SHRI AJAHARA TIRTH
PRESIDING DEITY AND LOCATION :
Shri Ajahara Parshvanath Bhagwan in saffron color, seated in a lotus posture, of height 46 Cms in a shrine at one end of the town of Anjara (Shve).
ANTIQUITY AND SALIENT FEATURES :
The idol in the shrine is very ancient and any guess work about ir is difficult indeed. It is said that during the period of 20th Tirthankar Sri Munisuvratswami of the present 24 Tirthankars, brave king of Raghu dynasty Raja Ajaypal, who was greatly afflicted by a disease was cured of it by the application of abhishek water of this idol discovered from a reservoir. A reference is available that king Ajaypal thereafter founded this town and after that king Ajaypal thereafter founded this town and after building therein a temple, got this miracle working idol ceremonially installed in it. There exist even at present hundreds of ancient Vavs (stepped-wells) and many ancient idols are being discovered from under the earth. In “Tirthmala” composed in 14th Vikram century by Upadhyay Sri Vinayprabhvijayji this shrine has been described. An inscription is found on the idol in standing posture discovered from under the earth that they were ceremonially installed on Thursday, Jyest Sukla 8 in Vikram year 1323 at the hands of Sri Mahdendrasurishvarji, chief disciple of Sri Udayprabhsuriji. On one bell discovered from here are inscribed words as follows : “Sri Ajara Parshvanath Vikram year 1014 Shah Richand Jechand”. All these make it evident that this is an ancient shrine and that for centuries the place has remained prosperous.
This is the principal shrine of Ajahara Panch Tirthi of Saurashtra. It is said that a merchant named Ratnasar was sailing in his ships for overseas with his many subordinate traders and all of a sudden the ships stopped in the middle of the high sea. Everybody felt at that time scared to death. Right then, invisible divine voice was heard which stated that below in the sea at that spot was lying an idol of Sri Parshva Prabhu and by its Abhishek water Raja Ajaypal who was being afflicted by 107 diseases will be cured. At this time Raja Ajaypal was camping with his army at the port by Div. Inspite of his affliction the Raja was returning victorious after defeating his enemies. Ratnasar arranged to recover from the sea the idol of the Lord and thereupon his joy knew no bounds. His ships to returned safely to the shore. Immediately on arrival Ratnasar narrated the whole story to Raja Ajaypal who coming promptly took away the idol with humility and devotion in a procession with bands of music. Raja was totally cured in only nine days. He then founded a town after his name calling Ajaypur and built a majestic temple and got therein the idol ceremonially installed.
As Raja was cured of his “Ajar” disease by Abhishek water of the idol, devotees started naming the Lord as “Ajahara” Parshvanath (Parshvanath who destroyed the disease of “Ajar”). Thereafter also several such miracles have happened. Even today, faithful devotees are cured of many of their diseases only by the application of Abhishek water of this idol. Many times during nights sounds are heard of music and dramatics performed in the temple by Gods and Goddesses. It is said that once there was a rainfall of Saffron. A reference is found which states that after ceremonial installation of the idol by Raja Ajaypal, there have been renovations to the temple carried out fourteen times. However the idol is the same ancient one. Once while doing the work of application of the paste of the idol, the priest directed the workers to commence work only after performing Arati (a form of worship holding lamps in hands in circular moments) but the workers disobeyed and commenced the work. Immediately gun-shot sound was heard and the whole temple was colored blood red. Even the idol appeared red. It is said that often miracles continue to happen here. At present both Jains and non-Jains visit the temple and make use of idols Abhishek water as an ambrosia to get cured of many diseases. Recently on Sunday the 17th September 1978 also a miracle happened. Sri Dharnendra Dev manifesting himself in the form of a Cobra in the temple became absorbed in mediation in front of the Lord’s idol. This incredible occurrence remained for hours. Hundreds of devotees who were present felt themselves fulfilled at the sight of this divine event.
Every year on Kartik Poornima and Chaitra Poornima and on Posh Krishna 10th day annual celebrations are held here when a large number of devotees participate.
There is no other temple nearby. This being an ancient shrine many old relics are frequently available from the surrounding area. Near the temple there is an underground cell from where also ancient idols have been found. The idol is made of sand and a paste have been applied thereon. The art displayed in making this idol of the Presiding Deity is indeed worth seeing.
APPROACH – ROUTE :
The nearby railway station of Una is 5 Kms away and that of Delvada is 2.5 Kms away, where autos are always visible. Buses and cars can go right upto the temple.
AMENITIES FOR JAIN PILGRIMS :
There is a dharamshala for lodging with all facilities and a bhojanshala for meals available.
MANAGED BY :
Shri Ajahara Parshvanath Panch Teerth Jain Kharkhana Pedhi
P.O. Delvada – 362 510
Dist : Junagadh, Gujarat.
Tel: 02875 – 21628 (Ajahara)
Main Pedhi : Una – 362 563
Tel : 02875 – 22233.