Tourist Places of Munger
SRI KRISHNA VATIKA
Named after the Proud Son of Munger and the First Chief Minister of the Bihar state Dr. Sri Krishna Sinha, Srikrishna Batika, is a very beautiful enclosed garden just opposite to Kashtaharni Ghat. To have the pleasure of both a green place and the holy river Ganga this is one of the Must Visiting place for the peoples coming to Munger.
Sri Krishna Vatika is also one of the most interesting as well as adventurous venue available in Munger as it has two “Surangs” (tunnels). Some efforts in the past had been made to pass through the tunnels also known as- Mir Kasim’s Surang but these have only proved to be life taking. There are some tombs of Gul and Bahar, wards of Mir Kasim Ali.
It is said that Princess Gul and Prince Bahar used to hide under the tunnels by the riverside in order to weak vengeance upon the British officers. They used to clothe themselves with tiger skins during the nights. Once Bahar, on his rounded in a dark might was caught sight of by a British officer who instantaneously shot the Prince dead. The truth was reveled next morning and the Prince was said to have been buried by the darga of Pir Shah-Nafah-Gul. The Prince was found dead in a man’s attire by the side of her brother’s tomb, where she was also buried. The officer, responsible for Bahar’s and incidentally Gul’s death ordered for a daily salute of guns in the evening to mourn the loss of these children.
On the sky of religion, Munger is one of the Bright Star. Chandi Asthan one out of the Sixty-four shakti peeths is situated in Munger. On the Northeast corner of Munger, Chandi Asthan is just 2 one kilometer away from the Munger town. Being a Siddhpith Chandi Asthan is considered to be one of the most sacred and sanctified temples, as important as Kamakshya temple near Gauhati. Legendary stories says that it was to save the world from the anger of Lord Shiva, as he took the corpse of Sati and began dancing in the “Tandav Mudra”, as a result of which the earth began to shake and the whole creation was about to destroy, Lord Vishnu managed to cut Sati’s corpse in 64 pieces by his Sudarshan Chakra.The same legend says that the left eye of the Sati fell at Munger, which subsequently developed in to a place of worship of the Divine Mother Chandi.Among the different shakti piths Chandi Asthan is famous for the cure of eye troubles.Another legend connected with Chandi Asthan is regarding Raja Karna, who used to worship Chandi Mata every day and in turn the Goddess gave him 11/4 paunds ( 50 Kilograms or sava man) gold for distribution at Karanchaura. The Raja Karna is said to be a different person from the well known hero of the mahabharata and was a contemporary of raja Vikrama. The architecture of the temple gives the view of an inverted couldran on the northan side of the temple close to the Ganga and very close to it on the eastern side in the Samashan or cremation site. During the 10 days of Doorga Puja all roads lead to Chandi Asthan on on the 8th day (Astami day) Yogis, Sannyasis and Tantriks come here from Kamakshaya to perform their Tantric Siddhis. It is still a place where goats are sacrificed on every Tuesday.
In the sixth century after Christ, a Hindu sage, named Mudgal Muni, appeared in the city and established two shrines, one at a rock at Kashtaharini Ghat.
In the 26th Adhyaya (chapter) of Adi Kanda of the valmiki’s Ramayana, it is mentioned that both Ramchandra and his brother Lakshmana on their way back from the encounter with Taraka, the demoness, took rest at the spot. The relaxation they had, gave rise to the name of Kashtaharini Ghat stands.
Munger has always been a paradise for pilgrims, saints and devotees. And the one place, which attracts most of them, is a bathing venue at Ganga river, called Kastaharni- Ghat, which literally means: “The Bathing place which expels all pains”. It is believed that - One who takes a dip in this ghat receives solace and cure from bodily pains. Religiously, it has got great importance, as it has northern flow, which is referred as “Uttar Vahani Ganga. Being a pilgrimage it is believed that on his return journey from Mithila to Ayodhya after marrying Sita, Sri Ram Chandra and company took a dip in this water to relieve themselves from fatigue. This is also the place people like to visit in Morning and evening to catch the glorious glimpse of Sunrise and Sunset.
