Shri Kolhua Pahad Digambar Jain Teerth Kshetra Village-Dantaar, Dist-Chatra [Jharkand]
Bihar and now Jharkhand which was a part of it till not so long ago, are the centre of Jain Tirths and pilgrims lik3 Sammedshikharji, Rajgrihi, Gunava, Champapuri, Pavapuri and many more. But there are so many other historic places there which need the attention of our society. Kolhua Pahad is one of such place.
According to Jain religion history, 10th Tirthankar Bhagwan Sheetalnath took birth in Bhadrikapuri or Bhaddalpur. He accepted monk hood in the nearby forest of Bhaddalpur named Sahetuk Van. For the next three years he practised penance and meditation here. Bhagwan Sheetal Nath often engrossed in himself to experience the eternal peace and to conquer the evils of worldly affection and aversion, to break the circle of birth and death. At last, on the day-Paush Krishna Chaturdashi, he attained Kewal gyan in Sahetuk Van again. This Sahetuk Van is now known as Kolhua Pahad. This area, including Bhaddalpur, has witnessed Bhagvan Sheetalnath’s four Kalyanakas Garbh, Janma, Tapa and Gyan Kalyanak. Today’s Bhondalgaon in Chatra district of Jharkhand is Bhadrikapuri or Bhaddalpur. There are three other places also present named Bhadeja, Bhaddia and Bhadiyagaon, but these villages have no sign of Jainism being present there. But Bhondalgaon and it’s surrounding area have huge evidences related to Jainism. Many ruins of idols, temples and other symbols could be easily found here. Many scholars of history as Sir William Hunter and Dr. Stane after deep study and research found and declared Kolhua Pahad a Jain Teerth and Bhondalgaon the birth place of Bhagvan Sheetalnath.
At almost the top of hill, a rampart constructed from rectangular rocks is seen. On the right side of north gate of the structure, a Hindu Temple is present called Koleshwari Devi’s temple. It is believed that this idol is of Goddess Jwalamaliny, Yakshiny of Bhagvan Sheetalnath. In front of this temple, a pond is present which is about 300 ft in length,180 ft in width and about 30 feet deep. This pond is always full with pure, fresh and clear water. It is also believed that there could be many idols, broken or complete in this pond which were immersed for the purpose of safety at the time when temples were being invaded and destroyed. In the west of this pond, there is a cave under a Varun [a herb] tree. In this cave a three ft high idol of Bhagvan Parshvnath in sitting posture is present with nine serpent hoods over the head, carved in black stone. There is no petrographic sign carved on this idol, so this could be of 4th era. Below this cave there are two more caves facing each other. Pieces of broken Jain idols could be seen lying there. Looking at all this, one can imagine that in ancient time there lived a large number of Jains here but due to invasions they give up this place of worship and idols were left here and they eventually got destroyed.
In the south east direction from this cave, at a height of about 300 ft, there was an ancient Jain Temple built in V.S. 1682. A Bhagvan Parshvnath’s lotus based idol, two ft high in sitting posture was installed here. That ancient temple has been destroyed but ruins are still spread there. A platform and a path surrounding temple to take sacred rounds is also there. At the place of ancient temple, a new temple has been built and Bhagvan Parshvnath’s idol based on a lotus has been installed. At a distance of about 250 ft in the north east of temple there exists a beautiful large circular rock with eight holes on it’s circumference and one in centre. This may be the place of pavilion used for pooja and havan. There are platforms constructed to sit around this rock. In the north of this rock, a high hill is present called Akashlochan. Rising towards this hill ruins of a temple are found in path and on the top there are ancient foot-prints present 8 inch in length and 3 inch wide. It is not known whose foot prints they are but this shows that this may be the place of salvation of some Muni. There are many caves available in this hill which invite pilgrims for meditation and it provide very peaceful environment.
There is a cave temple just below the top, where exists ten Digamber Jain idols in sitting posture carved on a side wall. All of these idols are safe and about one feet in height. The symbols of Tirthankars are clearly visible on the base of these idols. On the basis of the symbols, these idols are of Bhagvan Rishabhdev, Mahaveer Swami, Ajit Nathji, Sambhav Nathji, Abhinandan Nathji, Sumati Nathji, Padm-prabhuji, Suparshv Nathji, Chandra Prabhuji and Pushpdantji. On another side wall also ten Digamber Jain idols are carved, five in standing and five in sitting posture. Standing idols are 18 inch in height and related to five celibate Tirthankars, Bhagvan Vasupujyaji, Mallinathji, Neminathji, Parshvnathji and Mahaveer Swami. The sitting idols are of Bhagvan Sheetalnathji, Shreyansnathji, Vasupoojyaji, Vimalnathji and Anantnathji, these are 12 inch in height. On the upper part of these idols some inscriptions are found in old language but since not very clear, it could not be read.
A path from this cave goes direct to Koleshvari Devi’s temple, at some distance down. There is a big cave temple and in front of this temple, a Panduk Shila is constructed on a circular rock in ancient style, which was used at the time of Panch-kalyanak Pratishtha. There is a throne on the top of Panduk Shila and drains for the flow of water of consecration of idols, a pit is also there to collect the holy water of consecration.
Koleshwary Devi’s temple is small in size and a small spire on it with a sanctum and a mandap. Temple’s architecture is completely as Jain temple and Dr. Stane clearly says that this is a Jain Teerth and accept the new idol of Koleshwary. There is no symbol of any other religion found here. All the temples, idols and other items are related to Jain’s on this hill. This is assumed that this temple was Bhagvan Chandr Prabhu’s temple in original.