History – Sonagiri is an ancient Jain heritage centre with 103 Jain temples. About 26 Jain temples are found in the village and 77 Jain temples are spread over 2 hills. Temple number 57 is the main temple with the idol of Lord Chandranath, the 8th Tirthankar as the main deity. Owing to the huge no. of temples spread over an area of 132 acres on both the hillocks this place is called Laghu Samedhashikarji. 3 meters (9.8 ft) high rock-cut image of Chandraprabhu dating back to the 5th to 6th century is also seen here. The Jain temples have been built from 9th century onwards.
On the hill, there is a broad-mouthed cocoanut basin. It is cut from a slab of stone in the shape of a coconut. There is also another slab of stone, when beaten it produces a sound like that of a metal. Hence it is called ‘Bajani shila’.
As per Jain tradition, 17 Samavasaranas of Chandranath/Chandraprabhu had taken place at Sonagiri. Additionally, it is said that five and a half crore Jain ascetics have achieved liberation (moksha) here. Nang, Anang, Chintagati, Poornachand, Ashoksen, Shridatta, Swarnbhadra, and many other saints achieved salvation here. Acharya Shubh Chandra and Bhartrihari lived and worked here for spiritual achievements.
Main Deity – 12 feet high, black-coloured idol of Bhagawan Chandraprabha Swami in the Kayotsarga posture.
How to Reach – Sonagiri is situated at a distance of 60 kilometers from Gwalior in the Datia district of Madhya Pradesh.
Dharmashalas – Good accommodation facilities with Jain food are available in the Jain dharmashalas of Sonagiri.