Matsyodari Temple Jalna
Ambad is a municipal town and Tahsil & it appears that once it enjoyed great prosperity, the marks of which are still seen in the decayed stonebuildings and ruined walls and gateways. A local tradition ascribes the foundation of the town to a Hindu Raja by name Amba Rishi who being weary of the cares of running the Government went and settled in a cave in a hill to the east of the town. This site is now occupied by a shrine dedicated to goddess Matsyodari, so called because the hill resembles the shape of a fish (matsya). It is believed to be one of the oldest temples in the region. A largely attended annual fair is held at the temple in October.
Khandoba Temple Jalna
The town also contains a temple of Khandoba and a masonry Kund (tank), both of which were constructed by that pious and philanthropic queen, Ahilyabai Holkar, about the end of the eighteenth century. The structure to Khandoba has three temples joined together an arrangement often found in the south, but rarely in the north, and capable of giving a greater variety of effect of light and shade than is observed, in plainer forms. The shrine is surrounded by a stone-wal and has a gallery all round. The entrance is surmounted by a nagarkhana or chamber for temple-musicians. The courtyard has an iron-pillar on either side, besides a figure of a lion standing on four small elephants, with a fifth elephant in its mouth. Some finely sculptured images are seen scattered about inside. The shrine is crowned by three large shikhars in a line, with a small one at either end. They are built of bricks and are variously ornamented. None of these shikhars are alike. The village has also a masonry kund believed to have been built by Ahilyabai Holkar. It has fallen into ruins.
Among the cults prevailing in the region the one espoused by Svami Ramanand, a devotee of Rama, claims a considerable following Svami Ramanand, originally from Gondi village near Ambad, made Ambad his abode and preached his doctrines. Achhutashram Svami was his chief disciple. The memory of Ramanand Swami is highly revered in and around Ambad.
Shri Datta Ashram Jalna
Shri Datta Ashram was established in the year 1994 on the auspicious day of 'Shri Ram Navmi' by P P Tai Maharaj. The great saint and scholarly figure in the name of H H Shri Dattamaharaj Kavishwar were the prime inspiration behind this holy trust Shri Datta Ashram is located at Satguru nagar on Nhava Road at Jalna.
* Saints from India have always propagated to spread and enhance love and devotion for supreme god and teachers (Guru), spread of harmony and positive and humanitarian attitude for development of all living beings. Shri Datta Ashram always believed in these teachings and has devoted itself to spread the same and to provide assistance in adoption thereof by the society.
* Modern medical science has established that there exists a close nexus between positive attitude and physical and psychological wellbeing of a person. One of the objectives of Shri Datta Ashram is to provide a place to the society which is free from pollution and day to day tensions of modern life where people will experience peace and mental and physical wellbeing.
* Shri Datta Ashram conducts projects for people of all castes and creed for provision of tension free atmosphere, energetic vibrations arising out of nam sankirtan and pure vegetarian food.
* Also Shri Datta Ashram conducts religious rituals and celebrates festivals of the idols and photographs of the gods and goddesses established in its premises and arranges food distribution(anna daan) and collective programme on such occasions.
Nizam ul Mulk Asaf Jah favoured the town as being healthier than Aurangabad and it was he who ordered Kabil Khan in 1725 to build the fort together with citadel situated to the east of the town and which is today known as Mastgad. The citadel is being used to accommodate the municipal offices. The fort is quadrangular in shape,with semi circular bastions at the corners. It is reported that the inner and the outer gates were constructed by Asaf Jah himself in 1711 and 1723, respectively. The citadel bears of Persian inscription recording the date when it was constructed. Within the citadel is a large well containing a series of galleries and chambers which are now filled up with rubbish.
Moti Talab Jalna
Jamshed Khan, built the “Kali” masjid, inside the Mecca gate, together with the “hammam" or bath, and the “sarai". He also constructed the Moti Talab, a large tank to the west of the town. A system of underground pipes conveyed water to reservoirs, in the town. The largest of which is in quadrangle of the sarai. The system is no longer in working order. When the city was at the height of its prosperity it had five tanks. A garden was also constructed on the banks of the talab known as Moti Bagh. Jalna was also surrounded by a mud and brick wall but it is all in ruins except two gates, known as the Murti Darwaza and the Hyderabad gate.
Jumma masjid at Jalna
The Jumma masjid at Jalna built by Jamshed Khan in A.D. 1557, is rectangular in form, closed on three sides and arcaded in front, and has a corresponding verandah, with a sloping terraced roof resting on three pointed arches. The coiners of the roof of the main structure carry little fluted domes; and the masjid contains some perforated stone-work. The principal dome is ornamented at the base and top with lotus leaves, and has the elegant form and slender spire of the Moghal style. A cistern is inside a paved court-yard; and the surrounding wall has a platform all round, with pointed arched recesses on the outside.
