History of Shri Rajgruhi Teerth
The history of Shri Rajgruhi Teerth dates back to the ancient times. According to historical records the teerth kshetra was earlier by names like charankapur, Rusabhpur, Girivraj, Kushagrapur, Vasumati, Panchashail etc. It belongs to the time of Lord Munisuvrat Swami. The four Kalyanakas of Munisuvrat Swami have taken place here, namely chyavan, birth, diksa and attainment of omniscience. After the severe penance of Vasupujya Swami, the twelfth Jain Tirthankara first breakfast (parna) took place here in this holy land. Rajgruhi Teerth had been the land of liberation for eleven gandharas, Laddhinidhan, Gautam Swami. As per Jain scriptures Lord Mahavira visited this place during the reign of King Shrenik and King Ajatashatr and wandered about on the hills during his fourteen monsoon sojourns. This was the capital of Maharaja Shrenik. He was a Shravaka and was most devoted to Mahavira. The Lord had also delivered his first religious sermons here after attaining omniscience. The teerth kshetra finds its mention in many songs and also in tirthmalas. Many Swetambara and Digambara literature has mentioned about the sacred teerth. This was the special place of Gautama Buddha as the first conference of Buddhist sadhus was done here.
Hills of Shri Rajgruhi Teerth
The hills of Shri Rajgruhi Teerth have been described below:
The Ratnagiri Hill: The hill has unsafe narrow arm of the sea that goes into the land. There are almost 1277 steps. There are foot images of Lord Neminath, Lord Parshvanatha Abhinandan Swami, Lord Chandraprabha and Lord Shantinath.
The Udaygiri Hill: This hill has almsot 782 steps. On this hill, there is a temple of Lord Samvaliya Parshvanatha. There is also a Bhatighar located at the foot of the hill. It is the centre for giving food to the pilgrims to be used during the journey.
The Svarnagiri Hill: There are 1064 steps on this hill. There are foot images of Bhagwan Rishabh Dev and Lord Mahavira.
The Vibhavgiri Hill: There are 531 steps on this hill. The hill has five temples that house beautiful idols and foot images of Lord Mahavira, Munisuvrat Swami, Dhanna Shalibhadra, Gautam Swami and others. Ruins of ancient temples and the ancient caves can also be seen on this hill. Pilgrims can also get streams of warm water that are quite helpful for health.
Temple of Shri Rajgruhi Teerth
The temple of Shri Rajgruhi Teerth shelters the idol of Lord Munisuvrat Swami. The Swetambara temple has been magnificently decorated with intricate artistic designs. The creative temple work boast about the skills of the craftsmen. The walls and pillars of the temple are adorned with specimens of ancient art and paintings. The idol of the Lord is 45 cms in height and is black in colour. It is seated in a padmasana posture. The idol being beautifully carved from a single stone looks stunning. The divine face of the Lord looks very calm and serene. Apart from this there are Swetambara and Digambara temples located at the foot of the hill in the Rajgiri village. These have been well decorated and are worth visiting. Pilgrims can visit a Burmese Buddhist temple and a Japanese Buddhist temple here. The idols in the Vaibhavgiri hill are also very impressive and delightful. At present, they are not worshipped and they are under jurisdiction of the archaeological department. This temple is believed to belong to the eighth century.
The Temple of Shri Rajgruhi Teerth organizes many annual gatherings and functions that are celebrated with much enthusiasm. There are provisions for dharamshalas or rest houses for the pilgrims that are well equipped with all modern facilities. There are also facilities for Upashrays, Ayambilshala and Jnanabhandar. The teerth being situated amidst beautiful natural surroundings attracts many pilgrims. The surrounding greenery and the beauty of the teerth mesmerize and fascinate the pilgrims. The calm and tranquil village environment makes it a perfect place for religious activities. The kshetra is well connected to road, rail and air. Taxi services and bus services are easily available here. The nearest bus stand and railway station is located at Luckeesarai. The closest airport is situated at Patana.
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