MANPATHAR (SITA CHARAN)
Very close to Kastaharni Ghat there is another place of interest called. Manpathar. It is a rock in the bed of river about two miles away from the fort. The Rock contains the impression of two feet, which is supposed to be the feet of Sita when she touched the rock in crossing the Ganga. It is 250 meter long and 30 meter wide. There is a small Mandir at that place.
In Kharagpur area, there is a very important temple of Lord Shiva which is famous as Ucheswar Nath . It is also important for Santhals and a public fair is held here,where is Santhal boys and a girls marry, according to their tribal custom.
GURUDWARA AT PIPARPANTI
Patna, the state capital of Bihar, is an important place of pilgrimage for the Sikhs also, since it was at Patna City that the famous 10th Guru Govind Singh jee was born. Since then the place remained an important place of Sikh pilgrims from all over the country. It is perhaps not known that the father of Guru Govind Singh, Sri Teg Bahadur jee, the 9th Guru, and, the famous martyr, en route to his journey to Assam to settle a dispute, had chosen to stay, at Munger in a temple on the Piparpanti road just opposite the Dak-Bungalow for a few days on Magh 1724 Vikrami. Raja Ram Singh was selected by Aurangzed during his 10th year of his rule to lead a contingent of army to Assam, had met Guru Teg Bahadur at Munger. He requested the Guru Teg Bahadur to accompany him to Assam and he agreed to go there along with him. It is on record that from here he had written a letter to his wife, who was then at Patna awaiting the delivery of a son, who subsequently, became famous as Guru Govind Singh jee. This temple converted into gurudwara is gaining importance for the local Sikh population.
Besides the Munger Gurudwara, there is another big Gurudwara at Jamalpur, which serves the place of pilgrimage and Sikh congregation on days of important Sikh festivals like annual Baishakhi Day and others. At Jamalpur one of the important roads is also known as Gurudwara road.
Munger has also been famous from the point of view of charistianity with a large number of christian population here.According to the district Gazetteer of 1909 the Bapitist Mission is said to have been established at Munger in 1860, and the translation of Hindi New Tastament at present in use in different churches is the work of one of the Munger Missionaries. This hindi translation was published from Calcutta in 1884. There is a reference to one Bapitist Missionary named Andrew Leslie who came to India in 1824. and was posted at Munger and died in 1870. Incidentally, it may be maintained that another Bapitist Missionary called John Parsons, who was associated with the Hindi translation of the New Testament came to India in 1840 was stationed at Munger and died in 1869. The cemetery towards Sita kund has the grave of Revered Johan parson and it is mentioned on grave that he had made the Hindi translation of THE NEW TESTAMENT. This received persons was born at Loporton,Sommerset (England).The inscription of the grave, thus, indicates that it was probably persons and not A.Leslie who made the first hindi translation of new Testament which is in the use.
The cemetery has also the grave of Hershchell Dear born at Dobrz-you (Russian Poland) who spent most of his life ar Munger he died in October 1887 at Mussoorie.his remains where brought and buried at Munger Dear was famous for his charities for the different institutions existing at that time.This cemetery has also the grave of major General charles Murray.Born in Landon in 1827 he had served the Gwalior Campaign (1843-44), Punjab Campaign (1848-49), Battle of Chaianianwala , Kohat Expendition Insurrection of 1857 and Bhutan wars. Charls Murray was a resident in Munger from 1871 till his death in Munger in 1893 both Mr. Dear and Murray contributed largely to the development of Munger and some of the existing residential quarters in the fort area remind us of there name and contributions.
