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Ashoknagar district,Madhya Pradesh

Ashoknagar (also Ashok Nagar) is a city in Madhya Pradesh state of central India. It is the administrative headquarters of Ashoknagar District. Earlier it was part of Guna district. Ashoknagar is well known for its Grain Mandi and “Sharbati Gaihu”, a type of wheat. The nearest district Guna 45 km from the city. Ashoknagar, formerly known as Pachar, has five tehsils viz. Isagarh, Chanderi, Piprai, Mungaoli, Ashoknagar and Shahdora. In Ashoknagar city there are two parts: the Railway Gate and Gandhi Park Side. The railway line is in the middle of the city. Ashoknagar has a railway station and a bus stand. Ashoknagar is connected to the main cities of Madhya Pradesh by road and railway.

Ashoknagar is located in the northern part of Madhya Pradesh, between the rivers Sindh and the Betwa. It comes under the northern part of Malwa plateau, though main part of its district lies in the Bundelkhand Plateau. The eastern and western boundaries of the district are well defined by the rivers. The Betwa flows along the eastern boundary separating it from Sagar District and Lalitpur District of Uttar Pradesh. The Sindh is the main river flowing along the western boundary. Chanderi, a part of Ashoknagar, is famous for its brocades and muslins, especially for its handwoven Chanderi sarees. Ashoknagar is situated on the Kota-Bina railway section of Western Central Railway. Ashoknagar is approximately 200 km away from the capital of the state Bhopal, 360 km from Indore, and about 250 km from Gwalior.

Etymology
It is believed that Great Emperor Asoka, while on his trip to conquer Ujjain, had spent a night in Ashoknagar and hence the name.
Culture

The city lies in the Bundelkhand region and follows traditional Indian culture. The dialects spoken are of Hindi mixed with Bundelkhandi and Khadi bhasa. Ashoknagar is famous for the Jain temple called Trikaal Choubeese, where the idols of past, present, and future Thirthankars, as described in the Jain religion, have been kept.The district is also famous for a small town called ‘Chanderi’, which is about 60 km from Ashoknagar. Chanderi was earlier, at the time of Mahabharata, known as “Chendi”. Chendi Naresh Shishupal was its ruler, who was then killed by Lord Krishna. In Chanderi, ancient sculptures have been discovered in large numbers. Thubonji Sidhdha Kshetra is another one of the pilgrim center for Jains. It is about 32 km from Ashoknagar. In the south, about 35 km from Ashoknagar, is the famous Karila Mata Mandir, which is known to be the birthplace of Luv and Kush, sons of Lord Rama and Sita Mata. A huge fair is organized every year on Rangpanchmi in which the Rai Dance is performed by the Bedni women. Tumen is also a famous historical pilgrim center situated at Triveni known for Mata Vindhyavasini temple. There are many more places of religious importance in the district of Ashoknagar.

Chanderi is a tehsil of the Ashoknagar district and is a famous historical & tourist palace. The main occupation of the people of Chanderi is handicraft. Chanderi sarees are famous all over the world. These are made by cotton and silk by hand through Khatka. Khatka is a self made machine for preparing sarees. Another famous place in Ashoknagar district is Sri Anandpur, the world headquarters of the Sri Advaith Paramhansa Sect. Disciples from across the globe visit Anandpur twice a year during Baisakhi and Guru Purnima to seek blessings from the gurus. Kadwaya, a small village in the district is also famous for the ancient Shiv Mandir, Garhi and Mata Mandir.

Tourism
There are a number of tourist spots in Ashoknagar, including:

