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History Of Sultanganj

The story is that the river Ganga on her way to the ocean interrupted the Muni in his meditation by the rush of her currents. The sage swallowed the river in a gulp. Bhagiratha intervened and the Muni again let her out by making an incision in his thigh. That is why the river Ganga is also called Jahnavi. Sultanganj was also famous during the rule of the Pala and Sena kings (.from 730 A.D. to 1199 A.D.). It is said that Dharmapala, the frst king of the Pala dynasty, had laid the foundation of the Vikramshila University at Sultanganj.

The tradition runs that a devotee or sanyasi named Harinath, who had forsaken the pleasures of the world, dwelt here at one time. He used to make pilgrimages to the shrine of Baidyanath at Babadham until, at last, God informed him in a dream that he would have no further occasion to go so far, as on his return to this island rock he would find an image there to which he may address his prayers. He found the promised idol awaiting him at Sultanganj and founding a convent of devotees. He became its first mahant. Almost everyone who comes to bathe at Sultanganj visits the place, and carries up a vessel of water to pour over the image. It is said that in ancient times Sultanganj being the abode of the sage Jahnu, was a very famous place. Being the Ashram of a sage, it must have been a popular seat of learning and students must have received learning and erudition under the guidance of the learned sage.

During the rule of the Mauryas, Guptas and Palas many works of art and architecture were raised at Sultanganj. The area has yielded ancient relicks like stupas, seals, coins, terracotta and Hindu and Buddha images. Many carvings can still be seen in the Sultanganj hills. A number of small images along with a copper image of Lord Buddha about seven feet high were excavated here. A Buddha image found in Sultanganj is now in Birmingham Museum.

A large number of antiquities covered from krishnagarh at Sultanganj have been preserved in Patna Museum. They indicate a very high standard of Hindu religiosity and culture. The fact that some of the images and other antiquities are Buddhistic reiterates that the area was very important from Buddhistic point of view as well. Most of the antiquities have been identified with the medieval period.

Through various vicissitudes Sultanganj continued in importance in the later centuries. It is peculiar that a place which has the famous Shiva temple known as Ajgaivinath, which is quite old, should have a name which has a clear muslim impress. It is all the more so when it is remembered that Ajgaivinath temple is one of the three famous Shiva temples in Bihar & Jharkhand, the two other being Basukinath and Baidyanath temples



More info on the city

Sultanganj is a village in Bhagalpur district of Bihar, 109 km away from Babadham. It is situated close to the Ganges, near a railway station by the same name .Sultangang is traditionally associated with sage Jahnu, whose ashram was a centre of learning and culture. Jahnu Muni's ashram was located on the rock jutting out of the bed of the Ganga river. Now the site has the Shiva temple of Ajgaivinath, also known as Gaibinath Mahadeo




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