Location: Pawapuri or Pavapuri is also called Apapuri is situated 8 kms from Bihar Sarif and 31 km Rajgir.By road it is 87 km from Patna. It is located on Bahktiapur – Rajgir railway line. Buses and taxies also run from Rajgir to Pawapri. Pawapuri also known as Apapuri is a scared Jain pilgrimage. Lord Mahavira, the final Tirthankara of Jainism, breathed his last at this place, and was cremated here around 500 B.C.
History of Pavapuri
Pavapuri known as Pava and Apapapuri was a city in ancient times forming a part of Magadh territory. Nearly 2500 years ago during the reign of Ajathashatru, Hastipal was the king of this city of Magadh Desh. At that time Bhagwan Mahavir walking from Champapuri had arrived here and was spending his “Chaturmas” at the Rajjugashala of king Hastipal.
In the morning of Karthik Krishna 14,the final sermon of Lord Mahavir commenced in the presence of nine kings of Malla dynasty, nine kings of Lichchhavi dynasty and many other devotees. After speaking for 16 “prahars “ explaining “Uttaradhyayan Sutra” Bhagwan finally attained Moksha during Swati Constellation in the last moments of the last “Prahar” of the Amavasya night. God led by Indra celebrated this occasion of beneficence as “Nirvan kalnayak”.
According to Digamber Jains’ tradition, Sri Bhagwan attained Moksha in the last moments of the last “prahar” on Karthik Krishna 14 and therefore they celebrate this 14th day as the day of Moksha and in obeisance offer Laddos in the Lake-temple. The Swetamber followers celebrate the 15th day by holding a festival and on that night in the last moments of the last “prahar” offer Laddus.
No of temples in Pavapuri
There are five main temples in Pawapuri – the Jal Mandir, the Gaon Mandir, the Samosaran, the New Samosaran and another temple built by Bibi Mehetab Kumari. Apart from these temples there is a Digambar Jain Mandir near Jal mandir. The Gaon mandir or the village temple marks the spot where Lord Mahavira breathed his last. It is said that this temple was built by King Nandivardhan, elder brother of Lord Mahavira. Jal mandir is a temple in the middle of a lake blooming with lotuses. The main deity of the beautiful temple is a very old “Charan Paduka” of Lord Mahavira. It marks the spot where the mortal remains of Lord Mahavira was cremated. It is believed that this temple was built by King Nandivardhan. Jal Mandir is built in the shape of “Vimana” and there is a stone bridge about 600 feet in length across it from the bank to the temple. Another beautiful Jain temple of white marble called Samosharan is located at thisplace. Bhagwawan Mahavira had delivered his sermon here. The best time time to visit Pawapuri is between October and March.