Parasnath Hills, also known as “Samet Sikhar”, is the highest mountain peak in the Indian state of Jharkhand, standing at an elevation of 1366 m. It is situated towards the eastern end of the Chota Nagpur Plateau in the Giridih District. These mountain ranges are considered to be the biggest pilgrimage centers for the Jains in India.
Ways to visit on Parasnath Hills
Parasnath Hill is situated on the Grand Trunk Road and is easily accessible from the Parasnath railway station, located at a distance of about 17 km. The nearest airport accesible from Parasnath hills is the Newly launched Deoghar Aiport also known as Baba Baidyanath Airport (DGH or VEDO) which is at the distance of 115 KM approx.
Etymology of Parasnath Hills
The name Parasnath is derived from the word “Parshvanatha”, the 23rd Tirthankara, who attained Nirvana there. It is believed that nearly 24 Jain Tirthankaras received their salvation in these mountains. Even the oldest temple, which was built in 1775, is also located in the Parasnath Hills. It is also known as Samet Sikhar. This place is full of peace and often it attracts people for its silence. Tourists visit here for its ultimate peace and meditating environment.
Flora and Fauna of Parasnath Hills
These hills are located within the dense forests of the mountain range, making them an ideal wildlife sanctuary. The mountain is largely covered with dense forests that support a wide range of natural vegetation and wild animals that need to be protected. This is the reason why the state government has set up a wildlife sanctuary in Parasnath hills to preserve the natural resources of the region.
Features of Parasnath Hills
The Parasnath Hills offer a picturesque landscape with its numerous natural waterfalls, well-decorated peaceful meditation halls, and evergreen forest ranges, attracting devotees and tourists from all over India. The hills can be approached only through steep roadways, with the passage to the hilltop passing through the village Madhuvan, which includes a trek of 11 km. It takes a full day to reach the hilltop and return back.
Apart from the natural beauty, the local tribes inhabiting the area are also a striking feature of the Parasnath hills. These hills are revered by the Santhal Tribe of Hazaribagh District, Santhals of Bankura District, and Santhals of Manbhum and Santhal community of Santhal Parganas, who visit the area on every full moon night of the month of Vaisakhi. Though they do not worship the Jain Tirthankaras directly, they worship the sacred place as “Marang Buru”.