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Shri Digambar Jain Siddha Kshetra Muktagiri (Mendhagiri) Place & Post – Thapoda, Taluka – Bhensdehi, District – Baitool (M.P.) Pin – 420260 Phone 07223-202146, 9325389573 URL: http://www.muktagiri.org
Muktagiri Siddha Kshetra is situated in the lap of the ‘Satpuda’ Mountain range and it is surrounded by beautiful mountains natural vegetation, water falls and greenery. It is ancient Siddha & Atishaya Kshetra. It is also known as Mendhagiri or Medhrgiri. According to “Prakrit Nirvan Kand” and other religious texts, more than 3 and a half crores of ‘Muniraj’ had done meditation and attained salvation from here. The Samavsharan of 10th Teerthankar Bhagwan Sheetalnath also arrived here and as such it has the rare distinction of getting the charan of Tirthankar on its soil. Many miracles happen here from time to time. This Kshetra is quite ancient and according to inscription on ‘palate of copper’ (Tamrapatra) got from Achalpur; the ‘Guha (Cave) Mandir’ was got constructed on this hill by the emperor of Magadh ‘Shrenik Bimbasar’. King ‘Shrenik’ was the as we all know the biggest devotee of Bhagwan Mahaveer and the principal visitor to his samavsaran. About 1000 years ago King ‘Ail Shripal’ of Elichpur (Achalpur) developed this Kshetra. Many idols were got carved artistically by King Ail Shripal at the places like Antariksha Parshvanath & Elora and the cave temples were also got constructed by him. In 1923 Late. Shri. Nathusa Pasusa Kalamkar purchase the entire range of Satpuda Hill where these 52 Digambar Jain Temple where build from Mr. Khaparde who was holding the malgujari and collecting a surcharge from Jain devotee’s coming for worship. Then Nathusa Pasusa build Dharamshala and Mahavir Temple on the foothill of the holy place.
It is said that at the time when Samavsharan of 10th Teerthankar Bhagwan Sheetalnath arrived here, there was shower of pearls (Moti, Mukta). It is because of this shower of pearls the name of this holy place became Muktagiri.
It is also said that in ancient times one Muniraj was engrossed in meditation & Tapa near waterfall. At that time one Mendha (male sheep - Lamb), which came near waterfall got slipped and fell near Muniraj. The Muniraj recited ‘Namokar Mantra’ to the dying Mendha. As a result of recitation of ‘Namokar Mantra’, Mendha attained eternity & peace and became a Dev. This Dev visited this place for the prayers of Muniraj and showered pearls on this hill. As the Mendha attained eternity here so name of this place became ‘Mendhagiri’ and due to shower of pearls it became ‘Muktagiri’. Even today the shower of saffron takes place on the hill at Ashtami, Chaturdashi & Poornima.
Though it is Siddha Kshetra, it is also related with many miracles. Many Sensitive devotees do visit the principal deity Bhagwan Parshvanath of the 26th temple to get rid from worldly diseases and other types of illness. One foreigner himself felt one such miracle. The proof of this event with foreigner is present in the Government Gazetteer of Baitool. Moreover the shower of Saffron on hill on the Ashtami, Chaturdashi & Full moon night (Poornima) provides strong evidence for the happening of miracles at this place. Many dangerous animals like Lion, Tiger, Leopard, Snakes & Reptiles are seen visiting at the feet of Bhagwan and it seems that they visit here to get rid of their violent tendencies and their tiryanch gati. These dangerous animals have never proved violent and not even caused harm to any visitor.
There are 52 temples on Muktagiri Siddha Kshetra. The separate routes are made for ascending up and descending down the hill. The 10th temple of this Kshetra is known as Mendhagiri temple and 26th temple is called as the main temple. The 40th temple is dug in the lap of mountain and it is quite antique & beautiful. The temples of this Kshetra are generally antique & belong to 16th century.
