'Temples on the Girnar March 1857'
Artist: Lester, John Frederick (1825-1915)
Watercolour drawing by John Frederick Lester of the temples at Girnar, from an 'Album with laid down watercolours made between 1865 and 1877 in Kathiawar, Bombay, Poona, Mahabaleshwar and Savantvadi State'.
The Girnar muntain in Gujarat rising more than 900 metres above the plain is particularly sacred to the Jains. It was an important pilgrimage centre since the 3rd century BC as indicated by the inscriptions on a boulder with the edicts of the emperor Ashoka and the proclamations of a Kshatrapa and a Gupta ruler. The hill is the worn cone of an extint volcano surrounded by ridges. Along the principal path that leads to the central peak there are gateways, shrines and tanks. A group of sixteen Jain sanctuaries dedicated to Neminatha is situated on a rocky shelf at a height of 650 metres. These temples date from the Solanki period and later centuries.