Sonagiri Temple is one of the primary pilgrimage places for the Jain Followers. The word “Sonagiri” means “The Golden Peak.” This pilgrimage site is considered as sacred to Digambar Jains. This temple is unique as this was the site where Nanganag Kumar attained Moksha along with his fifteen million followers. Sonagiri has a lot of Jain Temples scattered in the area. Ascetic saints and devotees visit this temple to practice austerity and self-discipline. 77 Jain temples are located in the hilly area while twenty-six are located in the village. The temple can be seen from a distance because of its tall spire. The temple houses an 11 feet tall, the attractive idol of Lord Chandraprabhu. Idols of Lord Parsvnath and Lord Sheetalnath can also be seen in the temple. The temple is not only known for its spiritual significance but also for its architectural glory. Pilgrims and tourists visiting the temple are left awestruck to see the 43 feet tall Manstambh, also referred to as the column of dignity. Many renowned and learned Saints are known to gain salvation at this site. Salvation has always been the highest aim of the Jain saints and pilgrims and this temple offers the peace and tranquillity necessary to practice meditation.
Shatrunjay, the magnificent mountain of the area is dotted with no less than 900 temples. Each supersedes other in magnificence and architectural splendor. Pilgrims have to ascend 3500 steps or 3 ½ km to reach the summit. Beautiful images and idols, intricate carvings, impressive murals and jeweled statues are the unique attractions of these temples. The Samavsharan of Bhagwan Chandraprabhu came here for 17 times. Nang, Anang, Chintagati, Poornachand, Ashoke Sen, Shri Datta, Swarn Bhadra and many other saints achieved salvation from here. This is the unique place known as Laghu Sammed Shikhar covering the area of 132 acres of two hills. There are 77 beautiful Jain temples with sky high spires, Temple No. 57 is main among them. Acharya Shubh Chandra & Bhartrihari lived and worked here for spiritual achievements. They completed here some texts also.
Temple No. 57 on hill is the main temple. This is vast in size, very beautiful, having attractive artistic spire, in this temple principal deity are Lord Chandraprabha, 11 feet in height and two other beautiful idols of Lord Sheetalnath & Parsvanatha are installed. There is a column of dignity (Manstambh) near temple 43 feet in height and an attractive model of Samavsharan, big in size is also here. There are many temples in the village. At Kund Kund Nagar there is a colossus of Lord Bahubali in standing posture which is 18 feet in height below which is a hall for meditation. Attractive models of Nirvana Kshetras like Sammed Shikhar, Girnarji, Pavapur and Champapur have been constructed here. Separate temples have been built in all the Dharmashalas namely Bhagavan Shantinath who is the principle deity in Bhattarka Kothi, Bhagavan Ananthnath in Beespanthi Kothi, Bhagavan Parshvanath in Terapanthi Kothi, Bhagavan Chandraprabhu in Tyagi Vrati Ashram, Bhagavan Bahubali in Kund Kund Nagar and Bhagavan Chandraprabhu in Delhiwali Dharmashala.
History speaks that King Nanganag Kumar had attained salvation and was liberated from the cycles of death and life in this very place. Millions of his devotees took his path to liberation. Thus, Jain saints who seek deliverance or practice the paths to nirvana, flock to this place. The history about amarkantak reveals that during the Chendi dynasty hold the region was followed by the kalchuris in the 10th century. The region in the earier days was belived to be known as the ayodhya, as mentioned in our vedas, puranas that there was a ashram for the saints of kapil muni and rishi markand. Stories from the various books suggests that the pandavas of the mahabharat epic had spent their years of exile here. region was later in the 15th century was handed over Baghelas and in 1808, the bhosle of nagpur ruled out the region. Finally in went in the hands of minister of state goverment.
In the hindu mythology, Narmada is one of the seven sacred rivers of India. Pilgrims bathe in its holy water to wash away their sins. legend has it that once every year, the mighty Ganga comes to Narmada to take a holy dip into its water at the place of its origin.
There is temples of lord chandraprabhu and its associates. There are seventy seven beautiful Jain temples in hills and twenty six temples in village. The temple no. fifty seven on hill is the main temple. In this temple the principal deity is Lord Chandraprabhu, eleven feet in height. Two other beautiful idols of Lord Sheetal Nath & Parsvanath are installed. There is a column of dignity (Manstambh) 43 feet in height and an attractive model of Samavsharan. The samavsharan of Bhagwan Chandraprabhu came here for seventeen times. Nang, Anang, Chintagati, Pooranchand, Ashoksen, Shridatta and many other saints achieved salvation from here. This is the unique place known as Laghu Sammed Shikhar covering the area of 132 acres of two hills. These beautiful temples attracts a lot of the tourists from all over the region. The carvings on the wall of the temples are very panoramic.
Time to travel: – The best time to visit Datia for popular tourist destinations, etc. is between October and March.
HOW TO REACH :-
By Air :- The nearest airport to Amarkantak is at Jabalpur, which is 245 km away from City of Amarkantak. Pre-paid taxi services are available from the jabalpur airport to Amarkantak.
By Train/ Railways :- The nearest railhead to Amarkantak is Pendra Road at a distance of 17 km from the heart of the city. Anuppur at distance of 48 km from Amarkantak is also convenient for the tourists. Taxi charges are Rs 300 from Pendra Road and Rs 600 from Anuppur.
By Bus / Roadways :- There are state owned transport buses from Pendra Road, Shahdol and Bilaspur. Amarkantak is connected by buses to Jabalpur (245 km), Rewa (261 km) and Shahdol (67 km).