History of Digambar Jain Atishaya Kshetra
According to history Digambar Jain Atishaya Kshetra at Banediaji is about eight hundred years old. The place is located on the bank of a huge pond. The pond touches Depalpur on its one end. It is believed that earlier there might have been a big town stretching from Depalpur to Banedia. The temple has been associated with a miraculous story. It is said that an ascetic saint, Tapasvi Muniraj was transporting the Banediaji Digambar Temple through aerial route. Because of certain reasons he landed the temple and established it here. It is thus said that the temple reached here flying. The most astounding fact about the temple is that it has no foundation and still it has been standing here for hundreds of years. This is the only Atishaya Kshetra without foundation in India.
There are so many popular stories about the miracles related to this idol. Not only Jains but thousands of people from different religions come here to offer their prayers for fulfillment of their desires. On the occasion of annual fair thousands of men and women assemble here showing great religious fervor and devotion.
Temple of Digambar Jain Atishaya Kshetra
The temple of Banediaji has been built within a rampart. The temple is round in shape that houses the idol of Lord Ajitnath, the secong Jain Tirthankara. The idol is 3'8" in height and is seated in padmasana posture. This idol was established by Jeev Raj Papriwal in V. S. 1548. Apart from this there are many other idols that have been installed by him. The idols are made of white marble and have been intricately carved. The idols are of Bhagvan Rishabh Dev that is 3'3" in height, Lord Chandraprabha that is 2'5" in height, another idol of Adinath of 2'8" in height and Ajitnath of 2'8" height. The idols are in sitting posture. The temple also houses the idol of Lord Parshvanatha located to the left of main alter and Lord Shantinath situated to the right of the main altar. There are other idols also present on these two alters. The alter in the chawk or yard has the idol of Lord Adinath. There is a second temple here that accommodates the idol of Lord Parshvatha in a Gandh-Kuti on a raised platform. The temple has been artistically designed and is worth seeing. The pinnacle above this temple is adorned with intricate architectural work that speaks of the ability of the craftsmen.
Devotees visiting the temple remain mesmerised by the scenic beauty that surrounds the place. It is situated amidst a grove of huge trees on the bank of the pond. The temple of Banediaji organises an annual fair that is held on from Chaitra Shukla 13 to 15. It has provisions for dharamshalas or rest houses for the pilgrims.
Digambar Jain Atishaya Kshetra is well connected via rail, road and air. Busses and taxies are available from Indore to Depalpur. Taxies, jeeps, three-wheelers etc. are also available from Depalpur to Kshetra. The nearest Railway Station and airport is located in Indore