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Place Making in Jain Pilgrimage

  • Subject: Religion
  • Topic: Pilgrimage
  • Pages 6
  • Words: 2587
  • Published: 14 April 2018
  • Downloads: 177
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A ‘tirtha’ (a sacred place for pilgrimage) in India involves strong religious aspects. The realities of the natural place have been recognized by the religious; and from them have emerged myths, which have governed the ritual use of places. Hence, the place becomes sacred.

In the context of the ‘ritual use’ of ‘sacred place,’ it becomes important how the geometrical formalism (built form) deals with the nature of the land. Hence, the architecture (of a temple) at certain place involves, understanding of built form, nature of land and attitudes, which relates the built form to the land. Jain temples have most distinct and artistic expression from other temples and particular geometrical system and form. It focuses more on the cultural and spiritual beliefs and life of the Jain community. To understand the basic organization and architectural principles of a temple architecture one does not need to study all the temples of India. Because these temples have a similar ideology. The variations are only due to the geographical location, faith in the religion of people of the particular place, social and economic patterns and the materials and construction techniques available.

This thesis deals with the ‘placemaking’ seen in Jain tirtha on mountains. As per the Jain philosophy, Concept of Temples on mountains came from the “mountain of immortality”, the ability to live forever, quality of deserving to be remembered. Quality of placemaking is seen in Hinduism and other Indian traditions as well, but here Jainism has been taken as an example.

Temples are a different kind of public place where the activities taking place inside the temples are very specific, then the activities that take place outside the temples. The purpose of this thesis is to study the different activities takes place outside temple complex. It is an attempt to understand the ‘places’ on the basis of their principles, through selected examples of Jain Tirtha. This will help to understand the order of the built form configuration and continuous activities. The aim of the thesis is to study and understand the affecting factors behind the place making of different typology in Jain tirtha taking the example of Sammed Shikharji.

Objective: Studying the affecting factors behind making a temple complex and fragmented temples (in Sammed Shikharji). Analytical criteria shall be formulated, which can tackle the nature of temple on complex geographical condition of land, using simple parameter (say, how the individual temple is placed on land) What is the idea of center and how is it different in Temple complex and fragmented temple? How is the route pattern different in terms of activities in both the Tirtha? Studying the visual order of built form and sequence of the temples Access of the individual temple Placemaking in both tirthas (comparing tirtha complex and fragmented temples on the mountain) Methodology: Methodology involves various stages. Firstly, the documentation of overall layout of the hills. An attempt shall be made to locate Sammed Shikharji in its historic time period. Interviewing Jain monks to know the belief of Jain temples on the hill.

Activity mapping:

Studying movement pattern throughout the route;

Access pattern Parikrama outside the temple;

Religious activities (prayers/ Bhavna);

Personal (pujari room/ changing rooms/ offices);

Social activities (defined/ emerged common gathering place).

Land use pattern – Open, semi-open and Covered Scopes and limitations: This study is geographically limited to temples on mountains. The analysis of temples is largely limited to its ‘form’ and not spaces inside the temple. The spaces inside the temple are equivalent to any other Jain temple interior.

There is an attempt to hide the inside spaces, as the exterior conditions are more important for the study. Hence the form of the temple is more focused on, while the interior spaces have been analyzed only when it forms an important part of the analysis. Though many books are available on temple architecture, the very less written material is available on Samed Shikharji; only a few books written by Jain munis(monks) are available. It was entirely left for the student to discover from site studies and drawings. Drawings available in books/thesis shall be taken as a base.

Introduction to Jainism and Jain cosmology: Jainism over the world has always been very much generous to all kind of lives. Jainism does not adopt a belief in god, but it does divide the universe into two categories of ‘Jiva’ (life) and ‘Ajiva’ (no life). ‘Should not kill and should not cause to kill’; this is the basic motto of Jain philosophy. The Jain religion originated more than twenty-five hundred years ago in India. It developed the path of purification, designed to liberate one from chains of Karma, allowing one to enter into a state of eternal liberation. Jainism emphasizes nonviolence or ahimsa, as the only true path that leads to liberation. Jain Tirtha has been evolved over the period of time with their strong Jain mythology. The earliest Buddhist texts discuss Jainism in some detail, suggesting that it was a well- established tradition even before the time of Buddha. It is not without a reason when a temple or a group of temples is built at a particular place. The existence of a temple at a place probably indicates that the place might be a religious site, or it was a political center. Almost all the religious have positioned great emphasis on the sacredness of certain localities. For Christians, Jerusalem has been the holiest place, for Islam Mecca and Medinah is one, similarly, Jains honor certain places to be sacred and constructed temples in honor of Tirthankaras. These places in a Jain religion called tirtha or tirthaksetra.

