District – Banka
Location – State Highway 23, Village Baunsi
Circuit – Jain and Hindu
This awesome isolated, singular boulder hill appears as a gigantic monolith rising at a height of 700’ is aptly connected with a popular mythical tale of immortality in Hindu Puranas.
Close to the Vidyapeeth railway station, about 50 km. from the main city of Bhagalpur, Mandar hill is a sacred destination to Jains and Hindus both. At the base of the hill a large tank having a Vishnu temple at the centre with a lotus structure is built in the recent past. In the memory of the 12th Jain Tirthankara Vasupujya who attained nirvana here, a temple is built on top of this hill. On the way to the top an astounding lake settled at the niche of the black rock is absolutely startling.
The mountain has many references in hindu mythology known as mandarachal parvat. As per references found from Puranas and Mahabharata this hill was used for churning the ocean to extract the nectar from its bosom (Samudra Manthan).
There is, adjacent to this hill, a pond called “Paapharni”. This holy pond has its own historical significance. It is a place where you can revive yourself after taking a bath in the pond that refreshes mentally and physically. In the middle of the pond is a temple of lord Vishnu and goddess Laxmi.
Many rare sculptures of Lord Shiva, Kamdhenu and Varaah, believed to be of 11-12th century AD, can be found to be scattered around Mandar Hill. These rare artifacts need to be conserved by Archaeological Survey of India.
The History of Mandar Hill
Mandar hill is extremely sacred in the Hindu Mythology. The Skanda Purana records the history of the famous Amrit Manthan ( the churning of the ocean ). Due to this mythical association, the hill has assumed considerable religious significance and had been a place of pilgrimage up till now.
The Mandar Mahatmya, a portion of the Skanda Purana, describes Mandar Hill. It is said that Raja Chhatra Sen of the Chol tribe, who lived before the time of the Muhammadans, erected the oldest temples at the summit. Some of the carvings on the rocks are taken by some to be shell writings. Mandar Hill is also very important as it has the unique image of Vishnu, probably the only sculpture in Bihar where Vishnu, in his man-lion incarnation, has not been shown as tearing Hiranyakashipu. The portrait is 34 inches high and made of black stone. It belongs to the Gupta period.
An inscription of Gupta King Adityasena has been discovered on the ‘Mandar Hill. This inscription relates that both he and his queen Sri Konda Devi had installed an image of Narahari (Man-lion), an incarnation of Vishnu, on the hill, and that the queen performed an act of piety by excavating a tank, known as Papa Harini http://unexploredbihar.blogspot.com/ , at the foot of the said hill. Papa Harini was also known as Manohar Kund.
In the memory of the 12th Jain Tirthankara Vasupujya who attained nirvana here, a Jain temple is also built on top of this hill.
Mandar Parvat (Hill) A place to visit
Mandar Parvat (Hill) is roughly 700 feet high. It is situated about 30 miles south of the Bhagalpur town in Bihar.Amrit Manthana or Samudra manthan which suggests that the hill was used by the gods to churn the ocean to procure amrit. The serpent, Basukinaga offered to serve as the rope and has left behind an impression of the coil on the granite hill.The hill is equally revered by the Jains who believe that their
Height of Mandar hill is approx 700-800 feet & easy to trek. As per Skanda Purana, Mandar Hill used for Samundra Manthan (the churning of the ocean). Mandar hill was used by the Gods to churn the ocean to procure Amrit. The serpent, Basuki serve as the rope and has left behind an impression of the coil on the granite hill. The hill is equally revered by the Jains who believe that their 12th Tirthankara Vasupujya attained nirvana here on the summit of the hill. In the middle of the pond is a temple of lord Vishnu and goddess Laxmi. Many rare sculptures of Lord Shiva, Kamdhenu and Varaah, believed to be of 11-12th century AD, can be found to be scattered around Mandar Hill. Makar Sankranti is big festival which is celebrated here and on the occasion of Makar Sankranti huge numbers of local people come the take holy bath in papharni pond which is situated on the foot hill of Mandar hill, There is beautiful temple of Lord Vishnu in the center of this pond.