Mendhagiri Temple: - This is the oldest temple at Muktagiri and it is believed that this was got constructed by ‘King Ail Shripal’ of Elichpur. It is a cave temple and on the three doors of which Arihant idols are carved. Two doors are closed. In the center of temple the hall is constructed on four pillars. Around this hall the path of circum ambience is also built. The 72 idols of Teerthankaras (three Chaubeesee) are carved beautifully on the walls of this temple. This temple was built in the 10th century. The droplets of saffron can be seen on rocks outside the temple. It is this temple where Mendha attained ‘Devgati’ after hearing precepts from Muniraj. Therefore this temple is called Mendhagiri.
The 26th temple is main temple of Muktagiri and this is temple of principal deity Bhagwan Parshvanath. The 4 feet high black coloured Padmasan idol surmounted by seven serpent hoods is quite ancient & magnificent. It is said that King Kotibhatta Shripal saw the idol of Bhagwan Parshvanath near the pond of Elichpur in his dream and he was given order to take out idol from there. Presently that idol is installed at this place. There is spire above the forehead of the idol and elephants are present on both sides of the idol. The red ochre colored idol of Bhagwan Parshvanath in Samvat 1546 & 100 serpent-hooded idol of Parshvanath are quite attractive. The idol of Panch Balyati, which was reverenced in the Samvat 1548 on flat stone, is also installed here.
The 40th numbered temple is dug in the lap of mountain. This is quite ancient and the carving the walls of temples are exquisite. The rhythm & symmetry of pillars and roof of temple is superb. The idol of principal deity is quite magnificent and worth seeing.
There are 2 temples on the foot hill one is of Lord Aadinatha and other one is of Lord Mahavir. The group of temples is constructed on the Muktagiri Siddha Kshetra. From No. 1 to 4 there is one group and from No. 5 to 9 there is another group. There is waterfall in between 10th & 11th temple. A bridge is constructed over this waterfall. From the bridge the view of this Kshetra looks quite beautiful. From No. 11 to No. 26 there is one group of temples; from 27 to 30 is another group. Temple No. 31 to 33 is situated on one side of the waterfall and temple No. 34 & 35 are on the other side. The streams falling in between these two groups together take form of waterfall & the water falls from the height of 100 feet. From No. 36 to 49 are another group of temples. The temple from No. 50 to 52 is established on the return path of the Kshetra. The description of other temples established on this Muktagiri Kshetra is as follows: - (1) Temple: - The black colored 3 feet high Padmasana idol of principal deity Bhagwan Parshvanath is established in this temple and this idol was reverenced in Samvat 1967. Another idol of Bhagwan Parshvanath belonging to 7th-8th century is also installed in this temple. The 1 foot 9 inch high Sarvato – Bhadrika is also present here. (2) This is also Parshvanath Temple. Along with Parshvanath the 1 Khadgasan & 1 Padmasan idols are also installed. The idols are also carved on the pillars and one idol is also built in the spire. (3) The 1 foot high idol of Bhagwan Adinath is installed in this temple. (4) The marble idol of Bhagwan Parshvanath surmounted by seven serpent hoods is established. (5) The 1½ feet high idol of Bhagwan Arahnath (18th Teerthankar) is established here. (6) The 2 feet high marble stone idols of Bhagwan Padmaprabhu, Sheetalnath & Neminath are installed here these were reverenced in Samvat 1549. (7) It is Padmaprabh Mandir and 5½ feet high idol of Bhagwan Padmaprabh made from mountain rock is installed. (8) It is Adinath Mandir. In this temple 1½ feet high Bhagwan Adinath’s Padmasan idol made of white marble is installed. (9) The 2½ feet high principal deity Bhagwan Neminath’s Padmasan idol made of black marble is established. According to inscription on idol it was reverenced in Samvat 904. (10) This is Mendhagiri Temple and its description has been given above. (11) The 3 feet high Padmasan idol of Bhagwan Suparshvanath is installed here. (12) The Almond colored 1¼ feet high Padmasan idol of Bhagwan Shantinath is installed along with 7 other idols and foot images. ‘Panch Balyati’ is engraved on one stone. (13) The 1 foot 4 inch high white colored Padmasan idol of Bhagwan Chandraprabhu is installed in this temple. It was reverenced in Samvat 1548. (14) The antique marble stone idols of Adinath, Arahnath & Munisuvritnath are installed here. (15) The Khadgasan & Padmasan ancient idols are installed in this temple. (16) It is Chandraprabhu Mandir. 