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Nasiyan Jain Temple: The Red Temple of Rajasthan

Situated in the heart of Ajmer is a renowned pilgrimage of Jain religion, dedicated to the first Tirthankar Rishabhanatha.

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Soniji ki Nasiyan or Nasiyan Jain temple

Soniji ki Nasiyan Jain Temple

Soniji ki Nasiyan or Nasiyan Jain temple

Soniji ki Nasiyan Jain Temple

Soniji ki Nasiyan or Nasiyan Jain temple

Soniji ki Nasiyan Jain Temple

Soniji ki Nasiyan or Nasiyan Jain temple

Soniji ki Nasiyan Jain Temple

Soniji ki Nasiyan or Nasiyan Jain temple

Soniji ki Nasiyan Jain Temple

Soniji ki Nasiyan or Nasiyan Jain temple

Soniji ki Nasiyan Jain Temple

Denizens of the city call the place Soniji ki Nasiyan or Nasiyan Jain temple to signify the name of the noble merchant Rai Bahadur Seth Moolchand Soni who built the temple in the year 1864. Since its inception, the temple is owned by the family and had received many structural renovations till 1895.

Without a doubt, the fascinating architecture of the temple is its major attraction. The entire 40*80 ft. main chamber of the temple is gilded and embedded with several gems and semi-precious stones. The Belgium stain glass and mineral color paintings add dazzling colors to this extremely lustrous interior. The great spire (vimana) and thence suspended silver balls complete the look of the Swarna Nagari (Golden city), as the place is respectfully called.

Though the golden walls of the Swarn Nagari are grand attraction in themselves, the focal point of the same is the enormous diorama placed in the middle of the hall. The three-dimensional model represents the intricate golden city of Ayodhya and the palace (birthplace of Rishabhanatha) with flying peacocks and elephants. The model depicts the concept of the idealistic ancient world as is mentioned in the Jain scriptures.

In the worship area of the Nasiyan temple (Vedi), where the imagery of the Tirthankar is placed, one can view the figurative representation of the Pancha-kalyanak, or the five auspicious events- conception, birth, renunciation, enlightenment, and Nirvana in the most festooned manner. The temple also houses consecrated idols of the other Tirthankars.

Though the interior of the temple is made completely of gilded wood and white marbles, it is more often called the ‘Red temple of Rajasthan’ because of its red sandstone (brought specially from Karauli) exteriors. In fact, the marble and golden interiors are all part of the renovation done on the temple in the duration of 30 years, from 1865 to 1895.

Another marvelous amendment made to the building in the year 1974 is a big library that holds numerous rare scriptures of Jain and other religions. All in all, the place is great architectural masterpiece that holds several captivating factors including the massive Manstambha, an 82 ft. high pillar placed at the entrance of the temple.

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