Artistic Katraj Jain Temple, Pune

Katraj Jain Temple, Pune. Katraj Jain Mandir: Beautiful corridor inside the temple.
Katraj Jain Mandir:
Jainism is an ancient religion of India that teaches that the way to liberation and bliss is to live a life of harmlessness and renunciation. The aim of Jain life is to achieve liberation of the soul. Like Hinduism, Jainism is an old religion , taking its roots from the former. There are archaeological evidences that suggest that Jainism existed across ancient India, including the southern most states Tamil Nadu and Kerala centuries ago. 
Katraj Jain Mandir, Pune

The city of Pune has people  following different  faiths. There used to be a large Jewish community here in the colonial days  and after the formation of Israel, most of them migrated to that country. There are a few Jewish synagogues in Pune and other places. As for Jains, basically a business community, there are superb Jain temples across  India and a visit to such places of veneration will help you wake up from the slumber and improve your spiritual well being which is essential for modern living.  Katraj Jain Mandir, also known by Aagam Mandir (temple), is on a small hill near Poona on the Satara-Pune high way and is visited by lots of tourists.
Katraj Jain Temple: Jain
Appearance is deceptive and this temple may look simple from out side, but it is  a big and beautifully built place of worship with artistically decorated floors, walls and ceilings. There are many small shrines dedicated to various Jain Gods. This temple is highly artistic like other  Jain temples and the carvings and workmanship outside and inside the temple bring out the extraordinary skills of artisans. There are huge metal idols (normally an alloy of five metals) of Bhagwan Mahaveer, Bhagwan Parshwnath
Katraj Jain Mandir, Pune
and  goddess Padmavati. There is a shrine for  Bhagwan Mahaveer - a golden shaded idol in sitting position (Padmasan posture) made  of panch-dhatu weighing 5000 kg and 12 ft tall, The Idol of Parshwnath (also made of five metals), that weighs 3000 kgs and 8 feet tall, is enshrined in a background carved in gold and silver, depicting various life cycles. On the shining walls of this well-kept temple are ancient scriptures written in  Pali and Prakrit languages, commonly one will see in Hindu temples as well. Many of them are mantras or shostras normally used while praying.

Devotees entering the temple ought to follow certain strict regulations.  Normally people are requested to avoid wearing any thing made of leather, including waist belt, no indecent dress, no black color dress and no gossiping inside the temple. There is a Bhojanasala where food is available. Sometime a  nominal  fee is charged for the food. Jains,  being orthodox, are  strict vegetarians, hence only vegetarian food is available.

At the center of the shrine is enshrined the idol of Mahaveer with foot prints. An interesting aspect is all people are allowed inside the temple and there are no caste distinctions. The only requirement is once you are inside the temple, your mind must be focused on god.  There  are idols of Saraswathi and Lakshmi out side the main temple on either side. At night the electric light is turned off and candles and lamps are lit. The idols and the gold and silver plated backdrop look resplendent. Devotees engage in Bhajans singing devotional songs with dedication,

Standing on the small hill one can enjoy the panoramic view of the sprawlingcity and the serene surroundings.

The addtess is: Shree Vardhman Jain Agaam Tirth,Near Jakat Naka,122,Agaam Hill. Katraj, Pune(Maharashtra) 411046.