The name Godiji refers to the original idol which was at Gori currently in Pakistan. For several centuries, the temple at Goripur was a celebrated Jain tirtha. The Gori temple was constructed in the classical medieval style. It is surrounded by 52 subsidiary shrines (devakulikas), just like the Vimala Vasahi temple at Mt. Abu with each of the 52 shrines having a low dome. The shrines are now empty. However the paintings in the 12-column ranga-mandap at the front gate are well preserved. An upper band shows people worshiping the Tirthankaras. Two of the bands below show processions with horses, elephants, palanquins, chariots, etc. and one of the bands has rare paintings of the Tirthankaras.
According to Muni Darshanvijaya, the idol was installed by Seth Godidas of Jhinjhuvad and was consecreted by Acharya Hemachandra at Patan in Samvat 1228. It was brought to Patan and was buried underground for safekeeping during a period of disturbance. It was rediscovered in Samvat 1432 (1375-6 AD) and was stored in the stable of the local ruler. According to the old texts, a merchant Megha Sa from Nagarparkar acquired the idol by paying 125 dramma or 500 taka and brought to Nagarparkar, where it was formally reconsecreted by Acharya Merutunga Suri of Anchala Gachchha. Later, according to instructions he received in a dream, he settled at a new town at Goripur and constructed a temple in samvat 1444, thus establishing the Godi Parshvanth Tirth. The construction was supervised by an architect from Sirohi. The shikhar of the temple was completed by his son Mahio. The tirth became famous and was visited by Jains from afar.
It was visited by Captain Stanley Napier Raikes, a magistrate, in 1854. Raikes met local Jains to compile recent history and consulted a Jain Yati Goorjee Kuntvujajee at Bodhesar, who had manuscripts describing the history of the temple.
In 1716AD, the local chief Soda Sutojee moved the image from the temple to a fort. The image was buried underground at a secret location for safekeeping, and used to be taken out time to time with great celebration. Raikes wrote that thousands of monks and hundreds of thousands of ordinary people assembled for the fairs held for the idol’s exhibition.
The temple was later damaged in the battle between Colonel George Tyrwhitt and a local Sodha chief who had taken shelter at the temple.
Jain Muni Vidyavijayaji visited Sindh in 1937. He notes that the temple was empty, and had decayed. A local Bhil served as a guard. At that time there were still many Jain families in towns near Nagarparkar. During India’s partition in 1947, the Jains left and the temple became inaccessible to the Jain community.
Godiji temple is one of the oldest temples in Mumbai consecrated in 1812AD by Nemchand and Motichand Shah who were sons of Sheth Amichand. Motichand had also established the Motisha Toonk at Palitana. It was moved to this location as a result of a fire in the Fort area of Mumbai. They purchased the site from Avichaldas Govindji Bhansali. The original brick and wooden temple was refurbished into a three storey marble temple. A stamp was issued in 2012 to commemorate its 200th anniversary.
The temple has 226 pillars and 16 shrines having a total of 155 murtis.