Historical | Pilgrimage
At a distance of 35 km from Palitana and 55 km from Bhavnagar, Talaja is a historical town situated near Palitana in Bhavnagar district of Gujarat. Located on the banks of Shatrunjaya River, it is one of the popular places to visit in Gujarat and among the must include places in Palitana Tour Packages.
Talaja is better known as the birthplace of the famous poet Narsinh Mehta. Also, it is home to some important sites for Buddhism, Jainism, and Hinduism. The main attraction here is the ancient Buddhist Rockcut Caves on Talaja hill. The rock-cut cave group includes 30 caves among which 15 are water tanks. The Ebhala Mandapa, a large hall with four octagonal pillars is the most impressive structure of all. These caves are adorned with fine carving of Boddhisatva. The caves are around 2000 years old and require about a 15-20 minutes walk up the hill to reach them. They are of the 4th stage of Buddhist cave architecture, noticeably earlier than the famous Buddhist caves of Maharashtra.
There is a Jain temple along with a Hindu temple of Khodiar Mata atop the hill near the Buddhist Caves. This Jain temple was established by King Kumarpala during the 12th century CE. This is a holy place of the Shri Shatrunjay Panchteerthi and is part of the Shatrunjay hills. The temple was last renovated in 1815 and belongs to Shwetambar sect. of Jainism. The sanctum of the temple house 79 cm tall black colored idol of Sacha Sumatinatha Bhagwan in padmasana posture. Besides this temple, there are temples of Chintamani Parshvanath Bhagawan, Mahavir Swami Bhagawan, and the Gurumandir.
One can also visit Narsinh Mehta's house in town, though there is little of obvious note other than a marker signaling it as the house of his birth.
Cave Timings: 6 AM - 6 PM