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Jainism is an ancient religion of India, propagates the path of peace and non-violence towards all living beings. The philosophy and practice behind rely mainly on self-effort in progressing the soul on the spiritual ladder to divine consciousness.

Jainism is the most peaceful religions and been carried forward through its Thirthankars. Bihar has many Jain pilgrimage sites (holy Places) describing Mahavir Swami or Vardhaman (24th Thirthankar) and are associated with the land of glorious Bihar.

This religion flourished in Magadha (Bihar) and elsewhere because of the strong rulers at Pataliputra (Known as PATNA, Capital of Bihar). At the time of Alexander the Great's invasion on the borders of the Magadha Empire, it was the Jain rulers who were in firm control at Pataliputra. Alexander's forces were tired and did not advance any further to challenge this empire.

Land of Bihar witnesses birth of the 13th, 19 - 21, and 24th Tirthankaras. The hills of Parasnath (Shikharjee), Jain Pilgrimage site, where 20 out of 24 Tirthankaras obtained nirvana. Pawapuri is a place in Bihar where Lord Mahavira obtained nirvana and are parts of Jain Sites Bihar . Lord Mahavira gave his first sermon on the Vipula Peak at Rajgir and considered as one of Jain Pilgrimage sites. He was born at Vaishali in a noble family. They practised democracy in Vaishali, and some of the remains of the glories of those days, is still preserved in a museum there. It includes potteries, coins, and other pieces of art.

Bihar has many Jain holy places, pilgrimage sites, sacred places of Jain Religion, Jain Temples and Jain Tirth Places which are associated with oldest Jain Religion and Jain Pooja / Worship.

Jain Pilgrimage Sites in Bihar:

Patna District
Kamaldah (Patna City) : In the area called Kamaldah (Gulzarbagh, Patna) is a high mound of brick ruins on which two Jain temples stand. There is mausoleum of Jain saint Sthoolhdbhadra and the temple of Sudarshan Swami.

Muzaffarpur District

Kund Gram
: As per Jain tradition Lord Mahavira, the 24th Tirthankar, was born at Kundagrama and Vaniyagrama was his residence. Both the places was either part of or near to 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.

Nalanda District

Kundalpur : A beautiful Jaisalmer stone temple is situated close to the ruins of ancient Nalanda University at Kundalpur. This 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. An ancient Jain temple could also be here.

Jalmandir (Pawapuri) : Pawapuri,which is also known as Apapapuri, the sinless town, is a very sacred Jain pilgrimage. As per Jain Mythology and belief, Lord Mahavira, the greatest propounder of Jainism, attained Nirvana at Pawapuri. 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 honor the place where Lord Mahavira sat to teach his disciples. The temple is constructed 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 on the way to the Son Bhandar Caves, almost in the center of the ancient inner city enclosure. 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. This covers a modern small Jain temple as 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 (Gold Treasury). As per Local belief, 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. The most interesting fact is 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 and its front part has been fallen. It had once a built-up verandah at the front. Inside the southern wall of the cave there are six small figures of Jaina Tirthankaras carved in relief and representing Padmaprabha, Parshvanatha and Mahavira. Both the caves were excavated either in 3rd or 4th century A.D. as indicated by the inscriptions of Vairadeva.

Veerayatan (Rajgir) : Veerayatan (Rajgir) 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 and was established in 1973 on the occasion of 2500th Janm Kalyank Varsh of Lord Mahavira. 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 the disabled patients to improve their mobility to access the world more freely and live a quality life. These are provided free of charges. Most popular and attractive of all in Veerayatan is a beautiful art gallery called "Shri Brahmi Kala Mandiram". This gallery reflects 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.

Nawada District
Gonava Jee : Gonava village is situated at around one kilometer north of Nawada on Patna-Ranchi road. This is a pilgrimage site 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 was built in the year1925 and is very beautiful. It has a large marble idol of Lord Mahavira. The Shwetambar Jain temple was built around 800 years ago and is connected with a wonderful approach road. The temple has got a marble idol of Lord Mahavira flanked with 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.

Bhojpur District
Bisram : This place is in town called "Arrah" where there are another 45 Jain temples. Lord Mahavira, the 24th Jain Tirthankara, took rest here for some time during his wanderings, hence this place is called Bisram (rest). Jains from every part of the country visit Bisram throughout the year. There is a Jain temple here containing an idol of Lord Mahavira.

Masadh : This village is located at around 9-kms southwest of "Arrah" town. An ancient Jain temple dedicated to Parshwanath is situated here and contains eight images, some of them dates back to ancient time. The temple was completed in the year 1819 A.D. while some of the eight images date back to 1386 A.D. as per archaeological records.

Banka District

Mandar Hill : It is about around 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 believed to be extremely sacred as per 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 ever since. Two Jain temples are situated on the summit of the hill. Large number of Jain pilgrims comes here to worship Lord Vasupujyanatha.

Bhagalpur District
Champanagar : 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 "Karnagadh", which should have otherwise been attributed to King Karna of the great epic. This palace is considered one of Jain pilgrimage sites. In the Kalpa-Sutra this 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
Lachhaur : This is one of jain pilgrimage sites, situated about 8-kms west of Simaria and 7-kms south of Sikandra. It has s a large number of Jain temples 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. These are two small shrines picturesquely situated in the valley between two parallel ranges of hills. In each of these shrines one can find a small statue of Mahavira, one of them dates back to Sambat 1505, and the other appears to be the older one. The temples themselves, however, are of recent date. Some Jains hold Lachhaur to be the birthplace of Mahavir Swami.

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

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