Shri Kolhua Pahad Digambar Jain Teerth Kshetra
Village-Dantaar, Dist-Chatra Jharkand
Jharkhand and Bihar states of India are the centers of famous Jain Teerths as Sammedshikharji, Rajgrihi, Gunava, Champapuri, Pavapuri and many more. But apart from them there are so many historic places that need the attention of our society. Kolhua Pahad is one of them.
According to Jain Ethics, 10th Tirthankar Bhagvan Sheetalnath took birth in Bhadrikapuri or Bhaddalpur. He accepted monk hood in the nearby forest of Bhaddalpur named Sahetuk Van. For three years he practised penance and meditation.
He often engrossed in himself to feel the eternal himself. On the day-Paush Krishna Chaturdashi, he attained Kewal gyan again in Sahetuk Van. This Sahetuk-Van is now Kolhua Pahad. This area including Bhaddalpur has witnessed Bhagvan Sheetalnath’s four Kalyanakas –Garbh, Janma, Tapa and Gyan Kalyanak
Today’s Bhondalgaon in Chatra district of Jharkhand is Bhadrikapuri or Bhaddalpur. There are three other places present named Bhadeja, Bhaddia and Bhadiyagaon, but these villages have no sign of Jainism left. But Bhondalgaon and it’s surrounding area has huge evidence related to Jainism.
Many ruins of idols, temples and other symbols can be easily seen here. Many scholars of history as Sir William Hunter and Dr. Stane after deep study and research found and declared Kolhua Pahad as a Jain Teerth and Bhondalgaon – the birth place of Bhagvan Sheetalnath.
After reaching the top of the hill, a rampart constructed by rocks can be seen. At the right side of north gate a Hindu Temple is present called Koleshwari Devi’s temple. It is supposed that this idol is related to Goddess Jwalamaliny the Yakshiny of Bhagvan Sheetalnath. In front of this temple , a beautiful pond is present which is about 300 ft in length,180 ft in width and 30 ft deep.
This pond is always full with pure, fresh and clear water. It is said that there are many idols broken or complete immersed in this pond, which were dropped in for the purpose of safety at the time of unfavourable time. In the west of this pond, there is a cave under a Varun a herbal tree.
In this cave a three ft high idol of Bhagvan Parshvnath in sitting posture is present with nine serpent hoods carved in black stone. This is really a magnificent and attractive idol and miraculous too. There is no petrographic carving on this idol, so this seems to be of 4th era. Below this cave there are two caves facing each other. Pieces of broken Jain idols are lying there.
Seeing all this, one can imagine that in ancient time there lived a large number of Jains who once lived here. But these families left their homes due to invasions leaving their places of worship and idols were eventually destroyed.
In the south east from this cave, at about 300 ft height, there was an ancient Jain Temple established in V.S. 1682, a Bhagvan Parshvnath’s lotus based idol, two ft in height and in sitting posture was installed here. That ancient temple has been destroyed but ruins are still spread here. A platform and a path surrounding temple to take sacred rounds were also there.
At the place of the ancient temple, a new temple has been built and Bhagvan Parshvnath’s idol based on a lotus has been installed here. At a distance of about 250 ft in the north east of temple there exists a beautiful large circular rock with eight holes on it’s circumference and one in centre. This may be the place of pavilion used for pooja and havan. There are platforms constructed to sit around this rock
In the north of this rock, a high hill is present called Akashlochan. Rising towards this hill ruins of a temple are found in path and on the top there are ancient foot-prints present 8 inch in length and 3 inch wide, this shows that this may be the place of someone’s salvation- place of attaining moksha.
There are many caves in the hill inviting pilgrims for meditation providing very peaceful environment. There is a cave temple at the right hand when we come down from the top, there exist ten Digamber Jain idols in sitting posture carved on a side wall, all are safe and one ft in height. The symbols of Tirthankaras are clearly visible on the base of these idols.
So, on the basis of symbols these idols are of Bhagvan Rishabhdev, Mahaveer Swami, Ajit nathji, Sambhav nathji, Abhinandanji, Sumati nathji, Padm-prabhuji, Suparshv nathji, Chandra prabhuji and Pushpdantji. On another side wall also ten Digamber Jain idols are carved, five in standing and five in sitting posture. Standing idols are 18 inch in height and related to five celibate Teerthankars named-Bhagvan Vasupoojyaji, Mallinathji, Neminathji, Parshv-nathji and Mahaveerji.
Sitting idols are related to Bhagvan Sheetal-nathji, Shreyans nathji, Vasupoojyaji, Vimal-nathji and Anant-nathji, these are 12 inch in height. On the upper part of these idols some inscriptions are found in old language which is not clear.
A path from this cave goes direct to Koleshvari Devi’s temple, at some distance down-we found a big cave temple and in front of this temple-a Panduk Shila is constructed on a circular rock in ancient style, which was used at the time of Panch-kalyanak Pratishtha Mahotsav.
There is a throne on the top of Panduk-Shila and drains for the flow of water of consecration of idols, a pit is also there to collect the holy water of consecration.
Koleshwary Devi’s temple is small in size and a small spire on it with a sanctum and a mandap. Temple’s architecture is completely as Jain temple and Dr.
Stane clear says that this is a Jain Teerth and accept the new idol of Koleshwary –there is no symbol of other religion. All the temples, idols and other items are related to Jain’s on this hill. This is assumed that this temple was Bhagvan Chandr-Prabhu’s temple in original.