The Hastinapur Teerth Kshetra is an ancient place in Meerut District of Western
‘Uttar Pradesh’, which was a center place at sometime in India for political, cultural, and spiritual events.
Out of 52 Mahajanapadas established by Bhagwan Adinath (Rishabhdev), Kurujangal Pradesh was one of
them, it’s capital was Gajapur. It may be that due to the huge quantity residing in
the forests near the bank of River Ganga, it was named ‘Gajapur’ (Gaja –Elephant). Later on a brilliant king
named ‘Hastin’ of ‘Kuru Vansha’ (Vansha -Dynasty) ruled here, so this place was called ‘Hastinapur’. In ancient
literature many names are given to this place, but Hastinapur is the most popular name up to the present time.
Next to Ayodhhya, Hastinapur is the most important Teerth. 18 Kalyanakas of 5 Teerthankaras took
place at Ayodhhya; while 12 Kalyankas of 3 Teerthankaras – Shri Shantinath, Kunthunath &
Arahnath took place at Hastinapur These 3 Teerthankaras were Chakrawarti also.
But this Teerth became most famous due to the ‘first Aahar’ of first
Teerthankara ‘Bhagwan Rishabhdev’ given by King ‘Shreyans’; the juice of
sugarcane was given as Aahar (Meal). Thus the starting of Daan Teerth (Daan-Donation)
took place from here on the day of ‘Akshaya – Tratiya’ (the day Vaishakha Shukla
Tratiya). From that time Akshaya Tratiya is celebrated all over India as a
At that time when Rishabhdev were in the state of ascetic saint, they decided for keeping
fast for six months for Tapa. After six months due to unknowingness (unacquainted) of the procedure of
Aahar to an ascetic, they did not receive Aahar upto next 6 months and 13 days.
While Rishabhdev came to Hastinapur for Aahar next day, King Shreyans saw them
from the window of his palace; suddenly Shreyans recalled the process of Aahar
due to ‘Jatismaran Gyan’ (The knowledge of previous life) only due to this
Shreyans was able to perform the procedure of Aahar to an ascetic saint.
Elder brother of Shreyans, ‘King Somprabh’ was the ruler of Hastinapur and both were the sons of ‘Bahubali’ – the
son of Rishabhdev. Somprabh’s another name was ‘Kuru’. So at the name of
Somprabh – Cahndra Vamsha & at the name of Kuru – Kuru Vamsha became famous.
Later on in KuruVansha – ‘Kauravas’ and ‘Pandavas’ of Hastinapur became famous.
‘Megheshwar Jai Kumar’
– the son of Somprabh was the chief of the army of ‘Chakrawarti Bharat’ and was
famous for his bravery. Wife of Jai Kumar – ‘Sulochana’ was the daughter of King
Akampana of ‘Kashi’. First ‘Swayamvara’ (a ceremony organized to select a
husband by a young female as per wish of her own) of the world for the marriage
of Sulochana was organized in ‘Kashi’. So many stories about the bravery of Jai
Kumar and modesty of Sulochana are described in Jain Texts.
Later on after 15th Teerthankara
Dharmanath, 4th Chakrawarti Sanat Kumar also established his capital in
Hastinapur. After that 5th, 6th, & 7th Chakrawarti Shri Shantinath, Shri
Kunthunath and Shri Arahnath (these were 16th, 17th, & 18th Teerthankara also)
born here. First four Kalyankas (out of five) of these three Teerthankaras were
celebrated here at Hastinapur by ‘Devs’ of heaven and public also.
In Jain Texts so many stories are described related to Hastinapur, some
important out of them are given below: -
1. Shri Gurudatta was a King here. Later on he became ascetic and left his kingdom. Once he was in deep meditation
in the valley of Dronimati Hills, a man created heavy troubles to him. He
wrapped pieces of old cloths on the body and set them on fire. But Muni
Gurudatta engrossed in deep meditation and penance, attained ‘Keval Gyan’ and
salvation from there.
2. Famous festival of ‘Raksha Bandhan’ also started from Hastinapur, in the memory of vanishing the trouble of
700 ascetic Munies by ‘Muni Vishnu Kumar’ on the day of ‘Shravan (Savan) Shukla
Full story about ‘Raksha Bandhan’ is available on the Website - ‘JainTeerth.com’
3. Famous war of ‘Mahabharata’ in ‘Kurukshetra’ also took place between Kauravas & Pandavas of Hastinapur. The
place ‘Varnal’ is also near Hasitnapur, where Duryodhana built a house ‘Laksha
Grih’ to kill Pandavas. Five villages Bagpat, Sonipat, Tilpat, Panipat and
Indraprastha which were demanded by Pandavas through Lord Krishna are also near
4. Once, at the time of Bhagwan Munisuvratnath (20th Teerthankar) there lived a businessman named Ganga Dutta in
Hastinapur. He was owner of seven crore gold coins. Once Bhagwan came to
Hastinapur, Ganga Dutta went there to visit them. After listening the precept of
Bhagwan Munisuvratnath, he became ascetic; he left all the property and accepted
‘Muni-Dharma’ near Bhagwan Munisuvratnath.
