Bihar Tourism:Jain Circuit

Bhojpur District

It is said that Lord Mahavira, the 24th Jain Tirthankara, took rest for some time at this place during his wanderings, hence this place is called Bisram (rest). The Jains from every part of the country visit this place throughout the year. The Jain temple here contains an idol of Lord Mahavira. This place is in the Arrah town where there are another 45 Jain temples.

This village is situated about 9-kms west or rather southwest of Arrah town. There is an ancient Jain temple dedicated to Parshwanath and contains eight images, some of which belong to earlier dates as seen from the inscriptions on each of them. The temple was completed in the year 1819 A.D. while some of the eight images belong to 1386 A.D. as per archaeological records.

Banka District

Mandar Hill
It is about 5-kms north of Baunsi and about 48-kms south of the Bhagalpur town. The hill is about 700-ft high that consists of a huge mass of granite overgrown near the summit with low jungle. This hill is extremely sacred in the Hindu mythology. The Skand Purana associates Mandar or Sumeru with the famous epic or Puranic story of the Amrita-Manthana or the churning of the ocean. The story goes that the Gods and the Demons (Devas and Asuras) with a view to secure amrita (the divine liquor), which is believed to confer immortality, used this Mandara or Sumeru Mountain as the churning stick or rod. The great mythical serpent, Vasuki, was used as the rope. Due to this mythical association, the hill had assumed considerable religious significance and had been a place of pilgrimage up till now. On the summit of the hill two Jain temples are situated. Large number of Jain pilgrims comes here to worship Lord Vasupujyanatha.

Bhagalpur District

The city of Champa, as capital of the ancient kingdom of Anga, is found frequently mentioned in ancient Indian literature. King Karna of the Mahabharata is said to have ruled from here. A western suburb of the Bhagalpur town is at present known as Champanagar, near which there is a large hillock or flat-topped mound, called as Karnagadh, which should have otherwise been attributed to King Karna of the great epic. Champanagar is considered by the Jains as one of their sacred places of pilgrimage. In the Kalpa-Sutra Champa is mentioned as one of the places where the last Tirthankara Mahavira stayed for three rainy seasons in the course of his religious wanderings. According to the prevalent Jain tradition it is believed that Jain Tirthankara Vasupujya was born at Champanagar or Champapuri. There are two Jain temples of considerable size, both entirely built at the expense of the family of Jagat Seth, a supporter. At the nearby hamlet of Kabirpur there is another Jain temple with the footprints or padukas (footwear) of the 24 Jain Tirthankaras with an inscription dated V.S. 1694 or 1637 A.D.

Jamui District


This is a village situated about 8-kms west of Simaria and 7-kms south of Sikandra. It contains a large Jain temple and dharmshala built in 1874 by Rai Dhanpat Singh Bahadur of Murshidabad, for the benefit of Jain pilgrims, who visit some places in the adjacent hills. The nearest are about 5-kms of Lachhaur and are marked Muth Boodhroop and Muth Purusnath. They are two small shrines picturesquely situated in the valley between two parallel ranges of hills. In each of these shrines is a small statue of Mahavira, one of which dates back to Sambat 1505, while the other appears to be older. The temples themselves, however, are of recent date. Some Jains hold Lachhaur to be the birthplace of Mahavir Swamin, the 24th Tirthankara of the Jains.

Kundghat (Jamui)
It is about 6-kms from Lachhaur. There is a temple of Kundeshwari Devi, which is held sacred by the Jains.

Nawada District

Gonava Jee
Gonava village is situated about one kilometer north of Nawada on Patna-Ranchi road. It is a place of pilgrimage for the Jains of both sects. The Digambar Jain temple is just by the side of main road while the Shwetambar Jain temple is behind it. The Digambar Jain temple built in 1925 is quite beautiful. It has a large marble idol of Lord Mahavira. The Shwetambar Jain temple was built some 800 years ago and has an impressive approach road. The temple has got a marble idol of Lord Mahavira flanked by a granite idol of Sudharmaji and idol of Panch Parmesthi made of Asthadhatu. The temple is famous and known as place of Nirvana of Lord Mahavira’s 1st disciple, Gautam Gandharva.

Nalanda District

Close to the ruins of ancient Nalanda University a new beautiful Jaisalmer stone temple stands at Kundalpur, which houses statues of Lord Mahavira, Adinath Swami and Gautam Gandharva. This place is believed to be the birthplace of Gautam Gandharva, the first disciple of Lord Mahavira. There is also an ancient Jain temple here, which is centuries old.

