अजगैबीनाथ मंदिर, सुलतानगंज (Ajgaivinath Temple) – Sultanganj

The origin of Ajgaivinath temple at Jahangira or Sultanganj is not exactly known. Some claim it to be a Swayambhu, on the rock, discovered and then given an abode. That this is a very ancient place of worship there can be no doubt. The temple is solidly built on the rock and has got a series of marvelous rock sculpture and some inscriptions. Some of the specimens of the rock panel sculpture at this temple can hold their own against any of the best known specimens anywhere in India.

Ajgaibinath Temple is a famous Lord Shiva temple situated in the streams of river Ganges. This is a holy place where Jahnu Sage lived and the river Ganges flows northward (Uttarvaahini Ganges) and it is considered to be very auspicious due to this reason.

Inscription probably in Pali script and the same language is also seen frequently on the stone slabs.

Baba Ajgaivinath Dham Mandir, Sultanganj

It is also traditionally associated with the sage Jahnu, whose ashram was a centre of learning and culture. Jahnu Muni’s ashram was located on the rock cutting out of the bed of the Ganga River. Now the site has the Shiva temple of Ajgaivinath. The story is that the river Ganga on her way to the ocean interrupted the Muni in his meditation by the rush of her currents. The sage swallowed the river in a grsp Raja Bhagiratha intervened and the Muni again let her out by making a cut in his thigh. That is why the river Ganga is also called Jahnavi.

Ajgaivinath Shiva Temple has been built on a rock which is protruding out from the holy river Ganga. The temple can be reached by hiring boat, which is available from Murli Hills of Sultanganj .The temple is popular for the sanctity of the idol of Lord Shiva. The temple of Ajgaivinath is also known as Gaibinath Mahadev. It is constructed on the rock. It has a series of marvellous rock sculpture and some inscriptions. Some of the prototypes of the rock panel sculptures at this temple are one of the best known specimens across the India. The sculpture could be taken to be of the later Pala period. The site is very attractive. During the rainy season, the swashing waters of river Ganga wash the base of the temple. Though, the exact date of the temple formation is not decoded but per relics and history- the Ajgaivinath Temple was built during the rule of the Pala dynasty. References of Gupta, Maurya and the Pala era are found across the area through the excavated coins, stupas, seals, terracotta artwork, and Hindu as well as Buddha idols.

The pilgrimage to Ajgaivinath temple is considered to be holy due to the presence of river Ganga. A part of the river here is found intruded into the temple rock. The rock sculptures, inscriptions and Hindu, Buddhist and Gupt images are spectacular. The sculptures date back to the Pala period.

According to the legend, Lord Shiva was given his Ajgav bow here, and hence the place is known as Ajgaivinath. Originally, this place was known as Jahangira which was derived from the name of Jahnu Muni. Jahangira is now a small village within the Sultanganj town.

According to an ancient belief, Kala Pahar wanted to destroy the Ajgaivinath temple in his quest against the Hindu temples but didn’t succeed. He, however, destroyed the Parvati temple on a nearby hill and built a mosque there.

Festivals Celebrated:

Mahashivratri, Ram Navmi, Vasant Panchmi, Bhadra Purnima and Ganga Dussehra are the major festivals celebrated at Ajgaivinath temple.

The month-long fair known as Shravani Mela has a great importance and is celebrated on grand scale in the temple. Shravani mela starts in the month of Sawan or shravan. Lakhs of devotees flock to Sultanganj to collect holy water of Ganga River. After collecting water in their kanwars, they lift the kanwars on their shoulders and walk 109 km up to Baba Baidyanath temple at Babadham .

How to reach

By Road: Sultanganj is located at 28 km west of Bhagalpur. Bus service is available from Sultanganj bus stand. Temple can also be reach by hiring cycle rikshaw.

By Train: The nearest railway station is Sultanganj.

By Air: Deoghar airport is the nearby airport situated at 125 km distance. The other airports are Ranchi Airport and the Lok Nayaka Jaya Prakash Narayana Airport in Patna.

Best Season To Visit : July to September and February to May
Temple Timings : 9 AM to 6 PM 

People ideally spend 1 to 2 hours at the temple offering prayers to the revered deities and seeking their blessings. It is suggested to visit the temple during the months of October to March as the pleasant weather makes the visit feasible.