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Jain Temples at Parasnath Hills, Shikarji
Jain Temples at Parasnath Hills, Shikarji
Shikharji is located in Jharkhand
Location within Jharkhand
Coordinates: 23°57′40″N 86°08′14″E / 23.9611°N 86.1371°E / 23.9611; 86.1371Coordinates: 23°57′40″N 86°08′14″E / 23.9611°N 86.1371°E / 23.9611; 86.1371
Devanagari: शिखरजी
Sanskrit transliteration: Śikharjī
Country: India
State/province: Jharkhand
District: Giridih
Elevation: 1,350 m (4,429 ft)
Architecture and culture
Important festivals: Paryushana

Shikharji (Marathi: Śikharajī), Giridih district, Jharkhand, India, is the highest mountain of the Parasnath Range. It is a tirtha (Jain pilgrimage site)[1] believed to be the place where twenty of the twenty-four tirthankaras along with many other saints attained moksha.[2][3]


Tonk of 1008, Parasnath Bhagvan, Shikharji

Śikharjī means "venerable peak". The site is also called Sammed Śikhar or Sammet Shikhar "peak of concentration" because it is a place where twenty of twenty-four Tirthankaras attained moksha through samadhi (meditative practices). The word "Parasnath" is derived from Parshvanatha, the twenty-third tirthankara, who was one of those who is believed to have attained moksha at the site.


Shikarji is located in an inland part of rural east India. It lies on NH 2, the Delhi-Kolkata highway in a section called the Grand Trunk road.[4] Shikharji rises to 4,429 feet (1,350 m) making it the highest mountain in Jharkhand state. [5]


The earliest reference to Shikharji as a tirth (place of pilgrimage) is found in the Jñātṛdhārmakātha, one of the twelve core texts of Jainism: at Shikharji, Māllīnātha, the nineteenth tirthankara, practiced samadhi. Shikharji is also mentioned in the Pārśvanāthacarita, a twelfth century biography of Pārśva.

The popularity of Shikharji as a site of pilgrimage followed that of Vulture Peak, Bihar, where it is believed the Buddhist Sariputta attained enlightenment.

Jharkhand acquired Shikharji under the Bihar Land Reforms Act, leaving the rights of Jains in doubt. Use of Shikharji as a tourist destination also impacts on the religious beliefs of the Jain. Sports such as paragliding and parasailing may take place at Shikharji. [6]


Trail map showing tonks on Parasnath Hill

The pilgrimage to Shikharji is a round trip of 30 kilometre through the Madhuban forest. The section from Gandharva Nala stream to the summit is the most sacred to Jains. The pilgrimage is made on foot or by a litter or doli carried by a doliwallah along a concrete paved track. Along the track are shrines to each of the twenty tirthankaras and vendors of tea, coffee, water, fruits and snacks.

There is a option for parikrama of the entire Parasnath Hill, a pilgrimage of 54 kilometres (34 mi). The parikrama path is throug the forest and is walking only.


The temple at Shikharji is a new construction with some parts dating to the eighteenth century. However, the idol itself is very old. Sanskrit inscriptions at the foot of the image date to 1678. At the base of Shikharji is a temple to Bhomiyaji (Taleti). On the walls of the Jain temple at the village of Madhuban, there is a mural painting depicting all the temples on Parasnath Hill. Temples along the track include:


In Jainism, the building of replica temples is seen as auspicious and worthwhile. There is a small scale replica of Shikharji at Dadabari, New Delhi. A full size replica was opened on 13 August 2012 in the US.


Nearest railway station named "Parasnath Station" is situated in Isri bazar, Dumri Jharkhand. Its around 25km from Madhuban. Parasnath station is situated on Delhi-Howrah Grand Chord via Kanpur, Allahbad, Mugalsarai, Gaya, Asansol. Many long distance have halt at Parasnath Station. Daily connectivities to Mumbai, Delhi, Jaipur, Ajmer, Kolkata, Patna, Allahbad, Kanpur, Jammutavi, Amritsar, Kalka etc are available. Even 12301-12302 Howrah Rajdhani Express via Gaya Junction has a halt on Parasnath sttaion which run 6days in a week.

By Airway; Nearest airport is Ranchi and 4 hour drive from Ranchi airport.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Jain V. "Shikharji." 15 April 2011 Accessed 26 May 2012
  2. ^ "On a spiritual odyssey – Hindustan Times Travel." 14 January 2011 Accessed 7 July 2012
  3. ^ Hachette India (25 October 2013). Indiapedia: The All-India Factfinder. Hachette India. ISBN 978-93-5009-766-3. 
  4. ^ "Parasnath." Google Maps Accessed 23 April 2014.
  5. ^ "Shikharji." Accessed 26 May 2012
  6. ^ "Adventure Tourism in Jharkhand." Department of Tourism, Government of Jharkhand. Accessed 9 March 2012