Eighty km east of Patna and 38 km of Rajgir. It is also known as “Pawapuri”. A great pilgrimage centre of Jains where Mahavira Teerthankar, the greatest propounder of Jainism delivered his last sermon , took Mahaparinirvana and was cremated here. This sinless town is a very sacred Jain pilgrimage center and is also famous for the two beautiful Temples viz Jalmandir and Samosharan.
It was in Pawapuri that Mahavir attained moksha. Approximately 25 kms from Rajgir, Pawapuri also witnesses a continuous flow of pilgrims. While devotees have paid their tributes by building many temples here including the famous Jal Mandir and Samosharan Mandir, no one had built a vidya mandir; a school for learning.
“In Pawapuri, I was surprised to see many children begging for alms. I asked them whether they went to school to which they replied in the negative. There were a few elders seated nearby who interjected sternly saying, ‘What are you asking them, Mataji? People like you visit this place and give these children clothes, money, and food. Why would they want to go to school when they get all basic necessities on a plate? They have gotten into the habit of begging. People like you have made this place a beggars’ paradise’.”
This encounter truly disturbed Acharya Shriji. Given the influx of pilgrims to the region, locals had habitually begun to live off the welfare and charity of visitors. This practice plagued Pawapuri with illiteracy and poverty. The lack of education had set a vicious circle of poverty into motion. To remedy this and give the younger generation a bright future, Veerayatan established the Tirthankar Mahaveer Vidya Mandir (TMVM)*, a modern primary and secondary education.
Started in May 2005, TMVM offers world-class education to 1,394 students with a yearly intake of 300 students. Sprawled across 5 acres, this school has successfully pulled hundreds of children off the streets irrespective of caste, creed, religion, and socio-economic status.
Veerayatan also foresaw the need for higher education here and established Veerayatan B Ed College** in 2007. 500 students have already graduated and 100 students are admitted every year. With the growing numbers, the college was shifted to a larger campus in 2014. The new infrastructure comprises fully equipped classrooms, a library, laboratory, Principal’s chamber, teachers’/staff room, canteen and a few residential facilities.
The college conforms to the National Council for Teachers’ Education with English as the primary medium of instruction. The college also provides basic personality development courses in order to lend these future teachers a balanced perspective of age-old Guru-Shishya Parampara and modern teaching techniques.
How to Reach Jal Mandir:
Parasnath or Parswanath the highest hill in Bihar (height of 4,480 ft) is situated on the eastern margin of Hazaribagh Plateau near Giridih. The hill is an abode of both Swetamber and Pitamber Jains. There are congregation of beautiful Jain templeslocated on the mountain top. 23 out of 24 Tirthankaras are believed to have attained salvation in the Sammetasikhara of the Parasnath hills. Parasvanatha, the 23rd Thirthankara was very popular among the tribal population of Chotanagpur. He is identified by the snake king Dharanendra who’s many hoods protect the meditating Thirthankar.
How to reach Parswanath:
Jain Temple Rajgir
On hill crests around Rajgir, one can see the Jain Temples. They are difficult to approach for the untrained, but make exciting trekking adventure. Known as “Naulakha Mandir” or “Jain Swetambar Mandir”. This temple is spread over an area of 8700 feet without the use of metal while the urn’s main peak has been built with white marble.
Rajgir is also home to the Brahmi Kala Mandiram (BKM), an art gallery conceptualized and set up by Acharya Shriji. She has designed each artifact on display. This Temple of Art’s main highlights are intricately detailed panels in many colors, reflections, and raw material. It is fascinating to see mundane everyday material such as drying plants, rocks, and natural gum interwoven with fabric, broken jewelry and discarded pottery to create delicate miniatures that look perfectly machine-made.
Art at BKM reflects history, religion, and culture. The many panels depict the lives of Tirthankars and enlightened souls while beautifully conveying their teachings in a simple and attractive manner. Established in 1982, BKM has had 50 lakh visitors, and counting. On average, the gallery is flooded with hundreds of visitors from across the globe who come to see this art house. New artifacts are frequently added to perpetually delight repeat visitors.
Further, Rajgir’s Atithi Gruh (guest house) is quite a serene site. It is located in the foothills of mount Vaibhargiri and provides comfortable boarding and lodging facilities for a growing number of yaatris (pilgrims) in Bihar. This 50-acre property comprises well-manicured landscapes, fountains, a museum and spiritual center (prayer hall) and Seva Mandir along with the office complex and Atithi Nivas, which can accommodate up to 300 guests at a time.
How to reach Rajgir: Click the Map below