Sri Digambar Jain Badamandir is the oldest of all the Jain temples and is one of the main attractions at Hastinapur. The complex encloses a centrally located Badamandir surrounded by a group of Jain temples dedicated to different Tirthankaras. They are as below:
Sri Digambar Jain Badamandir is the oldest of all the Jain temples at Hastinapur. During the 18th century the city of Hastinapur was not in a good condition and devoid of Jain temples though being a sacred place for the Jains.
Though the city was non existent/ruined after 14th century, pilgrims had been visiting Hastinapur from time to time and have offered their respects through the ruins. Around the 18th Century Hastinapur was under the rule of King Nain Singh of Bahasuma. During this period due to the no existence of Jain temple, the people of Hastinapur and the surrounding places thought of constructing a Jain temple at Hastinapur due to its high Jain significance. Around the same time in 1801 on the 13th day of Jyeshta Krishna, Raja Harsukh Rai, a treasurer in the court of Mughal Emperor Sham Alam in Delhi gave his consent for the construction of the temple and promised to build it at his own cost. However the people of Shahpur a place situated very close to Hastinapur were against the construction of a Jain temple at Hastinapur. Bowing to pressure from the people of Shahpur, King Nain Singh also stood against the construction of the temple. This was one of the hurdles to be cleared and it is believed that Raja Harsukh Rai had to put down his turban (pagari) in front of the panchayat with a vow that he would not wear it until the temple construction work was started. Incidentally Lala Jai Kumar Mal one of the dignitaries from Shahpur happened to be a very good friend of Raja Harsukh Rai. Raja Harsukh Rai had a discussion with Jai Kumar Mal and requested him to convince the King to grant his permission for constructing the temple. On the same night Jai Kumar Mal spoke to the king about this. The king had great respect to Raja Harsukh Rai, as Harsukh Rai had cleared his loan of Rs. 1 Lakh in Delhi. Due to this the King granted permission for constructing the temple. Soon after this, on the immediate next day the King laid the foundation stone of the temple by placing 5 bricks on a 40 feet small hillock in the presence of Raja Harsukh Rai, Lala Jai Kumar Mal and the devotees. Further, the temple was constructed under supervision of Lala Jai Kumar Mal with monetary contributions from Raja Harsukh Rai.
While the temple was fully constructed and was ready for the Panchakalyana, Raja Harsukh Rai announced that he did not have sufficient funds to complete the construction. Then the people of Hastinapur contributed generously towards this. Though the collected amount was very meager when compared to the amount spent by Raja Harsukh Rai, this was done with an intension to instill a feeling of belongingness among the people of Hastinapur. With this amount the Panchakalyana and pratishta mahotsava proceedings were conducted in 1806. The idol of Lord Parshwanatha (without the Serpent hoods), brought from Delhi was installed as the main deity. An attractive main gate of the temple was constructed by Lala Jai Kumar Mal. Other additional works to the temple was further completed by Raja Sugan Chand, son of Raja Harsukh Rai. A very spacious dharmashala with all the basic amenities was constructed around the temple premises during this period.
During the first Indian Freedom Struggle which started in Meerut in 1857, the idol of Lord Parshwanath was stolen by some miscreants. An eighteen inches high white coloured marble idol of Lord Shanthinath in padmasana brought from the newly constructed Jain temple at Dharampura in Old Delhi & installed as the main deity under the auspices of Bhattarakha Jina Chandraji.
One of the unique features of this temple is its structure in the form of a temple’s pinnacle throughout its height. This is very unique of its kind across the world. Throughout the walls and inner side of the pinnacle in the sanctum sanctorum one can find very grand, attractive gold paintings related to Jaina stories. As per an estimate, around 7 to 8 Kgs of gold has been used for decorating the walls. With this one can imagine the grandeur of the paintings over here.
To the right of the main temple to the extreme front is a small temple dedicated to Jaina Yakshis. These idols are said to have been installed very recently as the Yakshi Pooja in not very much prevalent in north India. A ‘palki’ that will be used during some festivals for the car festival can also be found here.
