PRESIDING DEITY AND LOCATION :
Sri Adinath Bhagwan in brown color in a standing posture, tall and beautiful with height 25.6 meters (84 feet) , in a shrine located in the wilds of Satpuda mountain range on its highest peak named Choolgiri. (Dig).
ANTIQUITY AND SALIENT FEATURES :
The stone and rock inscriptions on the mountain as well as the artistic styles of the ancient idols make it evident that this shrine belongs to remote past. There is no inscription however on the idol of Sri Adinath Prabhu. It is really a height of humility and dedication and large heartedness and a spirit of self oblivion comparable perhaps to that of the authors of Vedas that no one among those who made the idol, spent huge sums for it and got it ceremonially consecrated has shown the vanity of inscribing his name anywhere. It is said that the idol was made and ceremonially enshrined about three thousand years ago.
On the middle heights of Choolgiri, carved out of a single colossal rock, such a magnificent, stupendous and attractive idol of Sri Adinath Bhagwan in a standing posture cannot be found anywhere not only in India but also throughout the world. The sense of detachment and peace radiating out of the Lord’s whole image when seen, makes one as if enveloped with extreme devotion and love. The entire sculpture is unique with every limb imperfect proportion. On the face are vividly revealed calm emotions of disinterestedness, compassion and satisfied smile. It looks as it the artists by carving out this huge 84 feet high idol have ardently prayed to the Divine to liberate his devotees from their 84 lakh cycles of births and deaths.
In earlier times, people here called a measure of one-hand as a simple “gaj and therefore this idol being of 52 hand lengths i.e. gaj may have commenced being called as “Bavangajaji”. According to Jain scriptures, younger brother of Lankapati king Sri Kumbukarna and his son Indrajit together with many a saint had attained here their Moksha. Their old foot prints are at this place worth seeing. Every twelve years, a “Mahamastakabhishek” (Great abhishek of the idol with water, milk, curd and honey from the top to bottom) ceremony takes place when a numerous devout followers of Jainism and other non-Jain devotees gather here from all corners of India to participate and to offer their sincere prayers.
The art displayed is making some of the ancient idols installed here is very pleasing. IT is not easy to appreciate the extent of total devotion, faith and enthusiasm with which the creators of these temples in these wild forests and on such a height must have used their chisels. The river Narmada can be seen from the top here flowing with gay abandon and washing everything that comes across with its holy waters.
There are 10 more temples on this mountain which contain numerous ancient idols one of which is of Bhagwan Sri Shanthinath in a standing posture and of height 4 meters. It is said that this was discovered from under the earth here. At the base of the mountain there are 21 other temples also.
APPROACH – ROUTE :
The nearby Railway stations from this shrine are Mahuva 130 Kms, Khandwa 185 Kms, Indore 160 Kms and Vadodara 220 Kms away where buses and taxis are available for transport. The shrine is located on Khandwa-Vadodara road. Ascent to the mountain starts at Badvani and 8 Kms away is the base of Chooliri upto which there is a tar road. The shrine is 1.5 Kms away from the base where there are 800 cut steps. The pilgrims have to walk a distance, but for elders chain carriers are available.
AMENITIES FOR JAIN PILGRIMS :
There is a dharamshala for lodging at the base of Choolgiri Mountain 8 Kms from Badvani where 5 guest houses with all facilities, 4 dharamshalas and hall along with facilities of a bhojanshala are available.
MANAGED BY :
Sri Prabhandak Committee,
Sri Choolgiri Digamber Jain Siddhakshetra Trust, (Bavangajaji)
P.O. Badvani – 451 551.
Dist : Badvani , Madhya Pradesh.
Tel: 07290 – 22084 / 22425.