Sahasrakuta or altar of the small temple in the Pancha Pandava Tuk, Satrunjaya.
Photographer: Cousens, Henry
Medium: Photographic print
This photograph of the Sahasrakuta or altar of the small temple in the Pancha Pandava Tuk, Satrunjaya was taken by Henry Cousens sometime in the 1880s or 1890s. Satrunjaya is an ancient Jain place of pilgrimage. On the two summits of the hill, which rise 600 m above the plain around the town of Palitana, there are many hundreds of multi-spired temples where pilgrims come to pay reverence to the different Jain saints. The sanctuaries are grouped in fortified enclosures or tuks, named after their founders and all were built during the 16th century or later. The Pancha Pandava Tuk contains two temples. The first was described by Henry Cousens in 1897: "This temple is without doubt an old Hindu shrine converted to Jaina use. The exterior, which remains in much of its original condition, has been beautifully carved, but has also been much mutilated." The second is depicted here: "Behind the last is a small temple containing a sahasrakuta, i.e. a central pedestal or block of marble having 1,008 little images of jinas carved upon its sides."