This temple is situated besides the Yakshi temple facing the main temple. About 8 feet high black coloured idol of Lord Parshwanath in padmasana can be found here.
This temple found to the left of the Parshwanth temple has the two feet high white coloured idol of Lord Aranath in padmasana. This idol is said to have been got underneath the ground near Sri Shanthinath Nishiyaji.
Sri Panchameru Nandishwaradweepa Temple
This is found to the left of the Aranath temple. A very attractive arrangement of Panchameru Nandishwaradweepa can be found in this temple. Almost all the The mantapas that are a part of the arrangement have been decorated attractively by gold paintings.
This temple is found to the left of the Nandishwaradweepa temple. We can find a 5 feet high black coloured idol of Lord Nemimnath in padmasana over here.
This is found to the left of the Neminath temple and behind the main temple. An attractive about 4 feet high white coloured marble idol of Lord Adinath in kayotsarga can be found in this temple. Usually the kids studying in the Digambar Jain Gurukula at Hastinapur assemble over here every morning for their daily poojas.
This temple located to the left of Adinath temple has a 3 feet high black coloured idol of Lord Parshwanath in padmasana in the main vedhi. We can also find many other Tirthankara idols in this vedhi. The vedhi is decorated artistically with gold paintings. The main vedhi is flanked by two vedhi on either side with the idols of Lord Mahavir in kayotsarga. The right vedhi has a 4 feet high ancient idol of Lord Mahavira. This was got besides a canal near Hastinapur. The left vedhi has a 4 feet high while coloured idol of Lord Mahavir in kayotsarga.
This temple is found to the left of the Parshwanath Temple. There is a huge set up of the Samavasarana arrangement and is a feast to see. The different mantapas and others structures of the Samavasarana decorated with gold paintings have added value to the arrangement.
This is to the left of the Samavasarana temple and has a 30 inches high white coloured marble idol of Lord Kunthunath in the padmasana.
This temple is found to the left of the Kunthunath temple. It has a three and half feet high white coloured idol of Lord Vardhaman Mahavir in padmasana as the main deity. The idol is very attractive with colourful paintings around it. The attractive torana at the entrance of the temple and the magnificent pinnacle of the temple are very attractive. The pinnacle is very unique of its kind with small idols of Lions on all the four sides. This symbolically indicates that the temple is dedicated to Lord Mahavir.
This temple is situated just besides the Badamandir to the left of the main group of temples. The temple is constructed on an elevated structure and can be approached through a small ramp that leads to the temple. This has a 10 feet high white coloured idol of Lord Bahubali in Kayotsarga as the main deity.
There is very interesting story associated with the silver ‘Chatri’ (umbrella) that is installed over this idol. It is said that for many years until recently the management of the Badamandir temple had tried to install the Chatri. However the chatri used to fall very frequently inspite of all the efforts made to install it. On hearing this, a few years back one of the Jain munis performed some poojas to the idol. It is only after this that they have been able to install the chatri.
Sri Digambar Jain Uttar Prantiya Gurukula
This is the oldest of all the Jain Gurukula’s in north India. This is found just behind the Bada mandir complex. This Gurukula is considered as one of the premier Digambar Jain institutions in north India that is known for instilling the Jain way of life amongst the kids studying here.
This is situated a few meters away to the right of the Gurukula and behind the Bada mandir complex in a huge garden. This can be reached by passing through the Gurukula. This houses a five feet high white coloured marble idol of Lord Mahavir in Kayotsarga as the main deity. The temple is constructed in the midst of a small pond with an approach bridge. During the annual fair and festivals the pond will be filled with water.
As mentioned earlier in this article, Hastinapur has its history associated with the Mahabharata, Pandavas and Kauravas. As a memory of this, the management of the Badamandir trust has installed cement idols of the five pandavas and has protected it with a caged enclosure. This is installed besides the Jalamandir.
A 25 feet high Kirthistambha/Manasthambha has been installed in the middle of a garden at a distance of a few meters away from the Jalamandir by the Badamandir Trust.