Deoghar (Devagriha), or the abode of the Gods, is the headquarters of the Sub- division of the same name in the district of Santhal Parganas, the north-eastern side of Bihar (now Jharkhand), this township is very close to the Bengal border. It is located four miles to the south-east of Jasidih Junction on the main line of the Eastern Railway from Howrah to Delhi. There is a small branch line of the same railway from Jasidih to Deoghar. Deoghar is an ancient town famous for its group of 22 temples dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva.
It is also called BaijnathDham or BabaDham. It has the ancient temple of Baba Baidyanath (Shiva).This ancient temple was built by Lord Viswakarma.This is the 9 th Jyotirling out of 12 in India. There is a Kamna Ling in the temple, on which holy JAL (water) is offered throughout the year especially on the every Monday of the week. In Shrawan month, lakhs of devotees come on foot from all over india to offer the holly water of river Ganga (Sultangaj about 100 km. far from BaijnathDham).
According to legend, with the blessings of Brahma Lanka King Ravana had been all-powerful and was carrying away Shiva from Kailash to install him at Lanka. As Shiva was reluctant to go to Lanka, the water god Varuna confused Ravana with tricks, as a result distracted Ravana broke his vow and brought Shiva down from his shoulder at Deoghar. It is said that the self-born god had stayed back since then.
Deoghar has a picturesque location. To the north of -the town there is a wood called Data Jungle after a fakir; to the north-west is a low wooded hill called Nandan Pahar; and to the east about 10 miles away there is a low range of hills known as Tiur or Trikutaparvata. Pilgrims and tourists come from all over India to Deoghar. Health seekers also crowd Deoghar.
There are a number of small hills to the south-east, south and south-west. There are two rivulets Yamunajor and Dharua near the town. The countryside around Deoghar has an attractive set-up with undulations, water courses and small hills.
The climate is dry and congenial and Deoghar is still considered a health resort in spite of the great congestion particularly due to the, temple of Baidyanath and the location of the criminal and civil courts and a. very large number of Government establishments.
As a matter of fact, Deoghar is a far bigger and more important town than Dumka, the district headquarters. Deoghar or Devagriha has a large number of temples within the circumference of a few miles. The temple of Baidyanath or Shiva is the most important of all the temples and attracts a large number of pilgrims all the year round.
There are three important fairs, namely, Shri Panchmi mela held in January, Shivaratri mela held in March and the Bhadra Purnima mela held in September. Shivaratri mela is attended by about one- lakh visitors in the course of afortnight. A number of lodging houses is available for pilgrims. The Pandas or the priests have also a large number of rented houses of their own where the pilgrims stay usually for one day.
In the 8th century A.D., the last Gupta Emperor Adityasena Gupta ruled this region. The Babadham temple has been famous since then.
When Mugals began to rule India, the temple of Babadham was under their tributory rulers. The most important literary source on the history of medieval Babadham is Aine – Akbari. During Akbar’s rule Man Singh was associated with Akbar’s court. Man Singh remained attached to the Gidhaur dynasty for a long time and had contacts with a number of rulers of Bihar. Man Singh’s brother, Bhan Singh was married to daughter of Puran Mal.
Man Singh’s interest in Babadham seems to have been determined by his love for this holy shrine because he then got a tank excavated, which is today known as Mansarovar.
The Muslim invader Bhaktiyar Khilji made Deoghar his capital in 1201 after the conquest of Bihar. The present district of Deoghar was a part of three kingly estates during English period
namely Chandel Raj Pariwar Giddhor, Laxmipur Ghatwal and Rohni Ghatwal.
There is an interesting account of the pilgrimage to Baidyanath in the Khulasati-t-twarikh written between 1695 and 1699 A.D.
In the 18th century, the Maharaja of Gidhaur faced political turmoil. He had to fight against the Nababs of Birbhum. Under the Muhammadan government, the chief priest appears to have paid a fixed rent to the Nabab of Birbhum, and the administration of the temple seems to have been left entirely in the hands of the priest. For a few years the Nabab ruled over Babadham. Subsequently, the Maharaja of Gidhaur defeated the Nabab and Babadham was brought back under his rule till the East India Company came in.
Famous traveller Megasthneze visited India in 302 B.C. In the court of Chandragupta of Patliputra (Patna) has described regarding this area in his works. Hiun Siang a famous
chinese traveller who visited in the court of Harsa 645 A.D., also has described the rocky
area of Rajmahal and human culture adjacent area of Deoghar.