Tirthaksetra is the places where Tirthankaras were born, practiced great austerities, achieved omniscience, renounced the world and initiated a religious life, attained and achieved liberation, and places famous for their beautiful temples or wonderful idols. The holy places according to Digambaras are Swetambara where the Jinas achieved liberation.

What is Placemaking? As said by Jane Jacob, Placemaking inspires people to collectively reimagine and reinvent public spaces as the heart of every community. Strengthening the connection between people and the places they share, placemaking refers to a collaborative process by which we can shape our public realm in order to maximize shared value. Individual places have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, everybody creates them. Mark A. Wyckoff, FACE MSU Land Policy Institute has given different definitions for placemaking. Standard placemaking is the process of creating quality places that people want to live, work, play and learn in. Strategic placemaking is targeted at achieving a particular goal in addition to creating quality places. Creative placemaking is focused on shaping the physical and social character of a neighborhood, town, city or region around arts and cultural activities. Tactical placemaking is closely related to short-term actions, lighter, quicker, cheaper. As Casey writes, a place is not a mere patch of ground, a bare stretch of earth, a sedentary set of stones, Instead, a place is something for which we continually have to discover or invent new forms of understanding. Placemaking is, Community-driven, visionary, context-specific, transformative, flexible, collaborative. Placemaking is something which defines a community, to make it more user-friendly and people passing through don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience the unique sense of this place. Sometimes place making relies on the type of building. In this case, the building is already there and according to the user group, they started to develop the neighborhood. In religious places like Jain temples, where people collectively or intentionally shape their way to make the journey more comfortable and unique. Study of placemaking in religious places is important to understand how it is different from other places in terms of user groups and kinds of activities. Placemaking does not only relies on community inputs but focuses more on the outcome of built area surroundings. There are few factors which affect the Placemaking: Sociability Uses and activities Access and linkages Comfort and neighborhood

Description of Important Jain tirtha According to the Jain text Tirthankara Bhagwan Adinath (Rishabhdev) attained salvation from Kailash Parvat, 12th Tirthankara Bhagwan Vasupujya from Champapuri, 22nd Tirthankara Bhagwan Neminath attained from Girnar Parvat, and last 24th Bhagwan Mahavir from Pavapuri and the remaining twenty Tirthankaras attained salvation from Samed Shikharji. 2.4 About Samed Shikharji, Jharkhand: Remote and rural, Bhihar is the birthplace for Jainism, indeed it’s very name is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Vihara’. Cleave out of the neighboring Bihar in the year 2000 to meet the autonomy demands of Adivasi(tribe) population, Jharkhand is a land of immense natural and anthropological wealth. Many of the Jain munis used to traveled to this place for meditation and achieved salvation. Jharkhand Is Commonly known for its Jain pilgrimage place called Samed Shikharji. It is a sacred place for Jain. It is said to be one of the highest peaks, compare to other pilgrimage places of Jain. 2.4.1 Location: Parasnath is a mountain peak in the Parasnath Range. It is located towards the South- East end of the Giridih district, in the state of Jharkhand. It lies on latitude 23’N and longitude 86-13’E. Shikharji is almost an isolated hill. It rises gently from the plains to almost 4490 ft (1370m) from sea level. 2.4.2 History: Samed Shikhar and Shatrunjay are the most prominent among all the Jain pilgrimages of India. Shatrunjay pilgrimage is on a hill-top in western India and Sammet Shikhar is in eastern India. When just one auspicious event of one Tirthankar, can convert a place into a pilgrimage, it will be quite impossible for a human to assess the holiness and power of that pilgrimage where as many as twenty Tirthankars have lit up the inextinguishable light of ‘nirvana’. Although the first light of ‘nirvana’ was lit-up in Ashtapad (in the Himalayas), today that pilgrimage is invisible to us. Under such a circumstance, Samed Shikhar is that pilgrimage which we can hail as the ‘Shikhar’ (Summit) of the first light of ‘nirvana’. Sammet Shikhar is the topmost light of ‘nirvana’.

