Navakhanda Parshwanath Tirth is an ancient and revered Jain pilgrimage that has survived invasions and destruction. Truth can be suppressed for some time but it always emerges. The history of Navkhanda Parshwanath Tirth can be traced to about 1150 CE as per some historical Jain documents. At that time Ghogha was a flourishing port and trade center with many Jain merchants settled there. These Jain merchants established several temples, making Ghogha an important Jain religious center.
The Glorious Days of Ghogha Bandar
Ghogha Port has been in existence since at least the 5th century CE. At that time it had marine and trade ties with Lanka, Arabia, and African countries. The port had a strategic location in the Bay of Khambhat. From the 10th to the 16th centuries CE Ghogha port became a major trade center with ships coming from multiple ports across the world.
Ghogha was known as Gundigar during the Maitraka rule in the 5th century CE. Later it came under the Chalukyas till the 13th century CE. After that Ghogha was ruled by local rulers (Gohils), who had their headquarters in nearby Piram Bet. In the centuries to follow Ghogha was invaded by the Muslims, Portuguese, and the British. Ghogha continued to be an important trading port through all this. With the establishment of Bhavnagar as a trade center, the significance of Ghogha began to decline. When the Dutch and British made Surat their main port, Ghogha declined further and soon faded away into insignificance.
Ghogha, as a Jain center and pilgrimage, goes back to the 12th century. Wealthy Jain merchants settled here and built many temples dedicated to Lord Parshwanath, Neminath, and other Tirthankaras in and around Ghogha. The history of Navkhanda Parshwanath Tirth is not exactly known but some historic Jain documents mention the establishment of this temple in the 15th century. It is also known that the Murti of Lord Parshwanath was from much earlier.
During invasions, the Murti of Lord Parshwanath was broken into nine pieces. The pieces were recovered by Jain devotees and hidden, to be joined and repaired later. The nine pieces were later found in a well in Piram Bet, after which the original temple was renovated and the Murti restored and enshrined once again. The nine pieces were skilfully rejoined but the cracks can be noticed. The Temple came to be known as Navkhanda Parshwanath Tirth after that. (Navkhanda – Nine pieces).
In the nearby area, there are four other Jain temples and another two temples a little further away. These are dedicated to Neminath Bhagwan, Shantinath Bhagwan, Suvidhnath Bhagwan, and Chandraprabh Bhagwan. Metal Murtis of Shri Hemchandra Acharya and Shri Dharma Ghosh Suri has also been found. Another temple is dedicated to Shri Jirawala Parshwanath. Ghogha is a living testimony to the glorious Jain religion and culture that has been flourishing for thousands of years.
How to reach Ghogha
Bhavnagar Railway Station is 22 km from Ghogha
Bhavnagar Airport is 19 km from Ghogha.
Where to stay in Ghogha
There are a number of options for a comfortable stay in Ghogha including the Navkhanda Jain Derasar. Click on the link below to know more and book rooms.
Distances from Ghogha
Bhavnagar – 21 km
Ayodhyapuram – 64 km
Palitana – 70 km
Mahuva – 93 km
Ahmedabad – 191 km
Ajahara – 189 km