1 foot high white colored idol of Bhagwan Chandraprabhu is installed in this temple. (17) The one ancient Padmasan idol & ancient foot images are established here. (18) The 1¼ feet high black colored stone idol of Bhagwan Chandraprabhu is established. (19) The white colored, 7 feet high idol of Bhagwan Bahubali is installed in this temple & it was reverenced in Veer Samvat 2469. (20) The ancient foot images are installed in this temple. (21) The 3 feet high Padmasan idol of Bhagwan Neminath is established here. (22) The marble stone idol of Bhagwan Parshvanath is installed here. (23) In this also 1½ feet high marble stone idol of Bhagwan Parshvanath is installed. (24) Mahaveer Mandir – the 2 feet 10 inch high idol of principal deity Bhagwan Mahaveer is established here. It was reverenced in Veer Nirvan Samvat 2500. The 1 foot 3 inch high idols of Bhagwan Chandraprabhu & Parshvanath reverenced in Samvat 1548 and an artistic idol of Devi Padmavati is worth seeing. (25) The Khadgasan idols of 3 Teerthankars are artistically carved on 3 feet 4 inch high stone slab. (26) This is the main temple (Bada Mandir). This temple is famous for its miraculous & artistic idol of Bhagwan Parshvanath. (27) The 4½ feet high idol of Bhagwan Mahaveer made in white stone and 10 other idols made in black stone are installed in this temple. (28) The 1¼ feet high idol of Bhagwan Chandraprabhu is installed in this temple. (29) The idol of Bhagwan Parshvanath is installed in this temple. (30) The idol of Bhagwan Chandraprabhu is installed in this temple. 31st to 34th temple – the foot images are installed in these temples. (35) The idol of Bhagwan Chandraprabhu is installed in this temple. (36) The idol of Bhagwan Suparshvanath is installed in this temple. (37) Ajitnath Mandir – the 2½ feet high white colored idol of Bhagwan Ajitnath which was reverenced in Samvat 1968. (38) The 1¼ feet high idol of Bhagwan Adinath is installed here. (39) One ancient Khadgasan idol is installed here. (40) Chandraprabhu Mandir (41) Sheetalnath Mandir – the 1 foot high white colored Padmasan idol is installed here and it was reverenced in Samvat 1548. (42) It is ancient & artistic temple in which there are three altars. The magnificent idol of Bhagwan Adinath made in granite stone is installed on middle one altar, the 23 Teerthankars are carved in Padmasan along the three sides of Altar. In left altar (Vedi) the Khadgasan idol is carved on 3 feet 6 inch high stone slab. The stone slab is ornamented. The 3 feet high Khadgasan idol of Bhagwan Parshvanath is installed on altar present on right hand side. This idol is fine specimen of Art. The Ardha Mandap is built in front of the temple. The idols are carved on pillars & the bells are also carved on them. The magnificent lotus flower is created on the roof of the temple. (43) It is Parshvanath Temple. (44) It is Chandraprabhu Temple. (45) It is Adinath Temple. (46) It is Chandraprabhu Temple. (47) It is Adinath Temple. (48) It is constructed in basement and 6 feet 10 inch high Khadgasan idol of Bhagwan Shantinath and Kunthunath are installed here. (49) This is present above basement and in this Padmasan idol of Bhagwan Parshvanath & 23 idols of other Teerthankars are carved on white colored stone slab. (50) Nandishwar Jinalaya is constructed in this temple. (51) It is Sambhavnath Temple. (52) It is Chandraprabhu Temple and white colored Padmasan idol is installed in this Temple; it is 1 foot in height. Dharmashala & Jain Temple are situated in laps of mountain. The ‘Mahadvar’ & huge column of dignity is seen when one enters inside Teerth Kshetra. The idols of Bhagwan Adinath, Bhagwan Mahaveer, Bhagwan Parshvanath are installed in this temple. The one assembly hall is built in front of the temple.