As Ahmedabad does not host lot of historical, religious, and scenic monuments, so my friend planned to visit nearby religious monuments. We started with Ghandhinagar, the capital city of Gujarat. The city hosts the oldest Akshardham temple in India. So we planned to visit this temple first, but after turning up at it's empty gate, we realized a loophole in our plan. We visited the temple on Monday, which is the only resting day for the temple staff in a week.
Though we were disappointed, still we had planned to visit other temples. Hence rather than considering it as a set back, I welcomed it as a well timed relief. Mini Amarnath temple was next in line. This temple is a replica of the Amarnath temple. Amarnath temple, situated in the Himalayas, is the most popular and dangerous Hindu shrine. You need to walk, and trek a little to reach to the mini Amarnath temple's. This hall imitates a natural cave and it has a Shiv-ling. The Shiv-ling is created artificially using snow and maintained at -5 Deg C to save it from melting. If you have any temptation to touch the deity, you must be prepared to donate 1000 Rs. Apart from the main hall, this temple hosts 10-12 other Shiv-lings which are replicas of the most popular Shiv temples across India.
Next temple was a Jain temple. This temple, widely known as Ghantaghar Mahaveer Ji jain temple, is situated in Mahudi. Maudi is 35 Km away from Ghandhinagar. The temple is quite beautiful, but it is associated with plenty of rumours.
|Second hall which host Idol of Ghantaghar wale Shri Mahavir Ji|
Temple is spread across a huge area. Along with three prayer halls, it has a museum, library, inn, parking lot and mess. Out of 3 halls, biggest hall hosts idols of 24 Jain Tirthankars. The oldest and prodigious idol, which belongs to Padam Prabhu, has been placed in this hall. The architecture of the hall is quite impressive and elaborate. Second hall is dedicated to Ghantaghar wale mahavir ji, he is known as the guardian of the temple. Third hall has idol of Yognistha Acharya Bhagwant Shrimad BuddhiSagarSuriSwarji Maharaj Sahebji, who put the foundation stone of the temple. Main attraction of the temple is 2 bells i.e Ghanta(in Hindi). One of these bell weights couple of tons. This bell is used only once in a year on Diwali and it's sound can be heard at few miles away from the temple. Second bell weights 40-50 kg and it has been places at the top of marble ladders.
Sukhadi, as a Prasad, is offered to the deity. Sukhadi is prepared with Pure Desi Ghee, wheat flour and Jaggery, and it is quite delicious. Rumours say that if you taje the Prasad out of the Mahudi village intentionally or unintentionally, then you will face fierce consequences. As per local people, whoever tried to take Sukhadi home, didn't even reach home. They were met with an accident before reaching home. It must be eaten or distributed in the temple premise only. So keeping all these rumours in mind, the devotees are prohibited from taking this outside the temple premises.
However list of prohibitions does not end here. You are prohibited to take photographs in the premise. As per the rumours, deity is still active in the temple, and if he is captured in the photographs, then he can create problems in your life.
After visiting the premise, we went to the exhibition hall and found a narrator who narrated the complete story of the temple. He told us all the mysterious phenomenon associated with the temple and he supported most of these events with unconvincing stories and reasons. This session lasted for 90 minutes, and we collected some history, and unconvincing theories about the temple.
Mahudi temple was our last frontier for the day, still the day was not yet over as our nights were already booked for another Garba session.