History of Mallinath Digambar Jain Kshetra
According to the history of Mallinath Digambar Jain Kshetra, this place was earlier famous for the miraculous idol of Lord Shantinath. The Lord was reverenced in 'Shak-Samvat 1535'. After being worshipped for a long time the place came to be known as Atishaya Kshetra of Bhagwan Mallinath. Many popular books written by Brahmm Jinsagar, Brahmm Mahatisagar, Brahmm Nemisagar have appreciated the glory of the Lord in their stories, poems and prayers. These books have been written in Marathi language. Bhagwan Shantinath Chaityalaya is about 1000 years ancient.
The idol of Lord Shantinath is associated with many legends. According to one legend once 'Padmanandi Bhattaraka' of 'Karanjapeeth' was going to Bheekar village. During his visit he saw the idol of Lord Mallinath in Ardhapur village. Upon seeing the idol he thought of taking it with him to Karanja. Thus he asked for the permission for taking idol with him but head of the Panchayat and other members of Panchayat of Ardhapur village refused his request. Padmanandi Bhattaraka went to meet the Nizam of Hyderabad in his palanquin. Before entering the court he instructed the carriers of palanquin to leave it outside. The palanquin miraculously hanged in the air. The Nizam was quite surprised to see this and was highly pleased with him. He gave Padmanandi the permission to take the idol with him. On his way Padmanandi stopped in Shiradashahapur for resting. At night he saw a dream where the Lord instructed him to install the idol in Shiradshahapur. Next day when the chariot drivers tried to pull the chariot they failed. Thus according to the dream the idol was installed there. A magnificent temple was also constructed there.
Main Temple of Mallinath Digambar Jain Kshetra
Shri Mallinath Digamber Jain Atishaya Kshetra is the only Atishaya Kshetra of Lord Mallinath, present all over India. The temple has been magnificently carved with intricately designs and is completely made of marble. Many ancient stories have been brilliantly carved in form of pictures on the walls of the temple. The temple is adorned with spires. It is the first temple of Shiradshahapur Atishaya Kshetra. The idol of Lord Shantinath which was reverenced in 'Shak-Samvat 1535' is installed here. It is 1 foot 2 inches in height and is made of white stone. The idol is seated in a padmasana posture and is very beautiful. Other than this it also houses the idols of Bhagwan Rishbh Dev and Lord Parshvanatha. The idols are beautifully carved and are very attractive.
A splendid temple has been constructed in the vicinity of the Shantinath temple. It is dedicated to Lord Mallinath. The attractive idol of Mallinath in 4 feet in height and is made of black stone. The idol is seated in Ardha padmasana posture. A majestic Keerti Stambha or column of dignity has been constructed in front of this temple. It is made of white marble and adds to the beauty the temple. A white colored of Lord Mahavira is installed in upper part of this temple. The idol is seated in a padmasana posture.
Mallinath Digambar Jain Kshetra is surrounded by hills and is located in the midst of natural surroundings. The river 'Asna' flows outside the village. The scenic beauty enhances the splendour of the temple and makes it worth visiting. The temple organises annual gatherings and celebrated Bhagwan Mallinath Jayanti from Marg Shirsh Shukla for three days. It has proper provisions for dharamshalas or rest houses for the pilgrims.
Mallinath Digambar Jain Kshetra is well connected to road, rail and air. Buses are available from Nanded, Vasmatnagar, Oundhha, Jintur, Parbhani etc. Buses and Taxis are available from Hingoli District Headquarter. The Chaundhhi Railway Station is the nearest rail station present on Purna-Khandva and Kachiguda-Jaipur line.
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