Bihar is as old as civilisation itself. It is an ancient land where the mythological King Janaka of Videha, and Ramayan famed Maharshi Valmiki, Sita resided. Places in Bihar associated with legends of Shri Ram and Sita are listed below:
Tar in Bhojpur
Situated about 10-kms. Northwest of Piro the village derives its name from Tarka, a giantess killed by Lord Rama. There is an old tank in the village that is said to be the wrestling ground of Tarka.
Abirauli in Buxar
Situated about 5-kms. North-west of Buxar, this village has a temple of Devi Ahilya. According to local tradition it dates back to the pre-historic ages. Legend is that, Ahilya was transformed into stone as a result of curse of her husband, Rishi Gateman, and she could be redeemed only when Lord Ram Chandra visited her.
Ram Rekha Ghat in Buxar
According to the legends, Lord Ramchandra and his younger brother Laxman with their teacher Rishi Vishwamitra had crossed the Ganges here on their way to Janakpur where he later took part in the Sita Swayamvara. So, this place has become an important pilgrimage to the Hindus.On the 18th day of solemn month of Paush, corresponding approximately to the 14th January of each year, an undoubtedly biggest fair is held here on the Makar Sankranti day. On this day the sun enters the sidereal of zodiac. This mela is also popularly known as Kbichari mela. Roughly 40 to 50 thousand men, women and children, assemble in the town, camp there at several places and bathe in the Ganges at this famous Ramrekha Ghat. The bathing in the Ganges usually continues for three days.
Ahiari of Ahalya Asthan in Darbhanga
The village is situated about 24 kms. Northwest of Darbhanga and about 4-kms. from Kamtaul railway station. It is known for the temple locally called as Ahalya Asthan which is associated with the well-known legend of the sage Gautama and his wife Ahalya as told in the epics and the Puranas. Inside the shrine is a flat stone said to contain
the footprints of Sita, wife of Rama, as the main object of worship. A fair is held here every year in the month of Chaitra on Ramnavami day that lasts for several days.
Pretshila Hill in Gaya
Pretshila hill, which is 873-ft high, is situated about 8 kms northwest of Gaya. The meaning of the name is the hill of ghosts and it is sacred to Yama, the Hindu god of hell, and forms one of the sacred places of pilgrimage. On the top of the hill is a small temple appropriately dedicated to Yama (The God of death). It is a common faith that by the due observance of the shraddha or last rites by offering balls of flour and rice called pandas, pilgrims will ensure the deliverance of the souls of their ancestors from the realm of Yama and secure their admittance to the paradise of Vishnu.
A long flight of stone steps built by a pious resident of Kolkata in 1774, leads to the shrine, which contains a rude piece of rock marked with a golden line, before which the pilgrims place the pandas for the repose of the spirits of their ancestors. At the foot of the hill are three tanks named Sati, Nigra and Sukha, and there is a fourth tank called Ramkund on the summit near the temple of Yama, in which it is said that Ram himself bathed. Whoever bathes in this tank is said to have rubbed out his sins, and whoever recites the proper mantras or spells with the usual offerings of sraddha and pandas is freed from pain.
Gidheshwar in Jamui
According to local legends, the epic fight between the vulture Jatayu and the demon Ravana was taken place here on the hill that is situated about 13 kms south of jamui, while the latter was abducting Sita. There is a temple of Lord Shiva, which draws big crowds on the occasion of Shivaratri and Maghi Purnima
Kako in Jehanabad
The village is the headqqarters of the block of the same name and is situated on the Jehanabad-Biharsharif road, about 10-kms. East of Jehanabad railway station. According to a local legend, Ram Chandra’s stepmother, Rani Kaikeyi of Ayodhya lived here for sometime and the village took its name after her. The village has also a tomb of Hazrat Bibi Kamaal Sahiba, a great Muslim lady saint. It is said that this lady was the aunt of Hazarat Makhdum Saheb of Biharsharif and possessed divine powers. There is also a temple in the northeast corner of the village within which a very old image of the Sun God is installed.
Singheshwar Asthan in Madhepura
The village, situated about 7-kms. North of Madhepura, is the headquarters of the block of the same name. The village is famous for an ancient Shiva temple. According to the legend, Sringa Rishi established the Shiva lingam at the Singheshwar Asthan temple. It was Sringa Rishi who had performed the Putrayeshti Yagna for King Dasharath
and later was blessed with four sons. The impact of this legend is seen in a regular visit of a large number of barren women for offering puja here. Hari Charan Choudhury, a merchant, constructed the present temple over the ancient lingam about 200 years ago. A month-long fair is held on the occasion of “Shivaratri” which is one of the largest in the state.
Phullahar in Madhubani
The village is situated about 6 kms. West of the block headquarters at Umgaon under Harlakhi P.s. The village contains the temple of goddess Girija. It is said that Sita, the daughter of King Janaka, used to come here every day to worship the goddess. Lord Rama saw her for the first time at this place.
