Acharya Shree Akalanka Educational Trust ®
Shree Kshetra Arihanthagiri
There is Holy Mountain known as Arihanthagiri (Thirumalai) in Polur Taluk, Thiruvannamalai District, and Tamilnadu state of South India. The Mountain is also Vaigapur Thirumalai, Enguna Thirumalai, Iraivar Thirumalai; Srisailam Thirumalai in the inscriptions of Tamilnadu. Thirumalai Mountain is Arihanthagiri.
Situated by the village Thirumalai, Arihanthagiri is moderate in height, and consist of clean boulders. Of the huge of ascetics (Muni’s) who accompanied the last Shuruthakevali Bhatrabhagu Muni to South India in the 3rd Century A.D, A major group came to Thirumalai under the head of Acharya 108 Shree Vishakachariya Muni Maharaj, settled here engaging themselves in spiritual discipline. It is an important event in Jain history. At the foot of the Mountain there is an ancient basadi (Temple) and beautiful caves, four feet high statue of Bhagawan Neminatha Bhagawan Parsuvanatha and Shree Kushmaandini Devi (Dharma Devi) were set up in a cave some 900 years ago. Two feet high statues of Bhagawan Neminatha and Bhagawan Adhinatha are set up, the former in the sanctorum and the later in the outer quadrangle. The statues are on the palayanka-asana.
The cave is deep. In olden days Jain Monks used to study and Meditate here.The roof of the cave is painted with pictures of Samavasarana,Jamboo-Dveepa etc.,
The cave contains information about the Samadhi of Muni Sri Vadeebha Simha, the author of “Gadya Chinthamani”. In another basadi there is a beautiful clay statue of ‘Sri Mahaveera Swami’ two feet high. On the mountain there is an 18 feet tall, fascinating statue of Bhagawan Neminatha Swami depicting Kayotsarga. This is the tallest of Bhagawan Neminatha Swami in South India.
The inhabitants of this locality and the surrounding region traditionally believe that severe diseases are cured by accepting the sandal paste- holy –water after bathing this statue in the abhisheka ritual. There is a statue of Kayotsarga of Sri Parsuvanatha Swami, three and half feet in height in one Basadi.
With a view to inculcate religious and cultural values in children and to kindle the torch of knowledge in them. H.H. Dhavalakeerthi Bhattaraka Swamiji’s started the “Acharya Shree Akalanka Vidya Peetha Gurukulam” following the footsteps of great Acharya who had established a similar academy in this region in the remote past. Here, young students are given secular education along with traditional religious education in Gurukulam style. Sanskrit, Prakrit and Hindi are taught here.
The Corner-Stone of the new building of “Acharya Shree Akalanka Vidya Peetha Gurukulam” was laid by Padmabhushan Dr. Shree. D. Veerendra Heggade (Shree Kshetra Dharmasthala Dharmathikari) on 22.12.1999 retired and experienced teachers and shastris have been appointed to teach the students secular and religious subjects effectively. Care has been taken to develop the character and personality of the student. Some selected student, who have completed their SSLC examination or send to Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan for further studies. Facilities and encouragements or provided to the students of the Vidyapeet to peruse various suitable courses such as Shastry, Pandit, Ritualist. Bachelor and Master Degree courses, Fine Arts and Computer Courses successfully so as to settle in life peacefully.
Every morning the students perform collective prayer at 5.00am and worship in the temple at 6.30am. Every Evening they Pray, Meditate and carryon Aarati at 6.30pm. On Sundays the students go up the mountain (Arihanthagiri Hill) to have Dharshana of 1008 Sri Neminatha Bhagawan (22nd Thirthankara). They participate in the religious functions of the Kshetra & attend the spiritual discourses of the Swamiji.