Three miles east of the town is a hill called Pirpahar, from the top of which a fine view of the surrounding country is obtained. The hill is called after an old Muhammadan Saint or Pir, whose name is no longer remembered, though devotees occasionally come to worship at his grave. There are two old tombs side by side at the foot of the hill, on one of which there is an inscription to the foot of the hill, on one of which there is an inscription to the memory of one Mary Anne Beckett, who died in 1832, while the other has a damaged inscription showing, till a few years ago, that it is in memory of a person named D’Oyly; the portion containing the name has now disappeared. The former is somewhat unconventional in form and character, consisting of a mausoleum surrounded by four walls open to the sky, and has a memorial tablet inserted in the northern wall, with the uncommon and not unaffecting inscription “Be still, she sleeps”. It is not known who Mary Anne Beckett was, but several legends are current about the manner in which she met her death. One is to the effect that she was a young girl who was killed when riding down the hill; another is that she threw herself down the hill owing to some love trouble; while another account says that she was the Kashmirian wife of a Colonel Beckett. Nothing is known about the person to whom the other tomb was erected, but Sir Warren Hastings D’Oyly, formerly Collector of Munger, to whom a reference was made, states that it is possible that he or she was a relative of a D’Oyly, who was formerly an indigo planter in the district. The inscription which is now obliterated shows that he or she died in 183-, i.e., between 1830and 1840.
On the top of the hill there is an old house which may be identified with the residence which, according to the Sair-Ul-Mutakharin, was erected for himself by Ghurghin Khan, the Armemian general of the Nawab Kasim Ali Khan. This is referred to in the Sair-Ul-Mutakharin as the house on the hill of Sitakund, though the sacred springs of Sitakund are two miles away and we learn that when Vansittart, the Governor of the East India Company, visited Munger in 1762, it was assigned to him for his residence. Thirty years later it appears to have been known as Belvedere and a pleasing description of it is given by Mr. Twining in “Travels in India a Hundred years ago”. Former Collectors of Munger resided in this house, which commands one of the finest views one can obtain along the Ganga.
A village in the Kharagpur subdivision, within the Kharagpur police-station with an area of 4137 acres. It is situated about 12 miles south-west of Kharagpur and four miles north of Guddih. Close to the village are some hot springs, called Tatal-pani (Tapta-pani) with are by far the finest in the district. The District Gazetteer of Monghyr published in 1926 quoted Captain Sherwill “The first spring is situated about 300 yards to north of village immediately under a small detached Hill named Mahadeva, from whose base the water issued in a fine stream at temperature of 1470 Fahrenheit . A few hundred yards farther to the north, at foot of the hornstone hill Damadama, we came upon a region of hot springs. Hot water appeared to be spouting from the ground in every direction; the principal spring, of which there are eight or ten, had uniform temperature of 1450, all rising within a space of about 300 yards square.
Across numerous hot streams are, of course, many foot-paths used by the cultivators round about Bhimbhand, but nowhere at the point of crossing did one find water above 1200, and even the temperature made the men and woman hurry the stream when fording from bank to bank. To the European skins the hit of 1100 was intolerable, nor could of the party walk coolly across any of the fords at that temperature without being severely scalded not blister. Luxuriant crops of rice raised by the aid of the streams large fields being fed by the water, but at a reduced temperature by leading it in devious courses to the cultivated land. The united waters of all these hot springs are conveyed pool of cold water under an over-hanging rock in that river, called Bhimkund, which is sacred to the Bhima and is visited by pilgrims. These springs, rising at about 300 feet above sea-level are the principal source of the Man itself. The highest temperature recorded by Dr. Buchanan on the 21st March, 1811, was 150`. Sherwill in September of 1847, Waddell in January of 1890, and Schulten in August of 1913, observed temperatures of 147`, 146.2`, and 148` respectively; but Mr. V.H. Jackson considers that there are twelve sources in the Mahadeva group and at least nineteen in the Damadama group; and the hottest of them may not have been observed; readings taken between 1912 and 1919 varied from 145.5` to 146` in the Mahadeva, and from 148` to 148.8` in the Damadama series.
