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Palitana Tourism And Travel Guide
26° C / 78.8° F
November to March
3 to 4 Days
Palitana Railway Station
The first “Pure Vegetarian” city in the world, Palitana is one of the finest religious spots in India. It is the 48th largest city in India and located on the western side of Gujarat. It comes under the Bhavnagar district which is at a distance of 50 km from the Palitana city center. Palitana is the base to the holy Shatrunjaya hill. This majestic hill houses over 850 exquisitely carved Jain temples that are the hub of holy tourism in Palitana. According to the legends, these high numbers of temples were built by devotees during a period that spans over 900 years. Similar to the Chandragiri, Mount Abu, and Girnar, Shatrunjaya is also considered as one of the most sacred places for the Jains. Here is present a quick travel guide of the marvelous city so keep reading!
How To Reach
Palitana has decent connectivity with rail and road. However, the city doesn’t have its own dedicated airport. It isn’t far from Mumbai, Vadodara, and Ahmedabad. Trains are the best and easiest way to reach Palitana whereas airways are the fastest and expensive mode of transport.
Palitana railway station is managed by the Bhavnagar division of Western Indian Railways. From Mumbai, there’s just one direct train to Palitana. From other metropolitan, there aren’t any. So connecting trains from Ahmedabad or Bhavnagar can help you reach the city through trains.
The State Transport of Gujarat and private buses offer a convenient mode of transport for people willing to visit the city. Highways and other service roads are well-maintained and managed. A lot of people also prefer self-drive from nearby cities. Direct buses are available from Mumbai, Surat, Vadodara, and Ahmedabad so check online and book your tickets.
As mentioned, Palitana doesn’t have its own airport so you have to book a flight till Bhavanagar, which is the nearest airport or till Ahmedabad which has an international airport. From any of these airports, you can book a private cab to get to the city.
Getting around in Palitana is possible through the local auto-rickshaw, cabs, and horse carts. Auto-rickshaws are best suited for small hops and for sightseeing in the neighboring region booking a cab is the best option.
Weather and Best Time To Visit
Palitana has three main seasons: Summer, Monsoon, and Winter. The climate in summer is hot and humid. It doesn’t rain much in Palitana so monsoons are still pleasant as the temperature goes down during this time. Winter is the best time to visit Palitana as the weather during this time is at its best.
Summer (March - June):
The summer season starts in March and lasts until June. It gets extremely hot in May and June as the temperature can cross 40 °C. It’s not recommended to visit Palitana during this time as sightseeing becomes difficult. If you do plan to visit in summer, don’t forget to carry light clothes.
Monsoon (July - October):
The south-west monsoon hits Palitana and its neighboring regions around July and remains active until September. It doesn’t rain that heavily here in monsoon so a trip can be planned. However, do check the weather forecast before you do so.
Winter (November - February):
The winter season is the best season to visit Palitana. The climate is sublime during this time and offers the best conditions for sightseeing and visiting religious spots. The season starts from November and stretches until the end of February.
Things To Do
Palitana is majorly a religious spot. There are numerous Jain temples so your “things to do” list will generally involve visiting the temples and seeking blessing. Besides temples, there are other things as well which can be tried during your stay. Let’s quickly discuss them.
Take a Holy Visit at the Temples:
Palitana is famous for being the only place in the whole of India with over 900 temples. There are numerous attractive temples which can be visited for seeking peace, learning more about the history of Jainism, their culture, tradition, and to sight some of the best Jain architecture carved from marbles.
Get Mesmerized by the Greatness of Shatrunjaya Hills:
At a small distance of 9 km from the city center, you come down to the base of the Shatrunjaya Hills. It is one of the most sacred spots that has many temples at the top of the hills. The most famous of them all is the Adinath temple. It is dedicated to Rishabhanatha and considered to be the primary temple in the complex. The prime attraction is the prayer hall of this temple. They are decorated with exquisite friezes of dragons. The temple houses a 7 feet tall, white-colored idol of Lord Adinath in the Padmasana posture.
Witness the Beauty of Gopinath Beach:
At a distance of about 30 km from Palitana, there is a famous beach known by the name Gopnath, in the Gadhula village in Gujarat. This beach is listed amongst the top beaches in Gujarat. The beach offers a sublime view to visitors because of which it is one of the most visited spots in Palitana. Besides, there’s also a 700 years old Gopnath Mahadev Temple near the beach that draws many devotees along every year.
Explore the Historic Town of Talaja:
Talaja is situated at a small distance of 35 km from Palitana. It’s a historic town located along the banks of Shatrunjaya River. it houses a few well-known sites for Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. The primary attraction of the place is the ancient Buddhist Rockcut Caves on Talaja hill. There are 30 caves among which 15 are water tanks. Besides, there is a lot to explore here and you will get to know more about the history of this place.
Palitana is purely a vegetarian city and any selling or buying of non-veg stuff is strictly prohibited. So if you are a non-veg lover, you won’t have options. Moreover, the veg delicacies are mostly influenced by the Jain culture. Irrespective of that, the quality of food and a wide variety of food items are high in number. Palitana is a place where the grounds are swept by peacock's feathers so that no living creature is hurt. It’s where you are in for a treat as it serves an assortment of vegetarian dishes. Some of the best food joints in Palitana include Sankalp Restaurant, Sukh Sagar, Sonali Restaurant, and Swagat Restaurant.