The legends about the Shiva temple are various. One legend is that in the Treta Yuga the demon Ravana, king of Lanka (Ceylon), propitiated Lord Mahadeva and wanted him to come over to Lanka. Mahadeva did not agree to this prayer but told Ravana that one of the twelve emblems of His divinity, Jyotirlinga, would be quite as effective as His presence and that he might take it away on the condition that there should be no break in the journey and the lingam would not be deposited anywhere on the earth.
The condition was that if the lingam were put anywhere on the earth in the course of the journey, it would be fixed to that spot forever. The legend is that Ravana agreed to this condition and took the lingam and started his journey back to Lanka.
The gods dreaded the effect of the lingam being established at the seat of the demon king. A ruse was devised and Varuna, the god of the waters, entered the stomach of Ravana and the demon had to descend to earth to relieve him.
Later, Vishnu, in the garb of an old Brahmin, appeared before Ravana, after his descent to the earth, and began to converse with him. Ravana requested the Brahmin to kindly hold the Jyotirlinga for a few minutes so that he could relieve himself.
Lord Vishnu readily agreed to it and, as soon as Ravana turned his back to relieve himself, he left the Jyotirlinga on the spot and vanished. When Ravana came back, he found that the Jyotirlinga was firmly fixed to the earth and realized that a trick had been played on him lie even tried violence to remove the lingam and thereby broke a piece off the top of the lingam.
However, failing to remove the lingam, he made his obeisance to the lingam and daily he used to come from Lanka and worship the divinity. The spot where Ravana came down to the earth has been identified with Harlajuri, about four miles north of Deoghar and the place where the lingam was deposited is known as Deoghar.
The present nomenclature of the lingam is Baidyanath and there is a legend about it. According to the Padma Purana, a Brahmin in the garb of Lord Vishnu, after taking the lingam from Ravana, consecrated it in due form with water from a neighboring tank.
There was a Bhil present, who was instructed as to what should be done. The Bhil had informed Ravana as to the disappearance of the Brahmin. Ravana is supposed to have excavated a well with an arrow and brought into it the waters of all the sacred pools of the earth.
It is said that the lingam, after the death of Ravana, used to be worshipped by a hunter Baiju, and the lingam came to be known by Baiju’s name as Baidyanath. The story of Baiju giving rise to the name of Baidyanath is more prevalent as a Santhal tradition.
There is another legend to the effect that when Sati, the consort of Shiva and daughter of Daksha, committed suicide because of the discourtesy shown towards her husband by Daksha in not inviting him to a Yajna, Lord Shiva stuck the corpse of his wife on the point of his trident androamed about in a frenzy of fury.
Lest Shiva’s anger and frantic movements should destroy the world, Vishnu cut the dead body with his discus into fifty-two parts, which fell in different parts of India and became Mahapithasthans. According to the legend, the heart of Sati fell at Deoghar. It is, however, peculiar that there is no shrine at the other fifty-one places to commemorate this occurrence.
Another legend is that, in the first age of the world, Lord Shiva manifested himself as a lingam of light at twelve different places under different names, and Baidyanath was one of those twelve places. Sati worshipped the emblem in the form of a pandanus flower on the top of the lingam and dwelt for a long t1ime in a grove close by in order to worship it. This place is called Ketakivana.
Archeological sources :
According to archeological history in the time of regional area lords of Rampal third “son of Vigrahpal ” of Pala dynasty who constructed parts of the temple.
According to archeological survey Bengal circle for 1902-1903, in later Gupta period Aditya Sen Gupta had errected many temples by several inscription (SILALEKH) in which Deoghar and Sahkund have been described.
According to one prominent historian Dr. Radha Krishna Choudhary, great Buddhistacharya of Vikramsila Acharya, Abnoy Shankar Gupta had resided at Deoghar.
In Bateshwar lekh (written material) near ancient Vikramsila University (Bhagalpur district) says about Baidyanath TirthShetra (Pilgrim spot. During this period in the vicinity of Baidyanath temple, Buddhist dominance was prevalent.
During fabulous regime of Pala dynasty enriched history of Deoghar was described in (BIHAR District Gazeteer 1938 Edition).
