This place devotees take holy dip

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Manjhi: It is situated 16 km west of Chapra on the bank of River Gogra or Saryu. There are remains of an old fort on the river bank, said to be built by Manjhi Makna of Chero dynasty. Another theory is that the kings were Mallahs and the title ‘Manjhi’, as well as the position of the fort appear to favour this theory. This fort, however, maintained its in importance till 1835.

Being situated on the bank of Saryu, the place has religious sanctity as well. A huge fair takes place on Kartik Purnima at this place as people take a holy dip in Saryu River.

Manjhi is said to be connected with one Dhannidas, contemporary of Aurangzeb, who was a social reformer and his teachings are very near to those of Kabirdas. He denounced idolatry and the caste system. He founded various Maths and Sahnam Maths are said to be established by his disciples.

Ami:

A village about 28 km east of Chhapra, Ami is also called Ambika-Sthaan in deference to the local temple dedicated to the Goddess Ambika Bhawani. It is an extremely popular shrine.

Its popularity is based on its legend about Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati which goes thus: In the early ages, King Daksha performed a sacrifice to obtain a son but he did not invite his daughter Sati’s husband Shiva to the cceremony.

Sati took this as an insult to her husband and in her frenzied indignation, she flung herself into ther sacrificial fire. An enraged Shiva then transfixed her body on the point of his trident and launched into Tandav, dancing all over in fury, thereby threatening to destroy the world.

Vishnu, the Preserver, came to the rescue by hurling his chakra or disc at Sati’s body, cutting it into many pieces that fell at different places on the earth. Each such place is considered a sanctuary and Ami is one such Shakti Peeth as a piece of Sati’s severed body is believed to have fallen near the sacrifice altar.

Dighwara, the town near Ami , is considered to be the main gate to King Daksha’s yagya.

Semaria:

It is situated at a distance of 12 km of the Chapra Town. Originally it was a confluence of the Ganga and Saryu rivers, which has shifted some distance away. But a fair is still held on the same date as the Sonepur fair and it is the second largest cattle fair of the district after the Sonepur Fair.

It is also the sacred site where Hindus come to bathe in large numbers on auspicious dates, particularly on Kartik Punima.

Revelganj:

Revelganj, a small town siruated 11 km from Chhapra, is named after Henry Revel who was posted here as the customs collector by the East India Company.

The East India Company had established its customs collection office at Revelganj in 1788. This office continued till the advent of railways. Henry Revel was the last customs collector and the town gained glory and importance during that period.

The area before being nominated as ‘Ravelganj’ was known as Godna and is regarded locally as the place of the ashram of Gautama, the prodounder of the Nyaya Darshan (philosophy). A Sanskrit school was built by public subscription during the years 1883-1887 , the foundation stone of which was laid by sir Rivers Thompson, the then Lieutenant Governor of Bengal. The school was named after him as ‘Thimpson Gautam Pathshala’. It taught Nyaya Philosophy and Sanskrit Literature.

Bodna and its neighbouring village soon grew into a bustling river-mart town which together became Revelganj. It became one of Bihar’s earliest municipalities in 1876 with the efforts of one Tarapada Mukherjee, a local landlord who gave the place a facelift.

Henry Revel left his mark as a humanitarian and charitable official, thereby becoming a local legend in his lifetime. In fact, he had adopted many of the Indian ways in his daily life. He used to take his daily bath in the Saryu river. After his death a monument was built in his memory on the present municipality campus. His memory was held in such repute that his grave was considered a shrine and his name invoked on occasions of calamity and adversity.

Revelganj contains some famous old structures including Bettiah Raj building presently housing the Revelganj block office, Bettiah Raj temple Ram Janaki temple, Revel memorial, Revelganj municipality and the Revel garden, Baba Sri Nath temple at Simiria and Shiva temple along the River Saryu.

Saran Khas:

It is a village 40 km north-east of Chhapra town and 25 km noth of Manjhi. This place is of great value from the archaeological point of view. It has remains of a fort, an inscribed navagraha panel in black stone, a Dargah of Makhdum Shah and a couple of mounds which have been cut by the locals for cultivation.

Sonepur:

Whatever may be the antiquity of Harhar Kshetra, but that of Sonepur goes back at least to the Sunga period, for a stone pillar of Sunga time (2nd Century BCE) stands as an evidence at the local Kali Mandir. Some stone images of the Gupta and Pala times also have been reported from the place.