Buchanan noticed that water of the Man, near the springs, was warmer than the atmosphere; and in one place where bubbles were rising in the stream his thermometer registered 98`. Mr. Jackson has traced this to a second series of hot springs along the course of the river, commencing immediately below the Bhimkund and extending for more than a quarter of a mile before the outflow of the first series is reached. Their position varies to some extent from year to year after rains; but when they can be observed above the stream level their temperature is fairly uniform, though not higher than General Cunningham identified the Mahadeva Hill with one mentioned by Hiuen Tsiang in the seventh century A.D. as the site where Buddha overcame the Yaksha Vakula. Hiuen Taisang describes the place as a small solitary double-peaked hill, or, according to another translation, a hill “with successive crags heaped up” situated on the western frontier of Hiranya Parvata, a tract held by recognized authorities to coincide the approximately with the hilly portion of this district.
To the west was six or seven hot springs, the water of which was extremely hot. Colonel Waddell has shown, however, that there are good grounds for doubting this identification and that the natural features of the country do not agree with the description of the Chinese pilgrim. He points out that the hill is not on the western but the southern frontier of Hiranya Parvata; and that the hot springs are not to the west of the hill, but actually upon the hill itself and on its eastern and north-eastern slope. There are no remains of any kind except those of a small brick shrine about four feet square housing a linga; there is no history of there ever having been any remains; and the situation is so remote that had they ever existed, it is scarcely possible that every trace of them would have been swept away.
Kharagpur is perhaps best known for a large reservoir constructed by Maharaja of Darbhanga. It is formed by a damp built, two miles west of Kharagpur across the Man river, which at this point debauches through a narrow gorge in the hills. To the south-west the gorge widens out into a valley hemmed in on all sides by low but abrupt hills, and here a large reservoir has been formed by the accumulation of the river water and of the drainage from the hills and valleys.
About a mile or two above the dam is picturesque waterfall called “PANCHKUMARI” or the five princess. In the neighborhood is a hill also called PUNCHKUMARI. The legend about this hill speaks of five daughters of the Raja of Kharagpur, who took refuge there when there father was taken prisoner to Delhi.
About 2½ miles south-west of the Panchkumari fall, not far from Karmantari village, is a group of hot springs known as Lakshmikund, which emerge from crevices in rocks on the west side of a narrow torrend bed, some distance above and not far north of the lake, into which they discharge. These springs are most conveniently reached from Kharagpur, eight miles to the north east, by taking a boat across the lake. In 1917 Mr. V.H. Jackson found that the temperature of the eleven Principal out flows was over 146, while the temperature at the largest watch 151.30 which is higher than the maximum temperature recorded in the Bhimbhand or Janamkund groups, which these springs closely resemble. As at both of the later groups of springs, there is another series of springs lower down, which are distinctly cooler.
A hill in the Kharagpur subdivision, situated in the Kharagpur Hills about seven miles north-east of Bhimbandh. There are several springs, known as Janamkund, at the bottom of the hill, which form the source of the Anjan River. One spring, which issues at all seasons of the year directly from a crevice in the rock, is apparently that of which the temperature was tested by Buchanan in 1811. Mr.V.H.Jackson, making tests at different seasons, has found that its temperature varies from 147.2` to 149`. A second series of springs, the existence of which was suspected by Buchanan, was discovered in 1912. These occur along the bed of the Anjan for about 150yards, at a quarter of a mile from the source. Their highest temperature yet observed is 140.
A hill in the Kharagpur subdivision, situated in Kharagpur Hills 13 miles south of Munger. An interesting account of the hill is quoted in an article on the Kharagpur Hills by Captain Sherwill. The origin of the name Maruk is not known, but it is probably so called after the maharuk tree (Ailanthus Excelsa). An ideal picnic spot but hardly used.