The temple is situated in a spacious courtyard bound by stone walls. In the temple complex are twenty-two other temples. The Baijnath or Vaidyanath temple faces east. The top of the Shiva Lingam is slightly broken, keeping with the legend that it chipped away when Ravana tried to uproot it. For centuries, devotees of Lord Shiva, in the months of July – August undertake a rigorous100 km. pilgrimage on foot, from Ajgaibinath to offer holy water to Baba Baidyanath.
Near the temple, is the beautiful lake called Sivaganga.
THE CHANDRAKOOPA WELL
Located near the main entrance, this well is said to have been built and consecrated with water from several ‘tirthams’ by Ravana.
NANDAN PAHAR TAPOVAN
A military camp of ancient ruler Pala dynasty. Presently a tourist centre.
Parks : Jalan Park, Mitra Park
BASUKINATH TEMPLE (42 kms):
Basukinath Dham is on Dumka-Deoghar Road.There is an attractive Shiva Temple here. It is believed that a pilgrimage to Deoghar is complete only after offering holy water to Lord Shiva at Basukinath.
HARILA JORIA (8 kms)
It is konwn as ‘Haritika van’ where from worshipping matters were collected. There is one temple of Lord Shiva which cannot be over looked from historical point of view. It is said that genesis of this place is related with RAVAN.
A very holy place for devotees of Shri Shri Anukul Chandra Thakur.
2 kms from Deoghar, there are temples of Radha And Krishna here.This Balanand Brahamchari Ashram is a fine architectural monument for religious purposes.
24 kms west of Deoghar, it is famous for its Hill Temples. It is believed that many sages have attained salvation on the top of these hills, known as TrikutIt is the source of the River Mayurakshi, which is a prime attraction here.natures open beauty and esoteric religious practices are practised.
96 kms from Deoghar, there is a picturesqe dam on the river Mayurakh. The scenic beauty of the place attracts the tourists.
South of Baidyanath worshippers of SHAKTI visit there.
Stn Rd has merged with Clock Tower, equivalent to Esplanade of Calcutta. Around it has come the market place or the old city
RAM KRISHNA MISSION
Ram Kriahna Mission Vidyapeth, established in 1922, is a great centre of education and sadhana.
In 1928 ‘Hindi Vidyapeth’ , was established, a famous centre of Hindi.
Numerous Buddhist ruins are also located nearby.
HOW TO GET THERE
The railway station at Deoghar is called Baidyanath Dham. Deogarh stands on an all-weather road connecting Calcutta with Delhi. Passenger buses run regularly from Bhagalpur, Dumka., Patna, Gaya, Monghyr, and other places in Bihar to Deogarh. Taxis and tangas are available at Deoghar. Tangas are available at Jaisidih railway station but not taxis.
Ranchi-385 kms, Patna 270 kms
The nearest Railway Station is Baidyanath Dham (Deoghar) which is a terminal station of a 7 kms branch line orignating from Jasidih Jn. on Hawrah-Patna rail line of Eastern Railway
By road Baidyanath Dham (Deoghar) to Calcutta 373 kms, Giridih 112 kms, Patna 281 kms, Dumka 67 kms, Madhupur 57 kms, Shimultala 53 kms, Bhagalpur 80 kms.etc.
Long distance buses connect Baidyanath Dham with Bhagalpur, Hazaribagh, Ranchi, Tatanagar, Gaya etc.
Un-metered Taxis, Scooters, Cycle Rickshaws are available.
Bihar State Handloom Emporium; Santhal Parganas Gramodyog Samittee;
Santhal Parganas Khadi Gramodyog Bhavan.
Yoga Institution :
Balanand Ashram Yogashala, Karnibagh.
Department of Tourism, Government of Bihar operates local
sight-seeing tour to Tapavan, Naulakha etc. during season.
Timing : From 1400 hours to 1600 hours.
VAIDYANATH VIHAR: Tourist Bunglow phone: 222422
NATRAJ VIHAR: Tourist Bunglow phone 222422
YASHODA INTERNATIONAL: 221429
HOTEL TELAX: 224970
HOTEL JYOTI: 222037
HOTEL MAYUR: 225296
Latitude 03 – 24.38 N
Longitude 86.28 – 87.4 E
STD Code 06432
Temperature (deg C)
Summer – Max 36.9, Min 23
Winter – Max 27.7, Min 7.4
August to February
952 square miles
Wheat, Rice, Maize, Gram,Potato, Sugarcane,
Khandsari & Gur,Handloom, Papad, Soap, Pickles.
Angika, Hindi, English
Tourist Information Centre Government of Bihar
Tele : 208
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