Climate: This state has three distinct seasons. Winter season stretch from November to February. The sky is generally clear or overcast in the late evening and early morning. May considered as the hottest month of the year. Preferable period of climbing the hill is winters and summer.

The vision of surrounding: From the top peak of the hill one can have the vision of the whole pilgrim place of all the temples, shrines and the endless vistas of surrounding landscape. From the first tonk at 9.00 km to the east one can see the Parasnath tonk(31st tonk) and to the south down the hill a little vision of Jal mandir tonk (20th tonk).

Nature of land: Dealing with landforms and relation of the built form to them, help us to understand the significant work of man, in the creation of the meaningful place. The first question comes, ‘why the selection of particular site?’ Very basic is the relationship of built form and site is to recognize physical characteristic, intangible qualities, and meaning of a particular site (associated values).

The reality of land: Physical characteristic: a Built form of any site can be understood by identifying the physical characters of the land. The nature of contours, type of land gives different possibilities to the built form and the placement. A sloping site is obstructed inclined plane. Prominent 3rd dimension gives more significance to the site. Most of the land formulation occurred with the water flow of the hill. Intangible qualities: This mountain’s own special feature is that it always remains remindful with the fragrant trees of a large Sandal forest situated over it. Several rare herbal medicines are found on this mountain. The melodious sound of the cool water-falls flowing on this mountain gladdens our heart. Meaning of a particular site (associated values): In the history of any sacred place religious thought plays an important role. The myth, rituals and other symbolism include the land and land become sacred. In India places like a river, mountains and forests are considered as sacred. As many Jain munis traveled here to achieve salvation, Samed Shikharji, the place itself became holy before the temples were built. Temples on the mountain is seen as a link between earth(Human) and heaven(God). A pilgrimage like Samed Shikharji has its own myths behind the location of each shrine and temples. It is said that they are placed exactly at the location where each Tirthankara attained their salvation.

Evolution of hill: The site of the greatest tirtha lies in this landscape of the Shikharji hills. The top of the hill consists of 3 ridges, running from East- West. The western ridge is higher than the eastern ridge. The whole trail is covered with the multiple numbers of small shrines and temples.

Tonk description and Drawings: Overall tonk description: This summit is a Just beside the Madhuban village. The hill has 6 miles of straight climbing. Further 6 miles of walking covers all the temples and shrines. 6 miles of climbing down the hill, which makes the total of 18 miles (27 km) of around summit. Area of the hill is approximately 55 sq.km. (30km perimeter). Entire hill consists of various elements of built form. Except for the built form, it has large numbers of vegetation. The entire hill area comes under forest department. Forest department has allowed 15% of built upon an entire mountain. 15% built up includes all the temples, other built forms i.e. post office, bhata ghruh. The hill can be divided into two different summits. One occupies the western hill summit called Shri Prabhu Parashnath tonk and the other summit includes all 31 tonks of Tirthankara.

Tonk one (Shree Gautam Prabhu tonk): The first tonk is of Gandhara Gautam saw. It stands majestically in the center of all the tonks. It is at the intersection where all four trails meet. One trail leads towards the south direction which meets to Jal Mandir (tonk 20). It is located at 23N(Latitude)- 86E(Longitude) at a 4313ft height from the sea level. The trail towards eastern direction includes Tonk 1st to Tonk 18th. The trail towards the southern direction from the first tonk leads to Jal Mandir (tonk 19th – tonk 20th) Trail towards western direction includes tonk 21st to tonk 30th. This leads to the highest Tonk of shree Parashnath prabhu. Each tonk is considered as an individual shrine, which has charan replica of dedicated Tirthankara.

The route: Starting from the Madhuban village, with many ups and downs, straight walk, larger steps and slops entire route has been developed.

Space organization on the hill: Any place is a collection of many different elements coming together making a space. Two spaces that are separated by distance can be linked or related to each other by an intermediate space. But it depends on the nature/ character of an individual space. Space linked organization: The intermediate space can differ in form, size, and shape. The intermediate space, if large enough can become a dominant element in relation to other built space. The intermediate space, in some cases, act as a linkage between two built forms. Centralized organization: This organization is largely seen in temple architecture, where other secondary spaces are oriented towards the temple. The secondary spaces may differ from one another in terms of size, shape, form, orientation to fulfill their individual requirements of function, Ritual movement with the built form (overall hill).

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Place Making in Jain Pilgrimage. (2018, April 14). GradesFixer. Retrieved December 3, 2021, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/place-making-in-jain-pilgrimage/
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