Jalmandir (Pawapuri)
Pawapuri,which is also known as Apapapuri, the sinless town, is a very sacred Jain pilgrimage. According to belief, it was here that Lord Mahavira, the greatest propounder of Jainism, attained Nirvana. Hundred of thousands of his disciples and devotees took away the ashes after his cremation here. The rush was so great that even the soils of the area were taken away and it became a tank. Later on, a beautiful temple of white marble was constructed in the center of the tank to commemorate the Lord's Nirvana. This temple is known as the Jalmandir.

Samosaran (Pawapuri)
A beautiful temple commemorates the place where Lord Mahavira sat to teach his disciples. The temple is a circular work of white marble, rising by low steps into several concentric terraces with a beehive shaped shrine on the top containing the footprints of Lord Mahavira.

Maniyar Math (Rajgir)
This monument occupies a prominent position inside the valley, situated almost in the center of the enclosure of the ancient inner city, on the way to the Son Bhandar Caves. Legend is that Srenika or Bimbisara had 32 wives to each of which he daily gave new ornaments, and threw the old ones into a well, which is still shown. A small temple of the Jain, quite modern, covers this well.

Sone Bhandar (Rajgir)
There are two rock-cut caves, adjacent to each other, excavated on the southern face of the Vaibhara hill, facing the western portion of the valley. Of them the western one is locally called as Son-Bhandar- i.e. - Treasury of gold. Local belief is that the piece of rock within this space is an ancient wedge blocking up the passage to the treasury of gold in the body of the hill. This cave consists of a large chamber, 34'x 17' and is provided with a doorway and a window. The roof is of arched shape with a rise of 4'10”. These are exactly the architectural features, quite characteristically and rarely to be found only at the Barabar caves. What is most interesting is the fact that the cave is highly polished inside. A number of short epigraphs can also be traced on the inner walls, the doorjambs and on the front wall. The adjacent cave is in a ruinous state. It consists of a rock-cut chamber, part of its front having fallen. It had once a built-up verandah in its front as seen in the existing traces of a platform and courtyard built of bricks. Inside, on the southern wall of the cave, are six small figures of Jaina Tirthankaras carved in relief and representing Padmaprabha, Parshvanatha and Mahavira. Both the caves were excavated at one and the same time, i.e., in 3rd or 4th century A.D. as indicated by the inscriptions of Vairadeva.

Veerayatan (Rajgir)
Veerayatan, situated at Rajgir , was established in 1973 on the occasion of 2500th Janm Kalyank Varsh of Lord Mahavira. Veerayatan is a socio-religious institution in Bihar, striving for rendering service to humanity, for improving culture and for imparting education beyond the limitation of time and space. By providing unflinching service in the field of community health, education and employment, it has created a social reformation in the locality. Veerayatan is having a 100 bedded charitable eye hospital, which completes the motto of Seva (Services) & Devotion which are the main objectives of Veerayatan. Patients are treated in the outdoor department of eye and general medicine. Also basic pathological tests are carried out as required and all medicines are given free of cost. Entire administration of this hospital is supervised by Dr. Sadhvi Chetanaji Maharaj with her talented Sevabhavis with 25 members including surgeons, Doctors and Medical Students undergoing training of Opthalmology at NJSM. In the hospital a new laser technology called as Yag laser and Phaco (suture less operation) has been installed. In the hospital the polio patients are also treated. Camps for polio and artificial limbs are held every month in the orthopedic clinic. Tricycles and calipers are distributed t the disabled patients to improve their mobility to access the world more freely and live a quality life. These things are given to them free of charge. Most popular and attractive point in Veerayatan is a beautiful art gallery- Shri Brahmi Kala Mandiram. This gallery explains the life of 24 Tirthankars, Jain religion and culture. The gallery consists of more than 50 beautiful panels exhibiting the life of Mahavira and also conveys the importance of Ahimsa.

Patna District

Kamaldah (Patna City)
In the area called Kamaldah, near the Gulzarbagh railway station is a high mound of brick ruins on which stand two Jain temples. There is mausoleum of Jain saint Sthoolhdbhadra and the temple of Sudarshan Swami. On one of them is an inscription dated V.S.1848 (A.D.1792).

Muzaffarpur District

Kund Gram
According to a Jain tradition Lord Mahavira, the last of the Tirthankaras, was born at Kundagrama and at Vaniyagrama was his residence, both the places being part of or near Vaishali. While the modern village of Bania can be taken as representing the site of ancient Vaniagrama. The location of Kundagrama is identified with the modern village of Vasokund, about 2 kms northeast of the gadh mound.

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