|This article does not cite any references or sources. (May 2009)|
Muktagiri Jain temples
|Other names:||Mendhagiri, Muktagiri Siddha Kshetra|
|Architecture and culture|
|Important festivals:||Mahavir Jayanti|
|Number of temples:||52|
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Muktagiri is a Jain Pilgrimage centre, located on border of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra in India. It comes under Bhainsdehi tehsil of Betul district or Baitul district in Madhya Pradesh, India. It is 14 km away from Paratwada, Dist. Amravati, Maharashtra. Muktagiri is 7 km away from Kharpi village on Paratwada - Baitul road.
Muktagiri is also called as 'Mendhagiri'. There are 52 temples on the mountain, surrounding a beautiful waterfall. The waterfall is generally visible only when there is enough rainfall in the area. One can plan trip to Muktagiri between June to September to see the waterfall. A lot of monkeys can be seen near the 10th Temple - Bhagwan Sheetalnath temple - near which the waterfall is located. The 10th Temple is an ancient temple and is inside an ancient cave. The cave is prone to stonefall (which is generally said to happen only during night). Also, lot of honeybees are at a large distance from the cave. The 1st Temple, 10th Temple, 26th Temple and 40th Temple are the main temples.
The temples close at around 11 am. Since the temples are in Satpura Mountain range and surrounded by jungle, it is better to visit the temples before 10 am. It takes around 1.25 to 1.5 hour for an average person to finish the entire upward and downward journeys and also little bit of puja in each temple. After 11am, one can not go inside the temples. One has to greet the Bhagwans from outside the door of each temple.
Since the nearby area is a jungle, one has to come down before noon or before it becomes dark. There are separate routes for upward and downward journeys. The temples are jagrut or holy and divine temples. So one should not carry out any bad acts in or around the temples.
While traversing the route of temples, one should look at the footsteps since the route from 1st to 52nd temple is written in orange colour on the footsteps since the 52 temples are divided in 4 or 5 groups and are located in different areas of the mountain. But they are not very far from each other. The entry passage to some of the temples is very narrow. In some passages and on some of the steps especially inside the temples which are inside other temples, taller people have to crawl. Also, very fat people may not be able to traverse these passages.
The way to 51st & 52nd Temple is from inside 50th Temple. This inside route is quite dark. There are no lights in this inner passage. So it is better to carry a torch along. The downward journey route is also from 52nd Temple only. So without a torch or a guide, one will not be able to come down / one will be lost.
Good residential facilities are available at 4 or 5 Dharamshalas which charge around Rs. 100 per day. Inexpensive food is available at mess or Bhojanalays but one has to purchase coupons at least 1 hour in advance. It is better to carry mineral or bisleri water from Paratwada itself as there are hardly any shops at Thapoda (the place where Muktagiri temples are located as per Postal address).
Every year there is a fair on the occasion of Kartik Diwali.
Though Muktagiri comes under Bhainsdehi tehsil of Betul district in Madhya Pradesh, it is also accessible from Paratwada in Amravati district in Maharashtra. Paratwada is 52 km from Amravati.The Autorickshaws are generally available from Paratwada to Muktagiri. The best way to go to Muktagiri from Amravati is Amravati->Paratwada->Muktagiri. State Transport (ST) buses for Paratwada are available every 15 minutes from Amravati ST Stand.
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