Sultanganj- Ajgaibinath: the story of Shivlinga

Sultanganj – situated at the bank of Uttarvahini Ganga, about 26 km west in the district of Bhagalpur holds the glorious history of Ang region. Sultanganj has been famous since the ancient time as one of the worship places for Shiva devotees, which is in the Uttarayan Ganga as naturally built famous Ajgaibinath Temple.

Sultanganj is believed to be a Kalash pilgrimage, and Sultanaganj’s Uttarvahini Ganga is considered to be a holy place. Every year thousand and lacs of devotees carry water from this holy Ganga, in a pot or kalash and travel 105 kms to one of the twelve jyotirlings, in Baidyanath Dham. By worshipping Lord Shiva with this holy Ganga water, it is believed that one achieve ‘punya’, meaning sacred blessings.

Every year in the month of Shravan, thousands of devotees travel from Sultanganj to Baidyanath Dham taking shape of a fair, considered to be the world’s largest fair.

According to Ramayana written by Rishi Valmiki, the Ganga while travelling toward east blew away the ashram of Rishi Jahannu. The angered saint swallowed the Ganga, Later, on King Bhagirath’s requests, the saint agreed to free Ganga as a gesture to save king’s 100 sons. Accepting the request from the king, Jahannu tore of his thighs to release Ganga, later to be called as Jhanvi, meaning daughter of Jahannu. The ashram of Jahannu was situated at this beautiful mountain of Sultanganj. Here Ganga is said to be taking shape of Uttarvahini which has a religious importance. Jahannu’s ashram was based at the same place where Ajgaibinath temple is situated.

According to the Anand Ramayana’s yatra kand, it can be understood that in ancient time Sultanganj was known as Gangapuri and Ajgaibinath was known as Billeswar. Situated in the middle of the Uttarvahini Ganga on this small mountain Ajgaibinath temple was a place for relaxation, for Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu.

During the time of Buddha Age, the Shivling of Ajgaibinath was destroyed. King Shashank in his times established many other Shivlings. It is said that the Shivling of Ajgaibinath was also established by Shashank during his tenure, as a king. In 15th century this Shivling was not visible and cannot be found. Mahatma Harnath Bharti found out this hidden Shivling and the devotees named this Shivling as ‘Ajgaibinath’ meaning Aj as Shiva from a Sanskrit word and Gaibi as hidden or unknown derived from Arabic word. Thus, making the meaning of Ajgaibinath as Shiva that was hidden or unknown. This hidden secret was identified by Mahatma Harnath Bharti.

In around 15th century, this temple was renovated and was probably by Mahatma Harnath Bharti. In the compound of this temple there is a very old cave which is presently closed.
In the Ajgaibinath temple complex, the artistic idols of Lord Shiva & Parvati, Ganesh-Karthikeya, Vishnu, Sun, Varah, Brahma and others are present and the art attracts the archaeological scientists. These idols are said to be of Gupta Age or the Uttar Gupta Age.

As per the explanation given in the Anand Ramayana, Lord Rama is said to be taking water from the Ganga and offering prayers in Baidyanath Dham.

As a common belief, ‘The forces of the Bengal King Daud Khan tried to destroy the Ajgaibinath temple but, however, Mahatma Harnath Bharti saved the temple with his Tantra Mantra power.

Situated in the beautiful mountain of the Uttarvahini Ganga the Ajgaibinath temple is a symbol of dignity and faith of the Ang region. In the complex of this temple the idols of Pal, Gupta and Pag age are carved on the rocks. These idols are of the Hindu and Buddha as well as Jain religion. Apart from these idols also available are the idols of Gauri –Shankar, Shiva in meditation, and Parvati carved in the rocks of the mountain. Opposite to the Ajgaibinath Mountain there is a Murli Mountain where idols of Shiva-Parvati are carved and available in countless numbers, also five idols of Shiva-Parvati in Pranayvastha, meaning romancing, are carved on the mountain. On a piece of rock there is a carving of a pair of footprints with some text, which is quite not readable and visible. Around the Ajgaibinath temple on the mountain approximately 375 idols are carved. Archaeologist Dr. Abhay Kant Chaudhary has termed the Shivling of this temple as ‘A rare Shivling’.

Every year on the occasion of ‘Magh Purnima’, a huge fair is organized at the Ajgaibinath temple complex and devotees take bath in the holy river offering prayers. This is a true example of divine faith of people.

In the month of Shravan and Bhadon, Sultanganj is decorated and look like a bride as in this holy month, lacs of devotees visit the place to take water from the Uttarayani Ganga and travel to Baidyanath Dham around 105 kilometers from here. The devotees walk with the loud chanting of holy words ‘bol-bam’ and the town is completely filled with the sound of this holy word. The devotees keep on coming in these two months to collect water and are known as ‘kanwariyas’ wearing yellow and saffron clothes.

The culture of India is so vast that the people here keep on worshipping their Lords at different time around the year as per their knowledge and belief in religion. The place of Shiva, Ajgaibinath is a beautiful and very peaceful place, also a very blessed and famous pilgrimage, and a common belief of the devotees is that taking bath in the Uttarvahini Ganga and worshipping Lord Shiva in Ajgaibinath fulfills all the wishes.


Lions Clubs International News
Connect with Us Online