Parasnath, located in the Giridih district of Jharkhand, India, is an ancient mountain peak that holds great significance for multiple religious communities. Standing at a height of 1365 meters, it is the highest mountain peak in the state of Jharkhand and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.
The hill is named after Parshvanatha, the 23rd Jain Tirthankara, who is believed to have attained salvation here. For the Jain community, Parasnath is a place of immense religious importance and is known as Sammed Sikhar. It is considered one of the most holy and revered pilgrimage sites, with 20 out of the 24 Tirthankaras of Jainism having attained nirvana on the Parshvnatha Hills.
At the summit of Parasnath, there is a beautiful Jain temple known as “Svarna Bhadra koot” or “cottage of golden grace.” Made of marble, this temple is a testament to the architectural brilliance of the Jain community. Another notable marble Jain temple, called Jal Mandir, can also be found on the hill. These temples are not only religious landmarks but also architectural marvels that attract visitors from all over.
Parasnath is easily accessible from the Parasnath railway station, making it convenient for devotees and tourists to visit. The journey to the top of the hill is an adventure in itself, with lush greenery and scenic beauty along the way. As you ascend, you can feel a sense of tranquility and spirituality enveloping you.
Apart from its significance to the Jain community, Parasnath is also known as Marang Buru, meaning “great mountain,” by the Santhals and other indigenous people of the region. They consider it the abode of their supreme deity and hold religious rituals and festivals on the mountain.
Interestingly, Parasnath is theoretically inter-visible with Mount Everest, over 450 kilometers away, on a perfectly clear day. This unique geographical feature adds to the mystique and allure of the mountain.
The history of Parasnath dates back centuries, with references to stone structures and remnants of a Buddhist stupa from the 2nd century BCE. Although no excavation has been conducted to explore these historical artifacts, their presence hints at the rich cultural heritage of the region.
In the valley at Palganj, an ancient idol of Lord Parasnath is located. Believed to be 2500 years old, this idol serves as a reminder of the deep-rooted spiritual traditions associated with the mountain.
Whether you are a devotee seeking spiritual solace or a nature enthusiast looking to explore the beauty of the Chota Nagpur Plateau, Parasnath offers a unique and enriching experience. The serene surroundings, the magnificent temples, and the sense of history that permeates the air make Parasnath a destination worth visiting.
As you stand atop the mountain, gazing at the panoramic views and feeling the spiritual energy that reverberates through the air, you can’t help but be in awe of the majesty of Parasnath. It is a place where faith, nature, and history converge, leaving a lasting impression on all who visit.