मंदार पर्वत, बाँका (Mandar Hills) – Banka

Mandar Parvat (Mandar hill) is a small mountain situated in Banka district under Bhagalpur division of state of Bihar. It is about 700 ft high and approximately 45 km south of Bhagalpur city. The mountain is famous as Mandar Hill. Mandar Hill is a great place of pilgrimage although it is not so well known now. On top of the hill there are two temple side by side belonging to Hinduism and Jainism followers.

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).

HISTORY

At that time (606647 A. D.) the area was under the rule of the Khetauri kings of Mal origin and they were very antagonistic to the Buddhist monks. But Buddhism had another spurt in Anga during the Pala kings.Under Dharma- pala (c. 770810 A.D.), the son of Gopala, the frontier of the Anga empire touched the west of the Sone River. Dharmapala was a great Buddhist and a patron of education and culture.

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, at the foot of the said hill. Papa Harini was also known as Manohar Kund.

TOURIST PLACES

Baunsi is a growing township and has a more salubrious climate than Bhagalpur and aspires to be a health resort. Baunsi is about five miles from Mandar Hill towards Bhagalpur.

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.

According to historical mythological texts, there is a confluence of 88 kunds in the Mandar mountain, many of which are still visible today, the largest of these is the Papharni Kund. People from far and wide come here to take bath on the second day of Makar Sankranti and Asar Shukla. This pool is considered to be the symbol of Kshirsagar. In the middle of this, the Lakshmi Narayan temple of Seshasayya Vishnu has also been built, which makes it quite attractive. Apart from this, Bhankh Kund is also an important pool, about which it is believed that in the middle of it is placed Panchjanya ash of Vishnu, from this vine Shiva drank the poison that came out during the churning of the ocean, due to which the thorn turned blue. It is done. 

Apart from this, a Sitakund is also the center of attraction here. About which such belief is prevalent that during the exile period, Mother Sita had observed Chhath fast here in the worship of the Sun. In the middle of the same mountain there is an idol of Lord Vishnu in the form of Narasimha in a cave which is known as Narsi Gufa.

Meditating ground of Basupuj, 1500ft high Mandar Hill, situated about 30 miles south of the town of Bhagalpur is another Jain pilgrim centre. A Digambar Jain temple has been built on Mandar Hill top. Footprints of Basupuj have been retained at the temple. Chand Saudagar of Manasa Mangal used to live at Nathnagar. Though the wedding room made of iron is under the earth, yet Manasa Temple where Chand Saudagar had worshipped the Devi is still visible.

There are 20 ft Buddha, 5 ft Vishnu, Shakamvari Devi and many other images of Jain Tirthankars.

The newly constructed ropeway has been inaugurated on the Mandar mountain. Now through this ropeway, people will be able to go to the mountain and take full advantage of the Mandar mountain. Now tourists will be able to easily reach the summit of Mandar mountain and offer prayers in this temple of historical and religious importance.

HOW TO GET THERE

Train
There is a branch railway line of the Eastern Railway connecting Bhagalpur with Mandar Hill and Mandar Hill station is the terminus of the branch line. Mandar Hill station is about three miles from Mandar Hill.

Road
There is also a good all- weather road connecting Bhagalpur to Dumka, the headquarters of Santal Parganas district, and Mandar Hill is about a mile from the road at a certain point.

A large number of passenger buses connect Bhagalpur with Dumka either way and Mandar Hill is easily approachable by the buses as well. Ekkas (localy called Tam Tam)–light vehicles drawn by single horses-are available at Banka and Baunsi as well.

Air
The nearest operational Civil Airport are in Deoghar and Patna (VAPT)

Mandar Facts & Information

Latitude 24.8020627 deg. N
Longitude 
87.0236941 deg. E

STD Code
06535

Temperature (deg C)
Summer – Max 36.9, Min 23
Winter – Max 27.7, Min 7.4

Best Season
October to February

Population

Division

Sub-division

Major Rivers

Major Crops
Wheat, Rice, Maize, Gram,Potato, Sugarcane,
Chilli

Major Industries
Khandsari & Gur,Handloom, Papad, Soap, Pickles.

Languages
Angika, Hindi, English

Information Centre
Tourist Information Centre Government of Bihar