Muktagiri (Madhya Pradesh)

Muktagiri is a holy Jain Pilgrimage center which is situated on the border of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh in the Betul district of Madhya Pradesh state. It lies in the Satpura mountain ranges. Muktagiri is 14 km from Paratwada and 7 km from the Kharpi village which is in Amravati district of Maharashtra. Muktagiri is also known by two other names which are Medhrgiri and Mendhagiri. The climate at this Jain pilgrimage is very pleasant and serene. The rivers, waterfalls and the natural greenery are like a gift to your eye.

This holy pilgrimage is famous for having 52 Jain temples. The pilgrimage destination is well-known as a place where more than 3 and a half crores of saints did meditation and attained moksha or nirvana. Many miracles have taken place here and they still continue to take place from time to time. There is a history behind the name Muktagiri. It is said that when the Samavsharan of Lord Sheetalnath who is the 10th tirthankar of the Jains had come to this place there was a shower of pearls. Pearls are also called as "Moti" or "Mukta" and hence the name Muktagiri.

History: This Jain pilgrimage destination is very ancient and inscriptions which were written on tamrapatra (palate of copper) have been recovered from Achalpur. According to these inscriptions the "Guha Temple" which is constructed on this hill was constructed by King Shrenik Bimbasar who was ruling the Magadh Empire at that time. After Bimbasar, this area was further developed by the king of Elichpur "Ali Shripal" approximately 1000 years ago. King Ali Shripal got many idols carved at places like Antariksha Parshvanath. He also contributed in the building of the Ellora caves.

The important temples:

Separate routes have been constructed to climb up and descend down the hill where the 52 Jain temples of Muktagiri pilgrimage have been established. The temples of this pilgrimage kshetra were built in the 16th century therefore almost all are ancient and attractive. The 26th temple is called the main temple from the 52 which are there. The 10th temple is called the Medhagiri temple.

Medhagiri Temple: This temple is the oldest and is said to be constructed by King Ali Shripal. This is a cave temple having three doors which individually have the idol of Lord Arihant on them. A hall has been constructed in the centre of this temple which is surrounded by the path of circumambience. The length and height of the temple is almost same which is 16 feet and 3 inches. On the walls of the temple there are idols of 72 tirthankars which have been carved beautifully. The temple was established in the 10th century.

The main deity of the 26th temple is the 4 feet high idol of Lord Parshvanath. The idol is black in color and seven serpent hoods surmount the idol. On both sides of the idol there are elephants along with a spire above the idol's forehead. The 40th temple is situated in the lap of the mountain which has magnificent carvings on its walls. These three temples and their idols are quite antique and are adored by the visitors.

Travel Routes:

Airways: Nagpur airport is the closest having a distance of 200 km from Muktagiri pilgrimage.

Railways: There are three railway stations which are near this Jain pilgrimage. The first is the Badnera railway station which is just 70 km away. The other two are Baitool railway station which is 100 km and Akot railway station which is just 75 km far.

Roadways: Paratwada bus station which is in Kharpi village is the nearest measuring only 7 km. Buses and taxies are always available from Kharpi and Paratwada to Muktagiri. You will also get private travels buses which run from Akola and Amravati.