There are many potential tourist interest places in the close vicinity of Nalanda and they need to be linked to the existing tourist routes. We did PRA with communities of these villages to share their views and prepare a suitable tourism development action plan for the sites. Sun temple Bargaon, which was a popular destination among the visitors few decades back has seen a downturn lately, we did PRA with the panda community to identify the bottlenecks and solutions.
The place finds mention in ancient texts and is most significant place for sun worship in whole of Bihar. The Sun temple at the heart of village is very old and has idols of sun god from Gupta and Pala period. At the North-west end of the village is famous Suraj Pokhar which accommodates more than one lac pilgrims who come to present offerings to sun God on Chath festival twice a year.
The temple at the heart of the village was at the north-western side of the Suraj Pokhar and was shifted inside the village in late 17th century to protect it from mogul invasion.
The Suraj Pokhar has medicinal value and till recently people from Bengal and different corner of Bihar came to take dip in the pond and benefit. Till 1950’s this was also popular destination for Pind-daan a part of Shradh ritual. People after performing Pind –Daan at Gaya also performed the ritual here at Suraj Pokhar offering Pind to Lord Yama, Son of Sun god.
In recent past the number of visitors has gone down and the income generated by the Committee has also dipped. We had a series of meeting with the committee members, though the participation level was very low. Members had almost no faith in the committee. We had some constructive discussion on what we can do make the place beautiful and attractive to visitors.
Summary of the discussion
1- Committee to be strengthened
2- Daily Mahaarti at the Sun temple
3- Renovation plan for the temple and pond
4- A waste management plan for the temple complex
5- Development of tourism promotion plan, special visiting hours for tourists
The Hindu circuit
The sun temple of Bargaon is associated with Jarasandha, Lord Krishna and his great-grandson Sambha. According to the mythology Jarasandha was killed in a duel with Bhima a suryavanshi. The duel between the two continued for 14days before Jarasandha was tore apart in two halves. A tradition “ANKHUT” to celebrate the victory of good over the bad is continued till date. The site of the duel is still popular destination. Other places associated with Jarasandha are Gridhav Dwar at the Ghoda Katora which was the eastern entry point to the mountain fortress. The Krishna and his army entered Grihvjra (Rajgir) from this eastern gate. Jarasandha was cremated at Ghoda katora on Kartik Poornima after he was killed in the duel. An annual ritual called Kartik snan daan is still held at the place every year. Ghoda katora is also the place where the army of Lord Krishna camped before finding a suitable place to enter the Grihvjra. Jara Devi temple on Gaya Highway is associated with the birth of Jarasandha. Two big stone platforms on the ghoda katora hill and Vaibhara hills are associated with legend of Jarasandha.