Pawapuri is a very well-known and sacred pilgrimage of the Jains. Apapuri is another name of the popular Jain pilgrimage Pawapuri. This holy pilgrimage is located in the Nalanda district in Bihar. It is situated approximately 8 km from Bihar Sharif and 31 km from Rajgir. In the Jain religion there are 24 tirthankaras out of which Lord Mahavir is the last tirthankar. Lord Mahavir attained nirvana or salvation at this sinless pilgrimage destination.
There are five most important Jain temples in Pawapuri which are the Jalmandir, the Samosaran, the Gaon mandir, a temple constructed by Bibi Mehetab Kumari and the New Samosaran temple. In addition to these temples there is another Digambar Jain temple which is near the Jalmandir. It is said that the Gaon mandir is the place where Lord Mahavir breathed his last. It is also believed that the Gaon mandir and the Jalmandir were built by King Nandivardhan who was the elder brother of Lord Mahavir.
Jalmandir: Lord Mahavir took his last breath at Pawapuri and was cremated at the location of Jalmandir approximately in 500 B.C. At this time thousands of his devotees and followers had gathered here who took his ashes along with them after the cremation. The rush for carrying the ashes was so huge that it resulted in carrying away a huge amount of soil along with the ashes. Due to this reason the area later became a tank where soon a beautiful Jain temple was constructed by using white marble. This magnificent temple of Lord Mahavir is called the Jalmandir which stands in the centre of a lotus pond on a rectangular island. The shape of the temple is like a "Vimana". The temple and the bank are connected by a stone bridge which is around 600 feet in length. The chief idol of the Jalmandir is the old "Charan Paduka" of Bhagwan Mahavir. Samosaran is another Jain temple which is located here. It is believed that the Samosaran temple is the place where the last teaching of Lord Mahavir was delivered.
History: Pawapuri was also known as Madhyam Pawa or Apawapuri which was a city in the ancient times which was a part of the Magadh territory. In the reign of Ajathashatru which was approximately 2600 years ago, king Hastipal ruled over this city of Magadh. Lord Mahavir resided in King Hastipal's "Rajikshala" when he came from Champapuri to Pawapuri. In the presence of kings of Lichchhavi dynasty, Malla dynasty and many other disciples Lord Mahavir commenced his final sermon on the morning of the Karthik Krishna 14. He finally attained nirvana during the Swati Constellation in the last "Prahar" of Amavasya night.
Airways: Patna is the closest airport to Pawapuri. As Patna is one of the major cities of Bihar it is well-connected to almost all the major cities of the country. Patna airport is just 93 km away from Pawapuri pilgrimage.
Railways: As Pawapuri is located on Bahktiapur - Rajgir railway lines it has its own railway station.
Roadways: One can reach Pawapuri either from Bihar sharif, Rajgiri or from Patna by road. Patna is 93 km away from Pawapuri. Bihar Sharif is the closest which is just 8 km far from Pawapuri. On the other hand the distance between Pawapuri and Rajgir is around 31 km. There are many bus and taxi services available on these routes.
Best time to visit: The best time and season to visit this holy pilgrimage destination is from October to March.