Once Shikhar Ji Yatra is completed, and you have sufficient time, then there are numerous Jain sites/temples within Jharkhad and Bihar.
Based on the various facts or disputes or texts, both Jain sects worship different places/tirth kshetra for different reasons and even they have different versions of same stories associated with these locations. So accordingly, the visiting places differs for Shwetamber and Digamber.
Following places are primarily popular within Swetambar sect of Jainism.
- Riju Balika
- Nathnagar/ Champapur/ Champapuri/ Champanagar
- Rajgiri – The place has many hills. Few of them are dedicated to Swetamber Circuit. However Swetamber Facilities are best in the Area.
Following places are primarily popular within Digambar sect of Jainism.
- Nathnagar/ Champapur/ Champapuri/ Champanagar
- Guniya Ji
- Rajgiri – The place has many hills. Few of them are dedicated to Digambar Circuit. However Swetamber Facilities are best in the Area, Digambars may not get appropriate accomodation stay over here.
Other Points of Interest. Not specific to Jains and extremely important points.
- Nalanda University – Nalanda University is primarily known the first university during Maurya Dynasty.
- Patna Sharif
Riju Balika (Swetamber Temple)
This is first pit-stop on the way to your journey to various tirths. The place is just 20 Kms from Shikhar Ji. The temple is constructed on the bank of Riju River. Currently the temple has 2 parts and 1 huge temple in under construction. Temple’s main sanctum is usual small temple. Where main deity is Mahavir Swami. Newly constructed temple is beautiful and huge. It depicts the TAP kalyanak of Mahavir Swami. Wall murals showcase the various stages of Mahavir Prabhu’s life.
New temple is under construction which would much bigger than the current one.
Mandar Giri (Digambar Site)
Mandar Giri is the place where Vasupujy Swami’s three Kalyanak were performed i.e. Gyan, Tap and Moksha. As per Agam, all these Kalyanak were attained at Champapuri only, but distance between Champapuri and Mandar giri is not huge.
There are approximately 600-700 steps to reach to Mandar Giri Jain temple. Once you reach to the top there is the Jain temple which has CHARAN Paduka and cave which is show cased as Moksha place. It is approximately 2.5 hour up and town trip.
There is only one Digambar Jain temple which is in extremely dilapidated state. Mandir is extremely old and it is not even renovated for years. It seems that Digambars have forgotten the temple as Swetambers are not really keen on this point.
Mandar Giri is also famous for Vaishnav temples in the nearby areas. It has a Vishnu temple within the huge pond. On the hills, there is a Sita Ram temple too. It is said that it is the same Mandar giri which was used in Samundra Manthan.
If you do not have the power to climb hill, it would be best to not to visit the place.
Nathnagar/ Champapur/ Champapuri/ Champanagar (Digambar and Swetamber Site)
It is a small town in Bhagalpur district which is approximately 10 Kms away from the district headquarter. There are two Digambar and one Swetamber mandir.
Champapuri is known as the birth place of Vasupujy Swami.
The temples are maintained well and are equipped with huge Dharamsalas. So during non-festive time, you will get the accommodation quite easily.
Lachchur (Swetamber Site)
Swetambar community consider Lachchur as the birth place of Mahavir Swami. (There are lot many contradictory theories around the birth place.) There are three temples and one Dharamsala. 2 temples are under construction and those are extremely huge. In Feb 2020, a temple on hills is constructed and Jain community is building a huge temple. It is worth a visit to Lachchur if you got enough time.
Guniya Ji/Nawada (Digambar and Swetamber Site)
We could not visit the place due to lack of time, so not sure much about the place.
Pavapuri (Digambar and Swetamber)
Pavapuri is the place where Mahavir Swami attained Salvation. Main temple is Jal mandir which is Swetamber Jain temple. Both Swetamber and Digambar consider Jal Mandir as most sacred place.
The temple is built in the middle of pond. When you the pathway of the temple you can spot many swans. The walk is pleasurable. Temple has aesthetic architecture. There are Charan Paduka of Mahavir Swami.
Post visiting the temple, there are one Swetamber temple and One Digamber temple to visit.
Digambar consider Kundalpur are the birth place for Mahavir Swami. It is Digambar only site. There are 2 temples, one is old temple. Main sanctum and garbh garh for Mahavir Swami.
New temple is built with the guidance of Mata Ji. It has many temples within one area. It has good and newly constructed Dharamsala. One mahal type structure has been created in the mandir vicinity.
Rajgir (Digambar, Swetamber, Vaisanav, Baudhist and Tourist Spot)
Rajgir is the place which holds importance to many religions. Be it Jains, Budhdhist, and Hindus. Gautam Buddh and Mahavir Swami both taught their pupils at this location only.
Rajgir has many places of attraction for a usual traveler as well. Bimbusar Jail, Hot Spring, Shanti Stupa, Rope way, viraytan museum, and many other places to road around.
In addition to these places, there are 5 Peaks to visit in Rajgir for Jains. It is always preferable to have minimum 2 days at Rajgir.
As if you planning to visit all 5 peaks, then there are almost 5000-6000 stairs to cover in a single day which becomes quite difficult and energy draining. So, it is always advisable to visit 3 peaks at one go and remaining 2 next day.
There are 5 peaks that are dedicated to Jains which are Vaibhara, Ratna, Udaya, Chhatha, and Vipula. Ropeway is configured to take to you to Shanti Stupa.
Vaibharagiri (Pahad No 5) has 5 Swetamber temples and 1 Digambar temple. Along with that it has one cave where Gautam Buddha did Tap. You will need to climb Approximately 600 stairs to reach to the top.
Vaibharagiri (Pahad No 1) has 5 Digamber temples and 1 Swetamber temples. To reach the top you need to climb 700 stairs.
Pahad No 2 is another 600 steps from Pahad No 1 Peak, and later you would need to climb down around 1,300 stairs.
Pahad no 4 and 5 are another 600-700 stairs from Talhati. Each of the peak has 2-3 digambar temple and a few Swetamber temples.
To reach to the Pahad Talhati you would need to hire Tange Wala i.e. Timtim. He charges around 400/- per person to drop.
Rajgir (Home of Kings) is a place where you can spend almost 2 days.
Roads in Jharkhand and Bihar are quite good but those are only 2 lanes. The travel time is 20-30% higher than other states. To travel 150 Kms you would need around 4 to 4.5 hours. Before starting or planning your destinations, you must consider the above facts.
Other than above places if you have time, you can visit Gaya primarily famous for Monasteries, Deogarh Primarily famous Shiv Ji’s place, Nalanda Ruins primarily the ruins found in excavation of the sight, & Patna Sharif.
Hope you would enjoy your visit and share your experience with us soon.
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