Sita-Kund in Munger
A village about 6-kms. east of the Munger town contains a hot spring known as the Sita-Kund spring, which is so called after the well-known episode of the Ramayana. Rama, after rescuing his wife Sita from the demon king Ravana, suspected that she could not have maintained her honor intact, and Sita, to prove her chastity, agreed to enter a blazing fire. She came out of the fiery ordeal unscathed, and imparted to the pool in which she bathed, the heat she had absorbed from the fire. The hot spring is now enclosed in a masonry reservoir and is visited by large numbers of pilgrims, especially at the full moon of Magh. The water is beautifully clear and limpid, and sends up numerous bubbles from its rocky bed. The temperature of his spring varies in a remarkable manner and goes to the highest of 1380 F and even above.
Sitamarhi in Nawada
This is a small village about 32 – kms from Nawada and is a place of great religious and mythological importance. There is an elliptical cave carved inside a huge hemispherical block of granite rock. The legend has it that it was in this cave that Sita had to take refuge after having been exiled by Rama. Built by Vishwakarma, the divine builder at the behest of saint poet Valmiki, as the legend goes it was the heaven for Sita and provided her protection in the dense forest, which was infested with wild beasts. One and a half kilometers northeast of Sitamarhi there is a village called Barat, where the saint poet Valmiki is said to have lived when Sita was exiled. It was on the wide high level ground near this cave that Sita’s sons Lava and Kusha are said to have fought against Rama’s army.
Rivilganj/Godna in Saran
The town runs from east to west and is closely built among the bank of the Gogra river which in the rains is as much as a mile in breadth. The older name of the place is Godna. It is regarded locally as the traditional residence or ashram of Gautama, the founder of the school of Nyaya philosophy. Here it is said, he lived with his wife Ahalya in the days of Rama Chandra who visited him on his way to Janpur. The legend is that Indra became enamored of Ahalya and visited her in the guise of her husband. Gautama saw him as he left her room and cursed him with perpetual loss of virility. Ahalya was changed into a stone till Rama should come and deliver her. Rama did it on his way to Janakpur with Lakshman and Vishwamitra. A shrine has been built on the spot where Gautamas hut is believed to have stood.
Janaki Temple in Sitamarhi
About 1.5 kms off the Sitamarhi railway station and the bus stand, this temple is traditionally being considered to be the birthplace of Sita or Janaki, the daughter of King Janak. This temple, however, seems to be built about 100 years ago.
Janaki Temple, Punaura in Sitamarhi
This temple is about 5 kms. southwest of Sitamarhi. It also stakes the same claim to be the birthplace of Sita and is considered to be a sacred place where people go for a pilgrimage.
Haleshwar Asthan in Sitamarhi
This is an ancient temple of Lord Shiva about 3-kms northwest of Sitamarhi. According to myths the King of Videha on the occasion of Putrayeshi Yajna, founded this temple.
Panth Pakar in Sitamarhi
An age-old banyan tree still stands here about 8 kms northeast of Sitamarhi. It is said that when Sita left Janakpur in a palanquin for Ayodhya after her marriage to Shri Ram, when was given rest for a while under this very banyan tree.
The place is situated in Vaishali block where a fair is held every year on Ramnavami day. The local tradition has it that Lord Ramchandra had a stopover here for a bath on his way to Janakpur. There are some marks on stone, which are said to be his footprints.
Balmikinagar in West Champaran
This is a village on the Indo-Nepal border 42 kms northwest of Bagaha to which it is connected by a metalled road. A barrage has been constructed here on the Gandak River for the purpose of irrigation, which is known as Tirhut Canal. Besides an old Shiva temple constructed by the Bettiah Raj, there are also ancient temples of Nara Devi and Gauri Shankar at Balmikinagar.
Chankigarh in West Champaran
Also known as Janakigarh, this village is situated about 9 – kms east of Ramnagar railway station. There is a large mound in the eastern part of the village. It is a mass of solid brickwork and is 90’ high. It was probably originally a fort and the remains of the fortification can still be seen, besides some insignificant shrines. The local tradition
asserts that it was a fort of King Janaka.
Sitakund in East Champaran
This is a village in the headquarters subdivision situated near the Pipra railway station, 16 kms. at the southeast of Motihari and about half kilometers to the north of Madhuban on the Sikrahna river. The village contains the remains of an ancient fort the shape of which is an irregular square, 450 ft. long on each side, with large round bastions at the corners and in the middle of each face. Inside the fort is a holy tank, to which the name Sitakund peculiarly applies as Sita, the wife of Rama, bathed there. It is a deep circular pond surrounded by brick walls with four ghats leading down to it.
A great mela is held there on the Ramnavami when several thousands of pious Hindus assemble to do honour to Rama and Sita. There are several temples and shrines round it; the principal temple, which stands near the western side of the tank, enshrines images of Sun, Hanuman and Vishnu, an image of Ravana, with 20 arms and 10 heads, five of which only are shown on the carving; another of Mahishamardini or Durga in the act of killing a buffalo demon and two images of Ganesh, one seated with four arms and one dancing with eight arms, etc.
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