INTRODUCTION TO THE FALLS
Bihar, the state where Buddhism is known to have been quite popular, has many exciting tourist destinations. This state is also known as the birthplace of Mahaveera who was the prophet of Jainism. Bihar, the name was derived from the word ‘Vihara’ meaning ‘dwelling place’ or ‘abode’. True to the word, this state was the abode of Buddhism and Jainism to an extent.
There are ruins and monuments in places where these prophets of the religions preached and also meditated. The followers carried their teachings to many places in the state. This included the royal patrons like Ashoka, who was weary of wars and opted for peace, embraced Buddhism and established ‘stupas’ with inscriptions of the teachings of Buddha. The monuments and temples have been found in places where people and devotees congregate and some such monuments are found near waterfalls.
Bihar is a state with such tourist attractions apart from the natural ones. The Buddhist and Jains devotees have their own itinerary where they make it a point to pray at all the places where the great prophets have either preached or meditated, when the other tourists marvel at the monuments and the natural wonders. The waterfalls in the state have brought in some consolation to the people of the state from the scorching sun and the heat. Many have found these falls to be excellent places for picnics and for social inter action. The authorities have also encouraged activities within the area by introducing activities like boating and swimming.
The Manjhar Kund Waterfalls also called the Manjhar K Waterfall is situated near Sasaram, the district headquarters of Rohtas District in Bihar. This waterfall is one of the finest falls in India.
FESTIVITIES NEAR THE FALLS
Manjhar Kund comes alive during’ Raksha Bandhan’. This auspicious festival is celebrated with great pomp and splendor. The festival where the ‘Rakhi’ is tied on to the wrists of the brother by a sister is considered very auspicious at this place. This tradition speaks of the rich tradition within the family where relations matter.
PLACES TO VISIT
- The tombstone of Sher Suri: The Afghan King Sher Shah Suri was born in the town of Sasaram. He also died in the same town. The tomb built out of red sandstone is 122 feet long and in the middle of an artificial lake in Sasaram. The tomb was completed in 1545 AD, 3 months after the death of Sher Shah Suri.
- The Rohtas Fort: Built by Raja Harishchandra in the 7th century AD, Sher Shah Suri and Raja Man Singh had lived in this fort. This fort is 39 kms. away from Sasaram and is believed to be the largest and strongest hill fort in India. The fort had been a shelter for Shah Jahan, Maan Sigh, Mir Quasim and Sher Shah Suri. Believed to have 84 passages to the fort and 14 main gates of which 10 were later closed bu Sher Shah Suri.
- Samrat Ashoka Pillar: This is one of the thirteen edicts erected by King Ashoka when he embraced Buddhism and it is in Sasaram. King ashoka who regretted the misery of warfare, turned to Buddhism which he patronized by buil;ding edicts that had quotes of Buddhist teachings for the general public to read.
- Aurangabad: This city is 42 kms. from Sasaram and is known as an important place at the time of the Magadha Empire. There are monuments going back to that period.
- Burha: A place about 3 kms. from Aurangabad, it is known for the ‘chaityas’ and the ’viharas’-the origin of the name from which Bihar has come to be known.
- Bawan Talab: about 1 km. from the Rohtas Fort, is known for the archaic temples which include an old Lord Shiva Temple. There were about 52 ponds, for which the place was known. None of these ponds exist as of now.
- Kaimur Hills: There is an ancient temple, the Gupta Mahadev Temple,ancient caves and the tomb of Malik Wishal Khan.
Manjhar Kund is situated very near Patna, the capital of Bihar. There is a railway station at Sasaram and the Grand Trunk (NH 2) goes through this city. There are private buses and Government operated buses which ply to many other cities and towns. Sasaram is 100 kms. from Varanasi. Patna is 148 kms. from Sasaram. The nearest airport is in Patna.
WHEN TO GO
Manjhar Waterfalls is best visited in March. Summer is hot and humid and monsoons may make travel quite difficult.
There are no hotels near the waterfalls and it will be best to book in hotels either in Sasaram or in Patna, where there are rooms to suit every budget. There are hotels like the Maurya Royal Hotel and Restaurant in Sasaram where a double room per night will cost upwards of Rs.1800/- and Shershah Vihar where the tariff per night will start from Rs.300/-.