PRESIDING DEITY AND LOCATION :
Sri Shanthinath Bhagwan in a standing posture, in light green color, of height 5.5 meters in a shrine located between Medanesh Sagar Lake and mountains near the village of Ahar. (Dig).
ANTIQUITY AND SALIENT FEATURES :
This shrine was famous in ancient time by the names of Madaneshpur, Madanesagarpur, Visuharikpur, Nandanpur etc., Sri Madankumar Kevali attained Moksha at this place during the period of Sri Mallinath Bhagwan. There is a legend that due to this fact in the past, the place was known as Madaneshpur. This place also came to be known as “Ahar” (meals) because during the days of Sri Pannashah lived here in his camp, numerous Jain saints were being offered their normal meals as well as meals after they broke their prolonged fast or even fast over a temporary small period of a day or two. This is an ancient shrine where once upon a time many Jan temples existed – fact which can be verified from relics available in the surrounding mountains area. According to the inscription on the idol, it was crafted by an artist named Sri Papat and was ceremonially installed at the instance of Sheth Ralhanji Raja Sri Madanvarma. In the rock inscriptions here, the listing is found of 32 internal sects of Jain community and of Bhattaraks, their disciples, grand disciples, female saints (Aryaka), their disciples and grand disciples of the period between Vikram years 1200 to 1607. From here about a kilometer away there is a well known spot called Kote Mountain where it is said Sri Madaneshkumar and “Viskanval” Kevali’s had attained Moksha and in the east of which there is Madanesh Sagar Lake surrounded by mountains. A story is still prevalent that all tin sheets purchased by Sri Pannashah were turned into silver by mere touch of the stone from which the idol was to be crafter. Even today many events termed as miracles continue to take place. Annual festival fair is held here every year between the days of Magsar Sukla 13 to Poornima, when thousands of devotees gather and in fervent devotion participate in offering prayers and worship.
In the walled enclosure of this temple, there are seven more temples. There is also one more ancient temple (which has been recently repaired and renovated ) on a mountain peak one kilometer away where Sri Madaneshkumar and Viskanval Kevali’s are believed to have attained Moksha.
The 5.5 meter high idol in the temple is beautiful and an art piece on seeing which one instantly feels as if it is made of precious “Panna” stone. A memorial double pillar Mahastambh made from one single rock in the 10th century is an added attraction. Near the shrine is the sprawling 4.8 Km long ancient Madanesh Sagar lake.
APPROACH – ROUTE :
The nearby Railway Station are Lalitpur 82 Kms and Nipadi 92 Kms away. This shrine is 24 Kms away from Tikamgadh on Baldev – Chhattarpur road and is 120 Kms away from Jhansi. Taxis and buses are available at these places and there is a tar road right upto the temple.
AMENITIES FOR JAIN PILGRIMS :
There is a large dharamshala near the temple with all facilities and a bhojanshala for meals.
MANAGED BY :
Sri Digamber Jain Siddhakshetra, Aharji
P.O. Ahar – 472 001
Dist : Tikamgadh , Madhya Pradesh
Tel: 07684 – 55230 (Pedhi).
07683 – 32345 (Tikamgad office).