प्रह्लाद स्तम्भ / नृसिंह अवतार मंदिर, सिकलीगढ़, पूर्णिया (Prahlad Stambh / Narsingh Awtar Mandir) – Sikligarah, Purnea

Prahalad Stambh, Narsingh Awtar Mandir – Sikligarah, Dharhara, Purnea

Local people of this area believed that there was a fort of Hiranyakashyap in Sikligarh. Lord Narasimha (the 4th Incarnation of Lord Vishnu) had appeared from the pillar to protect the devotee Prahlada. This place coveys a big story. 

Dharhara, a village extreme west of the district Purnea approx. 30 km, is situated about 12 miles to the south of Raniganj and a few miles north of Dhamdaha It is believed that it was here that on the instructions of the demon king Hiranyakashyap, the father of the devotee Prahlad, his sister Holika tried to burn Prahlad, a devotee of Vishnu, to death. But the demonic Holika was burnt to ashes in the fire.

Narsingh Awtar Mandir – Sikligarah, Dharhara, Purnea

There are still many such evidences of Dharahara on this earth which confirm this after that Narasimha Avatar took place here and Holi started from this place. Several days before Holi, the process of people reaching here starts and Holika Dahan is also done here with full pomp. A grand fireworks display is also held on this occasion. and the spectacular fireworks display lasts for about half an hour.

Narsingh Avatar Sthal is present in Sikligarh, Dharhara of Banmankhi subdivision on the banks of NH 107, at a distance of about 32 km from the district headquarters. Here there is a pillar inclined at a certain angle. Most of the pillar is buried in the ground and its length is about 1411 inches. According to the information received, coins of archaeological importance were found in the excavation done near the Prahlad pillar. Since then, the local administration has banned the excavation around it.

Narsingh Awtar Mandir – Sikligarah, Dharhara, Purnea

There is an underground pillar known as “Prahlāda khamba”. It is said to be the pillar from which Narasiṁha, the half-man half-lion avatara, incarnated to kill Hiranyakashap and protected the devotee Prahlad. Adjacent to the pillar is a large temple devoted to Lord Narasiṁha.

The pillar is also mentioned in the British newspaper: Even though the information about the Narasimha Avatar site of Dharhara was not with the Archaeological Survey of India, it has also been mentioned in Quick Pages The Friendship in Encyclopedia, published from Britain. In the Gazetteer published in the year 1911, O Melli has also called it Manikhambh while discussing it. But this pillar could not come out of the ground and was bent at a certain angle.

Narsingh Awtar Mandir – Sikligarah, Dharhara, Purnea

Recently, excavation has also been started by the Archaeological Department of India, in which thousands of years old cowries and other important things have been found.

The material, the circumference and the surface polish of this pillar are so identical with those of the Ashokan pillars. In view of many scholars, this pillar is Ashokan too. The surviving portion could be the top of the pillar, the hole at the top suggesting a ‘capital’ as in most other Mauryan pillars. Interestingly, Upendra Thakur in his book History of Mithila refers to ‘the Little known Mauryan pillar at Sikligarh’. The location being on a major eastern route from Pataliputra also suggests its having been erected by Ashoka himself.

Narsingh Awtar Mandir – Sikligarah, Dharhara, Purnea

A large brick mound is seen just in front of the modern temple, and representing the remains of a temple. The temple mound is in existence along with an enclosure in which is placed an image of Saint Mauni baba, who seems to have stayed at the place. The location of the present Narsimha temple is ascribed to the same Mauni baba. A look at the site suggested as its having been the foundation of a brick structure which may have been even a Buddhist Stupa.

Narsingh Awtar Mandir – Sikligarah, Dharhara, Purnea

From the year 2017, Holika Mahotsav has been started by the Government of Bihar at Narsingh Avatar Sthali located in Sikligarh Dharhara. This festival is held on the eve of Holi.