. The cave was used by Buddhist monks years ago.

The special times of pilgrimage are during the full moon in the months of Kartika and Chaitra (November and April).






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