Pawapuri also known as Apapapuri is a holy site of Jains, located 90 kilometers from Patna, the capital of Bihar and 38 kilometers from Rajgir in Nalanda district. It lies about 3 kms off the Patna-Ranchi (NH - 31) Road. According to belief, it was here that Lord Mahavir (the last of the 24 Tirthankaras) the greatest propounder of Jainism, attained Salvation from the endless cycle of life and death around 500 BC. According to history Mahavir Jina attained omniscience on the bank of Rju-kula. After that he toured different parts of the country to preach the noble principles of Jainism. In the last part of his life he reached Pawapuri and meditated in a park surrounded by many ponds. The site is now known as Jal Mandir. He remained unmoved for following two days and ultimately leaved the mortal world and became a Siddha.
There are five main temples in Pawapuri - the Jal Mandir, the Gaon Mandir, the Samosaran, the New Samosaran and another temple built by Bibi Mehetab Kumari. Apart from these temples there is a Digambar Jain Mandir near Jal Mandir.
It was here that Mahavir attained Nirvana. After his cremation many of his disciples and devotees took away the ashes from here. So much soil was taken out of the area that it became large depression. At present on the same site a beautiful white marble temple has been built in the middle of a lotus pond. This temple is known as Jal Mandir. It was built to commemorate Lord Mahavira's Nirvana. This is accepted as the Tirtha-Ksetra of Jainism by both sects Digambra as well as Svetambra. A “Charan Paduka of Lord Mahavir” is the main deity of the temple.
Samav Sharan/ Samosaran
It is a circular temple made of white marble with a beehive shaped shrine on the top containing the footprints of Lord Mahavir. It was the same place where Lord Mahavir delivered his last teaching to his disciples.
The Gaon Mandir is the spot where Lord Mahavir breathed his last. It is said that this temple was built by King Nandivardhan, elder brother of Lord Mahavir.