5. Once Muni Dam Dutta came Hastinapur and stayed in garden. Kauravas passed from there; being wicked by
nature they threw stones on Muni and used bad words for Muni. After sometime
Pandavas came there, they worshipped Muni and removed stones. At that time Muni
was in deed meditation and penance, Muni attained Keval Gyan (Supernatural
Knowledge). Soon Devs from heaven came there and celebrated the occasion.
Destruction and Construction of Hastinapur
(i) Firstly, at the time of King Nichakshu, the son of Adhiseem Krishna in the
dynasty of King Parikshit, swarm of red locusts attacked on Hastinapur, it
cleared all the crop, even leaves were not left on trees, at the same time there
was flood in river Ganga, so the Hastinapur get ruined.
Later on river Ganga changed its route miles away from Hastinapur, so it became
very difficult for residents of Hastinapur to get water for daily use.
In result, King Nichakshu shifted his capital from here to Kaushambi. Thus the
Hastinapur get ruined first time.
(ii) Later on this city was again established. But that time it was under the rule of ‘Naga Vansha’
instead of Kuru Vansha. Bhagwan Parshvanath’s Samavasharan arrived there at that
time. Later on Bhagwan Mahaveer’s Samavasharan also visited Hastinapur, after
listening the spiritual precepts of Bhagwan, King Shivraj of Hastinapur accepted
Jainism and he made a Stoopa in the memory pf Bhagwan Mahaveer. Hastinapur
remained populated up to year 300 B.C. Later in a fierce conflagration
Hastinapur turned in ruins.
(iii) Third time it was established by King of ‘Magadha’ Empire – ‘Samprati’, he was grandson of ‘Samrat
Ashoka’ the Great. He also constructed many Jain Temples here. It remained up to
year 200 A.D.
(iv) Fourth time Hastinapur was reestablished by King ‘Hardutta Rai’ of ‘Bhar Vamsha’ in 11th-12th century and
it remained populated upto 14th Century.
In the year 1600 A.D. the great poet of Hindi Jain Literature ‘Shri Banarsidas’
visited Hastinapur with his family. He described this pilgrimage in his
biography ‘Ardha Kathanaka’. Shri Banarsidas was contemporary of Mughal Emperor Shahjahan.
History of Construction of Jain Temple
Due to so many political and natural reasons, Hastinapur was ignored for centuries. In
result, many temples stoopas and shrines were destroyed, but at that time too this remained a
pilgrimage center, devotees from various parts of nation continued their
traveling for pilgrimage here.
During 18th –19th century condition of Hastinapur was very pitiable. Devotees were thinking
that a temple is a must in Hastinapur being a sacred place. In the year 1801 (V.S. 1858), in
the festival on the day ‘Jyeshtha Krishna – 13, Shri Raja Harsukha Rai gave his
consent for construction of temple at Hastinaupur. Raja Harsukha Rai was the
treasurer of Mughal Emperor Shah Aalam in Delhi.
Hastinapur, at that time was under the ruling of King Nain Singh of Bahsume. Peoples of Shahpur were against the
construction of a Jain Temple with out any reason. Lala Jai Kumar Mal of Shahpur
was the friend of King Nain Singh.
Raja Harsukh Rai requested to Lala Jai Kumar Mal to complete this work of temple by asking Raja Nain Singh. At same
night, Jai Kumar Mal talked to King Nain Singh about this; he also added that
Raja Harsukh Rai has put off his turban (Pagari) in the feet of Panchayat. King
Nain Singh was also grateful to Raja Harsukh Rai, because once he had paid Rs. 1
Lakh against loan for King Nain Singh to emperor. So King granted the permission
for construction of temple at Hastinapur. King Nain Singh also accepted lay of
foundation stone by his hands on the request of Lala Jai Kumar Mal.
Next day, in the presence of Raja Harsukh Rai, Lala Jai Kumar Mal and hundreds
of public King Nain Singh placed five bricks in the foundation of temple on a 40
feet high hillock.
After this function, by the money of Raja Harsukh Rai and in the supervision of Lala Jai Kumar Mal a huge spired &
magnificent temple was constructed in next five year. It is said that when the
time arrived for organization of installation ceremony of principal deity, Raja
Harsukh Rai requested to the present public that now his all money has been
spent in the construction and he has no more to finalize the remaining work, so
he requested to present public to contribute in the construction. The public
present there contributed, money was collected in a pot and then the work of
construction was thus finalized.
Even the collected amount was very little, but by this Raja Harsukh Rai intended to make the affection in public
about temple that they have also contributed in temple. He also tried to keep
away himself from the proud by doing this.
Later on V.S. 1863, year 1806 function was organized for (Vedi Pratishtha & Kalasharohan) installation of
principal deity on the altar. At that time the idol of Bhagwan Parshvanath
without serpent hoods was installed as principal deity, it was brought from
Delhi. In V.S. 1897. A huge main gate of temple was constructed by Lala Jai
A huge Dharmashala has been constructed surrounding the temple. Much extra work in the temple was completed
by Raja Sugan Chand, son of Raja Harsukh Rai.
In year 1857, during first freedom fight of India, some peoples looted the temple and Bhagwan Parshvanath’s idol
was also taken away. Later on from the new temple of Dharmapura, Delhi an idol
of Bhagwan Shantinath was brought here and installed in the temple as principal
deity, this was reverenced in V.S. 1548 by Bhattarka Jin Chandra.
From that time, this temple is known as Bhagwan Shantinath Temple.