Yatra to the Land Made Holy by the First Jain Monk to Travel Outside India
Siddhachalam is a place of pilgrimage for Jains from all over the world. It was here that Acharya Sushil Kumarji Maharaj (then Muni) – one of India’s most respected monks – founded an ashram in a long-abandoned place that was once a battlefield.Through intense meditation, he transformed it into a unique community of monks and residents in a vibrant animal and nature preserve. It was here that he shared with all, regardless of race, color or creed, the dharma propounded by Bhagwaan Mahavira, free from the narrow divisions of later Jain sects. It was also here that he perfected the secret science of sound behind the Namokar Mantra and shared it with all. Soon, Siddhachalam came to be regarded a Tirth, a place for pilgrimage.
Yatra to the World’s First Replication of Teerthadhiraj Shikharji
When 14 or 15 years’ old, Guruji (as he was lovingly called) saw Siddhachalam in his vision while engaged in meditation (Guruji joined the company of a Jain monk when he was nine years’ old and took diksha when he was 15 years’ old). He saw Siddhachalam as a place with many temples in honor of the Siddhas. His dream was realized in the year 2012 when Teerthadhiraj Shikharji was replicated at Siddhachalam. Shikharji at Siddhachalam is the world’s first complete, to-scale replication of Shikharji.
Bhav Yatra to Shatrunjaya on Mount Siddhachal
For many among us, a yatra to Shatrunjaya on Mount Siddhachal in Palitana, Gujarat, is the first yatra of the year. A particularly auspicious day to perform it is Falgun Shukla Trayodashi (the 13th day in the bright half of the month of Falgun). The yatra is popularly known as the chha gua feri. “Chha” meaning six, and “gua” or “kos” meaning a measure of distance equivalent to three kilometers. At Siddhachalam, the yatra is replicated each year on a Saturday closest to Falgun Shukla Trayodashi. In 2014, it will be performed on Saturday, March 15, starting 9:00 a.m.
Siddhachalam derives its name from Siddhachal, the mountain atop which Bhagwaan Rishabh held His first samavsaran. Appropriately, the Moolnayak of Siddhachalam’s Main Temple is Bhagwaan Rishabh. In 2014, the chha gua yatra will commence with puja pakshal of His pratimaji in Main Temple and end there after homage at His Tonk in the forest.