Areraj is a holy city of North Bihar which is 28 Km. south West from Motihari linked with pucca road. The famous Someshwar Nath Mahadev Temple is age old which attracts lakhs of pilgrims from other districts as well as Nepal on the occasion of Shrawani Mela (During July-August). Areraj a village has developed up to town and now it is the Headquarter of Areraj Subdivision.
Also at Areraj lies an Ashokan pillar attracting tourists throughout the year.
Ashokan Pillar, Lauria Areraj
This Lofty stone column erected by priyadarshee Lord Ashok in 249 BC in village Lauriya under Areraj subdivision is situated on left side of Areraj – Bettiah road. The pillar, known as “Stambh dharma lekh”, which bears in well preserved and well cut letters six of his edicts, is a single block of polished sand stone, 36 ½ feet in height above the ground with a base diameter of 41.8 inches and a diameter at the top of 37.6 inches. The weight of this portion only is very nearly 34 tons, but as these must be several feet of the shaft sunk in the earth. The actual weight of the whole block must be about 40 tons. This pillar has no Capital. According to report that pillar was crowned with a statue of an animal but it was transferred to Kolkota museum.
The edicts of king Ashoka are most clearly and heartily engraved, and are divided into two distinct portions, that to the worth containing 18 lines and that to the south 23 lines. But now these are not good state of preservation and suffered from the effect of weather. The villages call the pillar as ‘Laur’ that is the phallus and the adjoining village is named after it Lauriya.
The Archaeological Survey of India has classified the Ashokan pillar as a protected monument.
Gandhi Memorial Chandrahiah
Chandrahiya is a village in Bihar’s East Champaran district. Chandrahiya holds a special position in the Champaran movement. On April 16, 1917, Gandhi was stopped at this village when he was on his way to the hamlet of Jasaulipatti to listen to problems faced by farmers who were being forced to cultivate indigo instead of food crops.
A police official, riding a horse-driven buggy, had served a notice to Gandhi, issued by then Champaran collector WB Heycock, ordering him to leave the district limits immediately. Gandhi ji had obeyed the order and returned to Motihari on a bullock cart. But he refused to leave Champaran and, two days later, appeared in the court of the sub-divisional magistrate and gave reasons for not leaving Champaran, leading to the beginning of the Champaran Satyagraha.
Gandhi Sangrahalaya, Motihari
The foundation stone of this Gandhi memorial pillar was laid on june 10, 1972 by the then Governor, Mr. D.K.Barooch and if was dedicated to the nation by Mr. Vidyakar Kavi, a gandhian, on 18 April 1978. This memorial pillar has been designed by the famous artist of Santiniketan Mr. Nand lal Bose to commemorate the memory of Champaran Satyagah of Mahatma Gandhi who first raised voice against the atrocities of the British Indigo planters against poor peasants of Champaran.
The 48 fect long Chunar stone pillar stands exactly on the place where Mahatma Gandhi was produced before the court of the then S.D.M., Motihari in violation of orders under section 144 Cr. P. C. as far back as April 18, 1917. Mahatma Gandhi first Satyagrah was experimented on this soil of Motihari in Champaran and so Champaran has been starting point of India’s independence movement launched by Gandhi ji.
Gandhi Museun has on display an array of photographs and relics of the Champaran
Kesaria Baudh Stup , Kesaria
Historical importance of Bihar has been established again with the discovery of “biggest ever Buddhist Stupa “ at Kesaria in East Champaran district about 120 K.M. from Patna and 30 miles from Vaishali on Indo Nepal border. A team of Archaeological survey of India Officials discovered this Stupa in year 1998 after excavation. The ASI officials have declared that Bihar has the proud privilege of housing the tallest ever-excavated Stupa in the world.
The Conservation of Kesaria Stupa is a turning point in the history of conservation in India. Earlier, the ASI team did not realize that the excavated Stupa would be the tallest and largest Stupa in the world.
Rising to a height of 104 feet and much reduced than its original height, it is one foot taller than the famous Borobodur Stupa in Java, a world heritage monument.
The Kesaria Stupa was 123 feet tall before the 1934 earthquake in Bihar. In the halcyon days when Buddhism thrived in India , the Kesaria Stupa was 150 feet and Borobodur stupa 138 feet tall according to A.S.I. report. At present the height of Kesaria in reduced to 104 feet and Borobodur to 103 feet. The height of ‘Sanchi Stupa ‘ a world heritage monument is 77.50 feet, almost half of Kesaria stupa.
Lord Budha on his last Journey spent on memorable height at Kesaria. Here he made source sensational announcements, which was later on recorded in Buddhist Jatak – Story. Buddha here at Kesaria said that in his previous births he ruled as Chakravarti Raja. Buddha also asked Licchivis to return to Vaishali after giving them “BEGGING BOWL.”
Recent excavations of Kesaria Stupa by A.S.I. Patna circle throw light on Buddhist history. The excavation reveals the terraces with “Pradakshina path” around the stupa. Move important finding is a humber of figures of Lord Budha in “Bhoomi Sparsh Mudra” and other sitting image. These figures are made of soil and pebbles in each layer. The earthen lamp, decorated bricks and other potteries are other point of attraction. The Buddhist treasure trove has exposed to its full glory to the glee of devotees of the world and the public alike.
The archeologists believe the Stupa in kesaria known to the people as “Raja Ben ka DEORA“ was built by Licchivis of Vaishali before Budha attained Nirvana . It is the largest site on the Buddhist route. Chinese pilgrim Hieun Tshang had visited this site of Stupa as per his diary in the seventh century.
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