An adjoining hamam or bath is interesting on account of the arched roof that covers it; and a large sarai to the west of the masjid had an imposing entrance, but the upper portion has fallen down.
The sarai stands on moulded stone pillars, and the roof has a pavilion at each corner. A large cistern is in front; and the courtyard, which measures 62 yards by 48 yards, is enclosed by a wall which has arched recesses all round for travellers. The masjid and accompanying works are of stone in lime. A Mahomedan kachari close by is also said to have been built by Jamshed Khan.
Dargas to saints at Jalna
The town of Jalna contains the dargas of Shah Nasir-ud-din and Shah Latif Kadari, who came to the Dakhan with Burhan-ud-din.
Dargah of Zacha and Bacha
The darga of Zacha and Bacha at Jalna bears a strong resemblance to the tombs of the Pathan kings at old Delhi. [According to a legend at Jalna, a female was pursued by a mad elephant, and finding no shelter all round, prayed to be buried in the earth. Her prayer was answered, and this tomb was built over the spot to commemorate the event.] It consists of a square apartment, surrounded by a narrow verandah. Each face has three pointed arches supported on square columns; and a projecting string course above is succeeded by seven little rectangular recesses surmounted by pointed arches. A neat cornice comes next, and a parapet wall runs all round. A second parapet wall runs at a higher level, round the face walls of the main building; and an octagonal tower covered with a small horse-shoe dome, is at each angle. The principal dome is ornamented with lotus leaves, &c., at the base, and the summit is crowned with a drum. The face walls of the main building have windows at the sides, filled in with perforated stonework.
Dargah of Jan Alla Shah
Jan Alla Shahs darga at Jalna was erected in A.D. 1681, and consists of a room 20 feet square, covered with a bulbous dome. There is only one door, with a portico in front supported on four wooden posts. A projecting cornice runs round the top of the side walls, and rests on small blocks or drops, beneath which are a series of little arched recesses. The four corners are built up in an hexagonal form, and rise into minarets, carrying four little towers, each surmounted with a bulbous dome and spire. The verandah posts are neatly carved, and have wooden brackets which meet one another, and form elegant scalloped openings under the architrave. A stone wall surrounds the darga; the gateway has an arched opening adorned with minarets; and a similar arched entrance with minarets is on the opposite side. A second stone wall runs along the bank of the Kundalika, which is faced with masonry down to the bed of the river. This and the inner wall are relieved by minarets rising at intervals, and are further ornamented with arched recesses, some of which are filled with perforated masonry work. The inner enclosure contains the dargas of Jan Alla, and of his brother Bab Alla, together with a masjid, zanana, and open-fronted buildings all round for travellers. The darga is well situated on the right bank of the Kundalka River, and the neat dome and the numerous minarets and ornamental compound wall, mingle picturesquely with the dark green foliage of the garden.
Dargah of Nur Shah Wali
Nur Shah Wali's darga at Jalna has a dome of the usual Indo-Saracenic style. The faces of the walls on the outside are divided into two storeys by a plain horizontal band; and each storey is again sub-divided vertically into three compartments, by pilasters which rise above the projecting cornice, and form small minarets. The compartments of the lower storey on three sides, contain recesses covered by scalloped arches; while the upper storey has small windows corresponding to them. The door of the darga is on the fourth side, and has a verandah in front, supported on four wooden pillars, moulded at top and bottom. The corners carry minarets which are higher than the intermediate ones; and an ornamental railing is between them. The lower part of the dome is adorned with a circular band of petals, and the upper bears an elegant spire. Nur Shah Wali flourished in the reign of Aurangzib, and his darga is said to have been erected by one of his Hindu disciples, but probably, it was only reconstructed.
Sufi Saints of Jalna
The Ashaba has two large iron cauldrons; which contains the grave of Mohammed Ibrahim. There are many other graves in the vicinity, and the place has been used for a long time by the Mohammedans as a burial ground.
Sher Sawar & Raja Bagh Sawar
A “tekri" or rising ground with a deep well attached to it is found not far from the Ashaba. The mound is now surmounted by a dome which covers the remains of Shaikh Ahmad, surnamed "Sher Sawar" or the "lion-mounted." The attendant "khadim" makes him contemporary with' Abdul Kadar Jilani (H. 561); but the dome is only a "chilla" or cenotaph, and the body was buried elsewhere. The Ashaba also contains the grave of Raja Bagh Sawar, a contemporary of Jan Alla. Raja Bagh Sawar is said to have visited Nirgun Shah Wali, seated on a lion. A "pilu" tree with an enormous trunk is found growing to the south-west, within the precincts of the cemetery.
