Among many prestigious and well known temples of Shatrunjay, Girnar, Sammet-Shikahar, Pavapuri, Tarangana, Jaisalmer, Laudravpur, Brahmasar, Nakodaji and many more, a legendary name of the "JAHAJ MANDIR" has been studded in golden words in the pages of history.
The Jahaj Mandir at MADAVLA in Jalor district of Rajasthan, is in itself a wonderful creation in the history of Jainism . Built in a Ship's shape the temple stands erect magnificently 55 feet in height with marble (makrana) all over. It is first and the only of its kind in the world. The temple has a great and a very interesting history in it's making.
On the 3rd of Dec. 1985, Acharya Shri Jin KantisagarSuriji, the devotee of the adorned Acharya Shri Jin HarisagarSuriji was in MANDAVLA. He was on his way to Jivana and was amidst his "Chatur-Mas". It was around 12:00 in the noon that he started to feel uneasy at health and soon experienced fever. That very moment he sensed the sun of his life setting in. He summoned his immediate deciple whom we know as our Gurudev Shri Maniprabhsagarji and intimated to him that now the time had arrived for him to take over his role and responsibilities. Dec. 4th his soul the departed the body at 9:16 in the morning. That was a sad demise and a great loss to all of us
"Agnisanskar" the funeral was held on the following day. Thousands of followers gathered for the ceremony. During the funeral, a very strange and astonishing incidence took place. From the raging flames of the fire Acharya's right hand flung out and began to sway. This was his final blessings to his thousands of devotees. The crowd overwhelmingly cheered Jay-jaykars and filled the space. This went on for about half an hour. The media ran around to cover the event and captured the magical scene in their cameras.
I fond memory of the Maharaj a huge memorial was decided to be constructed at the very place of this even i.e. the funeral spot. Instantly a trust named after the Acharya "Shri KantisagarSuri Smarak Trust" was formed to give this task a shape.
Now the only question was as to what kind of a memorial should it be ? Nobody even had a clue except that it is going to be a unique creation and shall be just one of its kind.
In 1991 the new Acharya Shri Mahaprabhji during his "Chatur-Mas" was in Pune, Maharash-tra. The thought of the memorial was still lingering in his mind. He thought of a Lotus shaped temple, but soon realised that such a temple already exists. Then he thought of a Chariot, but again that too was a waste of thought as even such a temple is present. He looked troubled by these constant thoughts.
After Pune Acharya decided to visit a few places in Rajasthan. Along this period he happened to visit Bombay( now Mumbai) on the prime occasion of his 32nd birthday. Here he stayed for a period of 18 days. On the occasion a mega celebration was organized. Early in the morning he visited the temple of the adorned Shri Mahaveer swami for his divine blessings. After which he began to hum one of his self composed "Bhajans" in his melodious voice. The line were :
" Bhakt Tumhara Bhatak Raha Hain, Bhav Sagar Majhdhaar
Naiya Ban Navik Ban Bhugwan, Mujhko Paar Utaar
Prabhu he ! Arzi Dil Mein Dhaar "
~ Shri Maniprabhji
Which means "Your devotee has lost his way amidst the ocean" (where ocean symbolizes the world)
"Come to my rescue, take me ashore, come in the form of a ship/boat"
"Oh Lord ! I have this request in my heart"
These were the lines around which Acharya's mind began to linger and in a flash, some thing crossed his imagination. He felt enlightened. He explained "The temple of the almighty symbolizes nothing but a ship in an ocean which in turn symbolizes the world (universe). It is this very ship that will sail all of us across to the shore." That was it, the answer was found for the memorial. The theme fitted perfectly. "JAHAJ MANDIR" was declared. The temple shall be made in the shape of a SHIP. The Acharya thought to himself that what better gift could he expect on the occasion of his 32nd birthday, he thanked the lords a million times. The theme of the Jahaj Mandir was propagated in all directions.
In 1992 a native of Lunava, Shri Kanhayyalal Mukesh Sompura presented before the Acharya rough designs and sketches relating to the plan and architecture of the imaginary Ship Temple. These were based on imaginations of the Acharya. After a lot of pondering, in-depth discussions and research the plan was finally approved. In 1993 the inauguration of the Shri Shantinath temple, Shri Jin kantisagarSuri Guru temple was held. Progressively on 9th May 1993 the "SHILANYAS" was accomplished. Since then the construction of the temple is in full swing.
In order to speedup the task the Acharya held his 1997 "Chatur-Mas" in Mandavla itself. In 1999 a ceremony called "Anjan-Shalakha" was organized in which 108 saints participated along with 40,000 devotees and followers.
On the occasion 20 renowned personalities of the 20th century were awarded with the prestigious title of "JIN SHASHAN RATNA" by the trust "Jin KantisagarSuri Smarak Trust" On the first anniversary of the "Parikar-Pratishtha" was organized Now the temple of at the final stage of its completion