Muktagiri Siddha Kshetra is situated in the lap of the ‘Satpuda’ Mountain range and it is surrounded by beautiful natural vegetation. It is ancient Siddha & Atishaya Kshetra. Its another name is also ‘Mendhagiri’ or ‘ Medhrgiri’. According to “Prakrit Nirvan Kand” and other texts, Muktagiri is place of attainment of Nirvan. About 3 & half crores of ‘Muniraj’ (Saints) have done meditation and attained salvation from here.
The Samavsharan of 10th Teerthankar Bhagwan Sheetalnath also arrived here and so it became sacred by footsteps of Bhagwan Sheetalnath.
Many miracles do 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 constructed on this hill by the emperor of Magadh ‘Shrenik Bimbasar’. King ‘Shrenik’ was the contemporary of Bhagwan Mahaveer about 2500 years ago.
After Shrenik, about 1000 years ago from today King ‘Ail Shripal’ of Elichpur (Achalpur) developed this Kshetra. Thus Muktagiri became famous Teerth Kshetra at that time. Many temples and idols were reverenced by him. Many idols were got carved artistically by King Ail Shripal at Muktagiri like Antariksha Parshvanath & Ellora and the cave temples were also got constructed by him. As per the records available at Muktagiri Sansthan, the entire Temples and Dharamshala was maintained and managed since
200 years by Kalamkar Family residing at Sultanpur (Achalpur). In 1923 Late. Shri. Nathusa Pasusa Kalamkar purchased the entire range of Satpuda Hill along with 52 Digambar Jain Temples 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. In 1956 the public trust was formed and till today the entire management is looked after by Kalamkar Family. This holy place has given a complete face-lift after 1980 when 108 Shri. Vidyasagar Maharaj completed a chaturmas at “Muktagiri”.
How this place was named as ‘Muktagiri’: - 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.
The secret behind the name – ‘Mendhagiri' -
It is 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 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 Dev. This Dev 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.
Atishaya: - Though it is Siddha Kshetra, it is also related with many miracles. Many Sensitive devotees do visit the principal deity Bhagwan Parshvanath of 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 Betul. 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. These dangerous animals have never proved violent and not even caused harm to any visitor.
Recent Miracle: - (The miracle of getting rid from incurable diseases.) The living evidence of this miracle is Mr. Arun Kumar Jain who resides in Delhi at B – 15/2 Krishna Nagar, Delhi – 51. His contact No. is 011-22436343, 09312305568, 09312275234, 09810101516.
In the year 1980 due to the effect of Cauda Equina Compression disease, Mr. Arun Kumar Jain’s one leg became weak & also its length got reduced. Thus due to difference in length of two legs he was not able to walk normally and he started using crutch. Due to tension he also became heart patient. Till 1994 he used crutches and doctors of Escorts Hospital, Delhi advised him for the operation of heart. In the month of August of year 1994 he saw a dream continuously for many days. He saw in dream Muktagiri in written and saw that he was walking without crutches on the hills of Muktagiri Teerth Kshetra. Therefore after this dream he decided that he should visit the Muktagiri Kshetra. One day he, his wife & his brother in law reached Muktagiri. At Muktagiri after walking 100 Yards he started feeling strength in his legs and he climbed the rest of hill without crutches. On the 26th temple he received the shower of saffron on his head. Probably this shower must be the blessings of Bhagwan. At the time descending he lost all the strength and again felt the need of crutches
In the year 1995 he again saw such dream. He decided to visit Muktagiri again. This time he visited Muktagiri along with other 60 devotees. The heart operation up to this time was postponed. This time when he reached to Dharmshala of Muktagiri he felt the strength in his leg and there was no need for him to walk with crutches because now he was able to walk normally. At Muktagiri he sang three prayers devotionally and also danced while singing. This time also there was shower of saffron and when he looked above he saw a chariot of Dev, which was shining like diamond. But as soon as he reached the Dharmshala he realized that his strength of leg was again gone and so he again took the help of crutches. Like this in the year 1996 & 1997 he visited Muktagiri and offered his prayers.
In January 1998 he again saw the dream and then he decided to visit Muktagiri again. He got reservation for Muktagiri and when his son gave tickets in his hands he felt that a kind of power has flowed in whole body and he was surprised that all the weakness of his legs vanished away.
From that time onwards he is not using the crutches and not even taking any medicines or pills. The specialist doctors of heart & bones are quite surprised to see such instant recovery. Surely this is the miracle of Atishaya Kshetra Muktagiri.
Main Temple & Idol :
Temple No 48
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 cave temple 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 circumambience is also built. The 72 idols of Teerthankaras (three Chaubeesee) are carved beautifully on the walls of this temple. This temple is 16 feet & 3 inch tall and its width is also equal to its length. This temple was built in 10th century. The droplets of saffron can be seen on rocks kept outside the temple. It is that temple only 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 colored Padmasan idol of Bhagwan Parshvanath 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.
Kind of Temples & Its Timings :
All temples are Digambar
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 200 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. All temples are open for prayer from 6.00 A.M. to 11.00 A.M. everyday.
The description of other temples established on this Muktagiri Kshetra is as follows: -
(1)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 & Munisuvratnath 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) 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. One assembly hall is built in front of the temple.
Natural Scenerio : The Muktagiri Kshetra is situated in laps of mountains of Satpuda Mountain Range. These mountains are clad with beautiful natural greenery, falling rivers & waterfalls. The environment & sight is breath taking & eye catching.
Festival: - Chaitra Shukla – 1, the starting of New Year according to Indian system.
Kartik Shukla Poornima – Rathyatra Festival
Shravan Shukla – 7, Small Fair