Tuttu sodagar, & others
Tuttu Sodagar was a wealthy merchant of Surat and a Bohra by caste, who built the “Tuttu " darwaza of Jalna in H. 1126. He died near the 'Ambad gate, on his way back from Rakisbon, and was buried near the mosque which he built. There were six other rich Musalmans, and in former days Jalna was noted for its wealth. According to an old Urdu proverb, “the children in Jalna were lulled to sleep in cradles of gold,” Malis and poor people offer fruit to Pir Ghaib Sahib's tomb in front of the “Tuttu" darwaza.
Similar presents are made to the darga of Dervash Shah Awaz on the Aurangabad road,-especially by the dhobis, in order to preserve the clothes in the " bhattis" from getting burnt.
The inhabitants of Jalna pray for worldly success at Shah Shumli's tomb; and mothers offer supplications at Pir Darbari's tomb, so that their children may attend " darbars," or become Courtiers.
Shah Mauik's tomb is in the “churi mohulla "of Jalna, where glass bangles are manufactured and sold. Shah Shubli had his residence in the “manik chauk," and was a follower of 'Abu Bekr Shubli, a renowned mystic Shaikh of Baghdad. Musi Makai possessed a valuable library, and was buried in the Ashaba to the north of Jalna.
Jamshed Khan & others
Jamshed Khan was a sufi and the governor during Malik Ambar's time. He also constructed the large tank at Jalna, and laid down pipes and reservoirs for the water supply of the city. Jamshad Khan flourished in the 10th century of the Hijri, and was buried in his garden to the north of Jalna. The cultivators sacrifice to his tomb, so that their crops may not suffer.
A masjid at Georahi, not far from Jalna, is resorted to by Hindus and Mohammedans, as it is believed to possess powers of divination. A saint Rafi ud din is said to have possessed similar powers, and his masjid has a “waqf” or pious legacy of 200-bigahs of land, granted by Aurangzeb.
Bahar Khan was a religious man that came from Bidar to Ranjani in the 8th century Hijri. A mosque beyond Ranjani was built by his wife Ayisha Bi; and near it is the darga of Latif Shah Aulia. Gudar Shah Wali arrived in Aurangzeb's time, he erected a mosque.
Jan Alla Shahi
A sect founded at Jalna by Jan Mohammed, who was born at Sinnur near Delhi in H. 1030. He was early left an orphan, and started with his brother for Baghdad; and on completing his studies, was instructed at the tomb of 'Abdul Kadar Jilani to proceed to the great spiritualist, Miranji of Burhanpur. After studying with Miranji for five years, Jan Mahomed's name was changed in open congregation to Jan Alla (Life of God), and that of his brother to Bab Alla (Door of God). In H. 1046 he started for Mecca accompanied by the ancestors of the present “khadims;" and on his journey, was assisted by the “Jins."
After an absence of twelve years Jan Alla was instructed to proceed to Jalna, which he did by way of Baghdad. On arriving at Aurangabad, he occupied a chamber on the left of the Jumma masjid of Malik Ambar, and was quite a recluse, performing the “Sunnat" prayers in his own room, and only the “Fars" prayers in the mosque. His sanctity was noised about, and he was invited to Jalna by haji Bur Khurdar the faujdar. Aurangzeb also wished to see him and went for the purpose to the Jumma masjid, and even to the " Hujra" or chamber, but did not succeed in his object. A copy of a letter is still shown, which is said to have been written to Jan Alla by order of Aurangzeb. The emperor next sent his vizier, but before the latter could come, Jan Alla and his brother had quietly gone away to Mungi Paitan, and from thence proceeded with Abdur Rahman, the deputy faujdar, to Jalna. Aurangzeb then sent prince Muazzam to Jalna, and the saint received the prince kindly in a small dwelling in a mango grove where Jan Alla's tomb has since been erected. It was on this occasion that Jan Alla received a sanad for five hundred bighas of land near Jalnapur, where Kadrabad and the cantonment now stand.
Nirgun shah Wali
Nirgun Shah Wali came from Bengal, and lived as a recluse at Nidhara, two miles north of Jalna. His principle was, “retirement from the eyes of the world, and cessation from seeking the honor and respect of any one." When Aurangzeb was at Jalna, he is said to have visited Nirgun Shah Wali. Many others called to see him, including Jan Alla, Bab Alla, raja Bagh Sawar., and Nirgun received them, seated on a stone which is still pointed out. He also paid return visits, and took with him a starling (maina), which was always his companion and was able to talk.