Mirza Safiy retitled Saif Khan, was the husband of Malka Banu, eldest sister of Mumtaz Mahal, the lady of the Taj. When Saif Khan became the Governor of Bihar in 1628 A.D. he undertook construction of public utilities. Peter Mundy speaks very highly of them. The inception of safiabad township near Jamalpur and Safiasarai and a big well in Munger are commonly attributed to saif Khan.
MULLAH MOHAMMAD SAYYID GRAVE
The historians of Aurnagzeb’s region mention one Mullah Muhammad Sayyid, who wrote under the nom-de-plume of ‘ Ashraf ’. He was a poet of repute and enjoyed the favours of Prince Azim-us-shan, Aurangzeb’s grandson. He was also the teacher of Zebunnissa Begam, the daughter of Aurangzeb and a renowned poetess. The poet died at Munger in 1672 on his way to Mecca and was buried there. His grave is within the fort.
SHAH MUSTAFA SUFI’S GRAVE, DILAWARPUR
The quarter known as Dilawarpur conatins the residence of a leading Muhammadan family known as the shah family. It trace back its descent to Hazrat Maulana Shah Mustapha Suh, a man of great learning. Who was a native of Seistan in Persia. The fame of his learning reached the ears of Akbar, who invited his to his court in Delhi, where Akbar marcired south to crush the rebellion of the Afghans in Bihar and Bengal, he was accompanied by Shah Mustapha Sufi, who distinguished himself in the field and made it clear that he possessed supernatural powers. Hearing of the holy life led by a saint of Munger, called Hazrat Shah Allaabad Arafin, and of the miracles he wrought, he gave up the idea of worldy career and came to Munger to meet the saint. As soon as Shah Mushtapha Sufi looked upon the saint, he become insensible, and when he revived, found himself in possession of divine secrets. He became the disciple of the Hazrat, who made him Sajjada-nashin, and on his death in 1050 A.H. (1650 A.D.) he was buried in Dilawarpur. Where his tomb may still be seen. His descendants still reside at Dilawarpur.
HAHA PUNCH KUMARI
It is on the western side of Rameshwar Kund. It is a waterfall coming from the hills with straight drop. The natural scenery is beautiful. This fall is named after the five girls of Hindu Raja of Kharagpur whose daughters committed suicide by jumping from the hill top to escape capture by the Muslim invaders.
It is situated in Kharagpur police-station and on the north-west corner of the Kharagpur lake. The legend goes that during the Muslim invasion one of the Generals camped at this site and dug the earth for water and accidentally a hot water sprig came out.
A hot spring in the Munger subdivision situated about six miles south of Sitakund at the head of a picturesque little valley between two ridges of the Kharagpur Hills. It has been made a place of worship and a reservoir, about 140 feet square, has been built to collect the water. The bottom is in some places sandy, in others rocky; and the water seems to issue all along the western side from numerous crevice in the rock. Bubble rise from the whole extent of the pool near the hill, and where the gas issues from among sand is forms cavities like minute craters. According to observations taken by Buchanan on the morning of the 8th April, 1811 the thermometer in the air stood at 720 in the water were it issued from the crevice of a rock, it rose to 110 Degrees Celsius, and one of the cavities to 114 Degrees Celsius.
· At Rishikund at Kharagpur police-station every year in the Malmas, a big mela is held which has a religious sanctity.
· At Deogarh in Kharagpur police-station there is a hill. On the top of the hill is Sheio Mandir. A big mela is held in Fagun on Shivaratri day and it continues for three days.
· At Rangnath in Kharagpur police-station also a big mela is held at Shivaratri day for two days.
· At Rangnath in Tarapur police-station a big mela is held on Shivaratri day and it continues for five days. This village is situated on the road to Bhagalpur.
· In Munger town Dashara Mela is held on a gigantic scale and about a lakh of people congregate here on the occasion from different parts of the district
· At Kastaharinighat in Munger town on Maghi Purnima day a big mela is held.
· At Sitakund in Mufassil police-station every year a big mela is held on the occasion of Maghi Purnima. It is started that it is held since the days of Ram.