  • Trikal Chaubisi – “Shanti Nagar”
  • Tulsi Sarovar – Huge natural water lake. Boating at evening.
  • Amai Dam
  • Sankat Mochan
  • Nehru Bal Udhyan
  • Tulsi Sarovar Park
  • Along with the above-mentioned locations, there are many other tourist spots in the outskirts of Ashoknagar.
    Chanderi
    The Chanderi Fort is situated on a hill 71 meters above the town. The fortified walls were constructed mainly by the Muslim rulers of Chanderi. The main entrance to the fort is through a series of three gates, the uppermost of which is known as Hawa Paur and the lowermost is called the Khuni Darwaja, or the gate of blood. The peculiar name is derived from the fact that criminals were executed at this point by hurling them from the battlements above, breaking their bodies into pieces to the ground. Within the fort there are only two ruined buildings: the Hawa and Nau-Khanda Mahals built by Bundela Chiefs. A rest house on the northern ridge provides a view of the town below by the countryside.
    Chanderi Fort
    To the southwest of Fort there is a curious gateway called katti-ghatti built through the hillside. It is 59 meters long, 12 meters broad and 24.6 meters high. In its center, the rock has been sculpted into the shape of a gate, with a pointed arch, and flanked by sloping towers.
    Kaushak Mahal
    The Kaushak Mahal of Chanderi is also known as Tawarikh-i-Ferishta. According to history, in 1445 AD Mehmood Shah Khilji of Malwa was passing through Chanderi, when he ordered a seven-storied palace to be built there, which came to be Kaushak Mahal . It is an imposing building of some grandeur, though standing in a half ruined condition. To the south, east and north of the Kaushak Mahal, well maintained palaces of Ramnagar, Panchamnagar and Singhpur are situated respectively. All were built by Bundela Chiefs of Chanderi in the 18th Century.
    Shri Anandpur
    Shri Anandpur is a religious place, which is the part of Issagarh Tehsil, about 30 km from the district center of Ashoknagar. The institution is influenced by “Advait Mat”. The founder of this institution was Shri Advait Anand Ji. He is also known as Maharaj Shri Paramhans Dayal Ji. The place is well surrounded with greenery and natural beauty. The Ashram is situated near Vindhyachal Mountain range and is the center of attraction for its glorious architecture and pollution free environment. The development of Anandpur started away back in 1939 and continued till 1964. The institution was established as “Shri Anandpur Trust” on 22 April 1954. Most of its development took place during Shri Padshahi Ji Maharaj IV & Shri Padshahi Ji Maharaj V. Shri Anand Shanti Bhavan is the main part of the sacred place, is constructed with pure white marble. The pillar can be seen from a long distance away from the building. The Satsang Bhavan is a huge and the most attractive place of Shri Anandpur. It is the centre of attraction for the devotees. The place is a beauty to watch during the autumn season when the garden is full of colorful flowers spread all over the way. The rest house is also available for the tourist who come from the far flung areas. They get a warm welcome with free Shri Langar. In Shri Anandpur the facilities of Hospital, School, Post Office etc. are present too.
    Kadwaya
    Kadwaya a small village of ISAGARH tehsil of district ashoknagar having number of temples. One of these temples has been constructed in the 10th century in Kachhapaghata style of architecture. It has garbha-griha (sanctum), antaral and mandapa. Another old temple of Kadwaya is known as Chandal math. As per history, it was built to house Matta Mourya, members of Shaiva sect. During Akbar’s reign Kadwaya was the headquarters of Gwalior’s sarkar.Kadwaya is alSo the birthplace of pandit late ramvali sharma who served till death for the socio, political and econmic development of the village.Besides this KADWAYA GADI(buried fort) is the site of world heritage. it is also famous for mata BIJASEN TEMPLE. it is said that one cures there defected eyes,by her blessings. total population of kadwaya is approx. 3000.
    Thubonji Sidhdha Kshetra
    In Thubonji Sidhdha Kshetra, there are a group of 26 very beautiful temples imparting the message of peace, nonviolence & non affection ness to pilgrims. This sacred place Thuvonji came to knowledge during the period of famous businessman Padashah. It is believed that when Padashah put his metal Tin here, it got converted into Silver. The temples are beautiful & vast with so many miraculous & attractive idols. Temple No. 15 is the main among them known as big temple, with 28 feet high miraculous colossus of Lord Adinath in standing posture, installed by Vikram Samvat in 1672.
    Atishay It is said that sound of various musical instruments is heard at the night as the gods from heaven come here for prayers & worships. It is also said that after the completion of this high colossus, initially devotees were unable to install it in the standing posture. At that night, Head of the Construction saw a dream that worshipping the colossus will only allow it to be installed in the standing posture, accordingly in the next morning colossus was worshipped and then Head of the Construction alone was able to place the high colossus in standing posture. The public present at that time saw this miracle with wonder.
    There are number of Jain temples are also present in the Kshetra :
    Lord parsvanath Jain Temple – There is a magnificent 15 feet high colossus of Lord Parsvanath (23rd Teerthankar) installed in V.S. 1864. The colossus have a very artistic serpent hood over the head as well as in both the sides of the colossus.
    Lord Shantinath Jain temple – 18 feet high standing posture of Lord Shantinath (16th Teerthankar) is the principal deity in the temple.
    Ajitnath Jain Temple – Principal deity is the Lord Ajitnath(2nd Teerthankar).
    Adinath Jain Temple – It is also a magnificent and vast temple having 16 feet high colossus of Lord Adinath. This was installed by Savasingh of Chanderi in V.S. 1873. He also completed the famous Choubeesee Mandir of Chanderi
    Chandraprabhu Jain Temple – Lord Chandraprabhu (8th Teerthankar) is the principal deity in the temple, 1.5 feet sitting(Padmasana) statue of the Lord is the idol in the temple.
    Other temples are also worth being seen.
    Museum – Some ancient idols are kept there, among them a standing 12 feet high idol with beautiful nimbus is the most noticeable.