What are the Main Attractions of Bateshwar Asthan?
Situated in the Bhagalpur region of Bihar, Bateshwar Asthan is a famous destination among tourists due to its rock sculptures. Sculpted in the 7th century, these rock sculptures are popular as ‘Chaurasi Muni’, which literally means eighty-four sages or munis. It is located on an isolated hilly area called Bateshwar hill, which is a part of old Raj Mahal system of trappean rocks. Most of the beautifully carved sculptures are found on hillsides those depict different stories and scenes from the Mahabharata and Ramayana.
Apart from its attractive sculptures, the northerly flow of the holy river Ganga adds an auspicious touch to Bateshwar Asthan. Two Shiva temples in the region also make the place one of the favourite pilgrimage destinations for Shiva devotees. Shiva temple that is situated on a spheroid block of the rock near the bank of Ganga River is called Bridheshwar Nath or Burha Baba temple. The other temple which is located about 150 meters up on a slope on the eastern side of the hill is famous as Bateshwar Nath or Madeshwar Nath.
What does mythology say?
As per mythological stories of Bateshwar Asthan, the area is said to have been developed by the Buddhist saint professor Kampilya, who was the master of meditation from Nalanda University. According to another mythology, the area was ruled by rude administrators, Vakul and Vikram. They didn’t like Lord Budha’s salvation preaches; due to which, Budha on his retirement day during the rainy season, destroyed the administrators on the rocks of Bateshwar. The rocks at Bateshwar Asthan that have statues of 84 saints engraved on them are quite famous and many saints come there to offer prayers at Kali temple.
The statues have been made on the stone block of size 50’x 5’. Tri gufi on the west of the thakurbari hill, Basibt meditation center near bateshwar temple and patalpuri cave in the North West side of the hill are the reserved cave and tunnel, where saints used to meditate in peace.
Archaeologists have found a statue of Bhairavi devi that is made of eight kinds of metal (ast dhatu) having four eyes and twelve hands. Though it is now preserved in the Indian museum in Kolkata, the finding adds to the value of Bateshwar Asthan. Apart from all these attractions, Naga baba temple is another attraction point of this place.