Pawapuri in Bihar (an eastern state in India) is a holy site for Jains, located 38 kilometers from Rajgir in Nalanda district and 90 kilometers from Patna, the capital of Bihar.
Around 500 BC, Lord Mahavira, the last of the 24 Tirthankaras and one of the founders of Jainism, breathed his last here. This is the place where Lord Mahavira achieved Moksha or Nirvana (Salvation from the endless cycle of life and death). He was cremated at Pawapuri, also known as Apapuri ("the sinless town"). There was a great rush to collect his ashes, with the result that so much soil was removed from the place of his cremation that a pond was created.
Now, an exquisite marble temple in the middle of a lotus pond, the Jalmandir, stands magnificently on a rectangular island. Another Jain temple, called Samosharan is located here, where the Lord Mahavira delivered his last teaching.
It is said that the demand for his ashes was so great that a large amount of soil was removed from around the funeral pyre, creating the water tank. A marble temple, the “Jalmandir”, was later built in the middle of the tank, and is now a major pilgrimage spot for Jains. Another Jain temple called Samosharan is located here.