Mangi - Tungi
Of all the holy places in & around Nashik , which has long been attained the coveted status of the religious capital of Maharashtra , Mangi Tungi is considered to be a unique spot in the sense that for both Jains & Hindus , it is a sacred place. Rarely do two sections of different faiths converge together for a religious purposes . In fact , the place serve as a magestic & picturesque bridge between the two diverse religious cultures & reminds one of there same roots. For Jains especially , Mangi Tungi is nothing less sacred than Kanshi & Mecca . In the religious esteem of the Jains all over the world , Mangi Tungi is placed next only to Sammed Shikhar which is in the North India. Thousands of Pilgrims all over the world come to Mangi Tungi every year.
Situated in Baglan tehsil , about 150 Kms from Nashik , Mangi Tungi is described as siddhakshetra which means it is a gateway to the state of enlightenment. The mythological tales assure those who are religiously inclined & who are seeking the path of enlightenment that more than 90 crore saints & celebraties such as Lord Rama & Lord Krishna had attained Moksha , the enlightenment at Mungi Tungi . Lord Krishna breathed his last & jettisoned his material body in the same area. It is further believed that his elder brother Balram , came out of the state of deep mourning after Lord Krishna's death & received paramadnyana ,ultimate knowledge which further helped him attain enlightenment at Mungi Tungi only. It is stated in the puranas that the last rites of Lord Krishna were performed by his brother here. Mythological tales further indicate that Lord Rama arrived here with 28000 Kings & 46000 others including his dear & close confidante , Lord Hanuman & after rigorous penance they all merged with the ultimate univerasl force. His wife Seeta also attained divinity at Mangi Tungi. Sevearl Jain sages also attained divinity at Mangi Tungi & even today it is a home for the seekers of truth & knowledge of the universe.
Apart from the religious importance of the place , Mangi Tungi boasts of a rich heritage value . Mangi & Tungi are actually the names of two peaks situated close to each other. Mangi peak is 4343 feet high while Tungi is 4366 feet high from the sea level. The 4500 steps which lead one to the foot of the peaks where several important monuments of immense historical & religious value stand amidst breath-taking majesty of mother nature also assure the visitors instant reduction of flab gathered around their tummies . Hundreds of caves with idols of deities & sages , carved from the mountain rock , in them are the main highlight of the place. Near Mangi peak there are several caves named after deities & sages who were liberated there such as Seeta , Mahaveer , Adinath , Shantinath , Parshwanath & Ratnatrya. Their idols in yogic postures are found in the caves . In Balabhadra cave too there are several idols in similar positions. The tourists find many huge idols in the open also. Krishna Kunda is close to the Tungi peak where Lord Krishna was believed to have been cremated. Other caves house the idols of Lord Rama & his dear & near ones. What attracts attention, however, imediately after reaching the place is mammoth , 31 feet high statue of hagwan Bhuubaliwhich was erected recently in 1996. The serpentine steps look like a cleavage of both the mountains . The steps, however, are the additions made in the modern times for the convenience of the pilgrims . There are caves named after several Jain sages like Subuddhamuni , Muni Suwratanath , Bhagwan Bahubali & 24 Teerthnkars in the middle of the stairway . At the foot of the hills there are three temples housing not less than 75 idols. Besides religious fervor , Mangi Tungi certainly is a paradise for hikers & heritage lovers as the mountain is not only surrounded by many historical spots & old forts but also gifted by picturesque nature . The great festival on the mountains is celebrated every year in the holy month of Kartik ( September - October ) when Hindus & Jains converge in large numbers to witness the grand Rathyatra. Interested tourists wanting to visit Mungi Tungi hilla , there is facility to stay in Dharmashalas & food at reasonable rates are provided . The ambience there is still free from either sinister CO or deadly decibels.