Palitana – India’s first vegetarian city.
Yes, you heard it right. A fully stocked vegetarian city can be found, that too in India. A small city in Bhavnagar district in Gujarat, India called Palitana does not serve meat nor sells eggs. The killing of animals is a strict NO.
It is the world’s first fully vegetarian city as Palitana is considered the holiest place for people who pray and believe in the religion of Jainism. Palitana has 863 temples and pilgrims. The story goes as-The saviour, Adinatha, walked its hills.
But was Palitana, from its inception, a vegetarian city? The answer is NO.
Back in 2014, around 200 monks went on hunger strike to prove a point to the government that they would prefer to die than letting the slaughter of animals and consumption in the area. The government had to hear their demands and eventually put a ban on animal slaughter in the region and ever since there are been no slaughter or consumption.
According to Virat Sagar Maharaj, a practising monk, “ Everyone in this world- Whether animal or human being or a very small creature – has been given the right to live by God.
Another record of being the only mountain with about 800 temples in the world. For Jains, all the Palitana temples, along with the mountain are touted to be important from a religious viewpoint and is known to be the world’s temple complex.
As an avid traveller, if you are looking to travel to Palitana and explore the uniqueness of it, here’s what you can do.
As Palitana forms a part of Saurashtra, one can visit marvellous temple sites, cities and beautiful beaches and wildlife. Blessed with the biggest cluster of Jain temples from the base of Shatrunjaya to its peak.
Amongst all these important temples here, the Chaumukh temple, and its four-faced deity of Adinatha enshrined on a marble pedestal in a shrine open on all four sides. Another must-visit attraction is Gopinath Beach, a clean and pristine beach situated near Gadula village along the coast of the Gulf of Khambhat.
How to reach Palitana :
Palitana is 51 km from Bhavnagar, located in Gujarat. A city accessible by rail, road and air. The nearest airport is in Bhavnagar and Palitana is the easiest accessible by train.
Best time to visit: October to February.
Image Courtesy: Google Images.