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On occasion of Rath Yatra today, impressive Rath (Charriot) of Bhawan today taken out with full religious grandeur at Bounsi better known as Mandar hills falling under Banka district in Eastern Bihar. The stone image of Bhawan Madhusudan, which perhaps is dated back Gupta period, is on the main focus today at the historical place.
Hundreds of devotees especially from the remote parts today gathered Bounsi to witness the historic moment. “We came here to draw the rope of the Rath (chariot) of Bhagwan Madhusudan today as it believe one of the most sacred work which blesses with ‘Muki’ ( relief) from all hurdles,” said Banty Yadav, a native of Deoghar in Jharkhand.
In Hindu mythology, Bounsi plays a very significance role. Foreign tourist-cum-historian, Fahien who visited Champa (Bhagalpur) in the beginning of 5 th century AD, when the fall of Gupta had begun. The eight son of Mahadev Gupta, Adityasen discovered the Mandar Hills, a sacred place for the Hindus. It is also described as Mandar Mahatamya in Skanda Puran. Adityasen and his wife queen Konda Devi installed a statue of Narhari, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu on the hill and dug a tank on the foot hill, which is today known as Papharani. The hill consists of huge amount of granite besides it’s a sacred place for both Hind and Jains where large number of devotees visit every day.
In Puran, it is stated that Lord Vishnu defeated the notorious giant Madhukaitav in a battle which continued for more than ten thousand years. Lord Vishnu finally put the Mandar Hill over the monster’s body. Lord Vishnu hence called Madhusudan after the victory of the demon. There is also a story in the Mahabharata that the hill was used by the Gods and the Asuras in ocean churning. Fourteen ‘ Ratna’ including ‘Bis’ (poison) come out from the churning of the occasion. For the sake of the universe, Lord Shiva drunk it and hence he became also known as ‘Neelkanth’.
Not only that, Jain devotes in large number regularly visit Mandar Hill for their 12 th Thirthankar, Bhawan Vasupujja who spent his times atop Mandar Hills.
Mandar Hill still attracts tourists mainly for its religious significance and also for its scenic beauties. President of India, Pranav Mukherjee during his visit to Vikramshila Buddha Mahavihara in April last, also visited Guru Dham at Bounsi to pay homage to noted Indian spiritual Gurus like Yogi Shamacharan Laheri and Bhupendra Nath Sanyal. Late Sanyal was the Guru of Mukherjee’s parents. Hundreds of devotees every year visited the place of the two giant Indian spiritual leaders at Bounsi.
But very unfortunately, the place which could be developed as a tourist destination, government yet not notice it’s potentialities for revenue generating capacity. State tourism’s much talked project of a proposed ropeway at Mandar Hill getting dust for many years. “The proposed ropeway and tourist complex here could boost tourism as well development of the areas,” pointed out Harinarayan Singh, a social activist at Bounsi. “Leaders and public representatives woke up from the slumbers only before poll times, it’s very unfortunate that they too lacking the interest for development of Bounsi,” is the general perception among the local residents.
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