Singheshwar Sthan

The cult of Saivism has found expression in Bihar in a large number of Shiva temples and particularly on the districts bordering Nepal. Champaran, Saran, Muzaffarpur, Darbhanga and Saharsa have got quite a few Shiva temples.

The influence of Nepal, where Saivism has a very great holds, is clearly one of the reason why there are so many Shiva temples in these boarder districts. Many of these Shiva temples are visited by thousands of pilgrims from Nepal.

The Singheshwar temple at  Singheshwar in Saharsa district is one of the ancient Shiva temples in Bihar. It is visited by lakhs of pilgrims in the course of a year .

 It speaks a lot for the religiosity of Hindu India that inspite of the generations of the people of this district fighting against death, disease and frustration, the Mahadeo temple at Singheshwar acted as a beacon light and a source of inspiration by drawing pilgrims in their myriad’s from even far beyond tile confines of Saharsa district.

The temple of Mahadeo, at Singheshwar in Madhepura  district is commonly accepted as very ancient. According to the Legend prevalent in the area, Sringa Rishi who had performed the Putreshti Yajna for king Dasaratha installed the Shiva linga. The legend has induced a number of barren women to pay a daily visit to the temple.
The present temple, over the ancient lingam was constructed about two hundred years back by a merchant of Bhagalpur by the name of Hari Charan Choudhury.

Barah Puran has a story as follows:-Once upon a time Lord Shiva went to a forest called SIesh Atmak and told Nandishwar that he should not divulge to anybody where he had gone. Lord Indra with Lord Brahma, and Lord Vishnu went to Mount, Munjwan and asked Nandishwar where Lord Shiva had gone. As Nandishwar did not tell them of Lord Shiva’s whereabouts, these three gods went to the Slesh Atmak forest in search of him.

Their Lord Shiva took the form of a deer. Recognizing him, they ran to catch hold of him. Indra caught the front portion of tile horn of the deer, Brahma its middle portion, and Lord Vishnu caught the root. The horn broke into three pieces and the deer disappeared. Then they heard a voice from the heaven addressed to them to the effect that they would not be able to find Lord Shiva and that they were to rest satisfied with the portion of the horn in their hands.

Lord Indra established the portion of the horn, which had fallen into his hand, in heaven. Lord Brahma established it at that very place. Both these parts came to be known as Kokaran. Lord Vishnu established on earth what had fallen into his hand, for the good of humanity, and this place came to be known as Singheshwar.

Two of the boundaries of Singheshwar mentioned in the Barah Puran axe north of Mandrachal and south of Munjwan Shikhar. Mandar Hill of Bhagalpur district is commonly accepted as the Mandrachal and the present temple is to the north of Mandar Hill.
Munjwan Shikhar stands for a peak in the Himalayas and the Mahadeo temple is south of it. 
Some time back in 1937 there was a title suit between the pandas of the temple and the people.The pandas had claimed the temple to be their private property and contested that it was not a public one.

According to them, two of their ancestors, Anant Thakur and his brother Mahesh Thakur, had set up the lingam. The pandas, however, conceded that the original temple had fallen down and Hari Charan Choudhury built the present temple, but they continued in their private possession.

This contention of the pandas was, however, rejected in the Civil Court and the temple was declared to be a public property, The Maharajadhiraj of Darbhanga had assigned a neighboring village, Gouripur, to the deity.

According to the Judge's order, in 1945, a Trust Committee was formed and the pandas were instructed to act as the Pujari of the deity under the Manager to be appointed by the Trust Committee.

It was decided, further, that, after meeting all the expenditure for the maintenance of the temple and the observance of the ceremonials, a certain portion of the income will be set apart and the rest will be divided among the fourteen families of the pandas according to their accepted shares.

The temple was brought under the control of the State Government from 1957, when the Religious Trust Act was passed. Now there is a Committee set up by the Religious Trust Board and the Sub- divisional Officer of Madhepura is the President. The pandas are also represented in the Committee.

On a common estimate near about three lakhs of pilgrims visit the temple every year. The amenities for a place visited by lakhs of people are, however, poor. There is a dharmashala,which can accommodate only about 100 persons. At the time of the mela the Government provides a number of tents and sheds.

During the occasion of Shivaratri, when thousands of people come every day to offer puja to the lingam, a large cattle fair is also held. This cattle fair continues for about 15 days and the turn-over of the cattle is said to be numerically second only to that of Hariharkshetra mela at Sonepur in Saran District.

There is nothing specially striking about the architectural beauty in the construction of the temple, Within the temple compound there are various other constructions and particularly a small temple of Ram Janki set up by one Raghubar Das decades before.
There is also a samadhi of another saint, Bir Bharati, in one corner of the compound. Some of the door frames and platforms were constructed as gifts from pilgrims.

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