Pawapuri, which is also known as, Apapuri, in the Patna District, is a very sacred Jain Pilgrimage center. It was here that Lord Mahavira, the greatest profounder of Jainism, the 24th and last Tirthankara had his Samadhi or attained salvation.
Hundreds and thousands of his disciples and devotees took away the ashes after his cremation here. The rush was so great that even the soil of the areas were taken away and it became a tank.
The late Shri Abhoy Kumar Jain of Arrah conceived the idea of reproducing the Pawapuri temple in Arrah and he translated his dream into a vivid and truly beautiful reality.
A stunning temple of white marble was constructed in the center of the tank which is filled with a thick mass of lotus flowers which is also to consecrate the Lord’s Nirvana. It is now known Jalmandir.
The Jalamandir is a miniature Pawapuri temple. There is 40-foot long bridge with a width of 4 feet for reaching the temple within the tank. Inside the temple is a truly fine image of Mahavir Swami. The temple itself is set amidst beautifully kept and landscaped gardens.
There is also the footprint of Mahavira and those of his two disciples on both sides of Mahavira’s to be seen inside the temple. It is said that the lid of the footprint container moves away by itself on the Deepavali night-the birth anniversary of Mahavira and thus appears the Lord Mahavira there.
Mahavira preached his first sermon after 25 years of his attaining enlightenment in 556 B.C.
In commemoration of the great event king Nandivardhana, brother of Mahavira, built a stupa at Pawapuri, just one kilometer away from the Water temple. A temple of marble was also built by the Swetambara Jains. Behind the temple is a stupa of the old days. There are the Gurgasthan temple, Gauna temple, Naya temple and Samasarana temple at Pawapuri.
The best time to visit Pawapuri is between the months of October and March.
The nearest airport is located at Patna which is 90 kilometers away. The nearest rail stations are Rajgir and Gaya. A taxi or bus can be taken from Patna, Rajgir, Gaya or other major cities of Bihar to visit Pawapuri. Patna is linked by air to Delhi, Calcutta, Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Lucknow. It also has rail connections with Delhi, Mumbai, Varanasi, Calcutta and many other major cities.