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An inscription available in the temple reads that the temple was renovated in the Vikram Samvat Year 1516 by Bhattarak Ratana Keerti Dev. The exact inscription is as under:

The above inscription makes it clear that Bhattarak HemKeerti Dev of kashtha sangh Mathurgachha Pushkargane, his disciple Kamalkeerti and Kamalkeerti’s disciple Bhattarak Ratnakeerti got the main temple renovated and adjacent to it ten small temples (Jinalay) got built. He placed an idol of Indrajeet after consecration.

Battarak belonged to the Gwalior seat. The probable period of Kamalkeerti the teacher of Ratnakeerti is Vikram Samvat Year 1506-1510. In the North of the temple is the inscription that reads that in the Vikram Samvat Year 1516 a Sutrashala was renovated. It is the evidence of the lord ness of Sutrashala like that of the temple. It is why its renovation was needed.

As conclusion, the exact time of engraving of the Bawangaja – idol is not ascertained but at the same time it is clear to be before the 13 th century. The temple here was built in 12 th century and probably Sutrashala was also founded the same time. Ten small temples adjacent to the main temple were built in 15 th century on the inspiration of Bhattarak Ratnakeerti.

During the reign of the Muslim rulers, the idol remained neglected with no protection from sun and rain, hence was getting gradually damaged due to heavy rains and strong winds. It drew the attention of Digambar Jains and they thought of its protection. A plan for its renovation was prepared in consultation with engineers and the officers of Archeology Department. Accordingly in the Vikram year 1979 the work of renovation was done. A roof 40’x1.5’of copper layer was built over the idol so as to protect it from the sun and rains and galleries on both sides were built for performing abhisheka and puja. The idol was also polished. The expenditure for renovation incurred Rs.59, 000/- that time. And so, the idol is protected now.

History

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PERIOD OF ENGRAVEMENT OF THE IDOL

This idol is of grey stone having no engravement of any note, hence, it is difficult to trace the actual period of its creation. It is surprising that its craftsmen, artists, conseerators have not left any trace of their introductions perhaps wishing no name and fame but fully devoting to Lord Rishabh Dev and made their lives worth, leaving behind them such idol that will pave the way of self enlightenment for ages.

It is worth to be noted that ascetic Madankirti, a great name of 13 th century has made a mention of this idol. That is the evidence of the fact that the idol was sculptured before that.The ascetic has also mentioned the name of its founder as Akankirti. Although, history is silent about this name, he might be an humble King of some small state.

There are two notes engraved in the east and the north of the hall of the temple that mention, Friday the 14 th day of Hindu month Bhadra-1223(Christian era166AD) The note in the east is in the praise of Muni Ramchandra and the note in the north tells the praise of Muni Leknand, Devanand and their disciple Ramchandra and also mentions that temple was built by them. In the note, the building of temple mentioned is probably the temple situated on choolgiri but there is no mention of engravement of the idol. Possibility is that King Ankankirti having been influenced by Muni Ramchand had got the temple built and the idol engraved. Thus, it is ascertained that the main temple was built in the Hindu year 1223 and the mention of the idol by Madankirti ascertains that the idol existed during his life time that is 13 th century.

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    Shri Digamber Jain Siddha Kshetra Choolgiri Bawangaja Trust
    Bawangajaji, District: Barwani (MP) INDIA - 451551
    Phone: +91 7290 291010
    Manager: Inderjeet Mandloi (+91-94250-90384)
    Pin Code: 451-551

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