Parasnath is a famous pilgrimage site located in the Giridih district of Jharkhand, India. It is a holy site for the Jain community and is considered one of the most important Jain pilgrimage centers in India. It is also known as Sammed or Sammet Shikharji or Sikharji. The town of Parasnath is named after the Parasnath Hill, which is the highest mountain in Jharkhand at an altitude of 4,478 feet. The mountain is believed to be sacred by Jains as it is said to be the place where the 23rd Jain Tirthankara, Parshvanatha, attained enlightenment.
Parasnath - Famous Jain Pilgrimage Site in Jharkhand, India
The Parasnath Hill is also home to many Jain temples and shrines, including the famous Shikharji temple, which is dedicated to Lord Parshvanath. Every year, thousands of devotees visit Parasnath to pay their respects to the Tirthankaras and seek blessings.
Apart from its religious significance, Parasnath is also known for its scenic beauty and is a popular destination for trekking and hiking. The mountain is surrounded by dense forests and is home to a variety of flora and fauna, making it a nature lover's paradise.
The history of Parasnath is deeply intertwined with Jainism, one of the oldest religions in India. According to Jain tradition, the Parasnath Hill is the place where the 23rd Jain Tirthankara, Parshvanatha, attained enlightenment.
The hill was also an important center of Jainism during the Gupta period (320-550 CE) and the early medieval period. Many Jain monks and scholars lived and studied here, and several Jain temples and shrines were built on the hill during this time.
In the 12th century, the Chandelas, a dynasty that ruled over parts of central India, built several Jain temples and structures on the Parasnath Hill. These temples were known for their intricate carvings and sculptures, many of which have survived to this day.
During the Mughal period, the Parasnath Hill was under the control of the Muslim rulers. Despite this, the Jain community continued to maintain and develop the temples and shrines on the hill.
In modern times, Parasnath has become an important pilgrimage site for Jains from all over India and the world. The Jain community has undertaken several initiatives to preserve and protect the temples and structures on the hill, including restoration and conservation work.
Today, the Parasnath Hill is home to several Jain temples and shrines, including the famous Shikharji temple, which is dedicated to Lord Parshvanath. It remains an important center of Jainism and a symbol of the religion's rich history and cultural heritage.
Sacred Place for Jains
Parasnath is a sacred place for Jains because it is believed to be the place where the 23rd Jain Tirthankara, Parshvanatha, attained enlightenment, also known as Keval Gyan. Jains consider Tirthankaras as the divine preachers who show the path of liberation to the people. The Parasnath Hill is also considered as one of the most important Jain pilgrimage centers in India, and the most sacred one in Eastern India.
The Jain community believes that Parasnath Hill is a place of immense spiritual power, and that its very presence is enough to inspire devotion and enlightenment in people who visit it. Jains consider the Parasnath Hill to be a place where the Tirthankaras have spent time in meditation and have attained salvation.
Parasnath Hill is home to several Jain temples and shrines, which are believed to have been built over the centuries by Jain rulers and devotees. The most important of these is the Shikharji temple, which is dedicated to Lord Parshvanath. The temple is considered one of the holiest places for Jains, and thousands of Jains visit it every year to pay their respects and seek blessings.
In summary, Parasnath is not just a place of historical and cultural significance for Jains, but also a place of deep spiritual importance. It is a place where they can connect with their religious heritage, and experience the peace and serenity that comes with being in the presence of the Tirthankaras.