During my visit, I had chanced upon visiting Parasnath hills. It’s a range of hills located within the same district. My staff in the hotel advised me that it’s a must see place and that it’s still considered a center of pilgrimage by the Jains. The highest peak of this range rises to about 1350 meters from sea level. They would refer to it as the Sammet Sikhar.
The hills got named after the 23rd Tirthankara – Lord Parasnath. This hill is famous for witnessing salvation attained by twenty four Jain Tirthankara’s. I was told that some preachers still argue that only nine Tirthankara’s attained salvation over here. The hill has a shrine for each of these Tirthankara’s, which I visited during my trip.
It felt wonderful when I visited each of these 2000 year old temples. The temples seemed to be of a recent origin, although the place seemed to be quite ancient to me. Marang Buru is a Santhal name given to this hill, as they regard it as the deity’s hill. I had just missed the Santhal hunting festival, which is celebrated during mid April. It takes place on a full moon day in the month of Baisakhi.
I had reached the Parasnath Hill from the northern side, although it can be approached from the southern side. The Parasnath Hill has two routes that are recognized by tourists from different corners. To reach it from the southern side, one needs to reach Isri Bazaar and drive upwards for about 2 km. the remaining 8 km have to be climbed on foot.
I chose the northern routes, which seemed easier to me. I had to reach the Dumri-Giridih road and move past the Madhuban village for a distance of 13 km. You may choose to take a taxi from Isri Bazaar, but I chose to follow the bus route from Dumri that went past the Madhuban village. On my way, I visited a number of Jain temples near Madhuban.
I chose to opt for a Jeep to pull me up to a certain point in the hill; rest of the journey had to be trudged on foot. The distance that I covered on the jeep can even be climbed with the help of ponies. It doesn’t cost you more for hiring a pony than opting for a jeep.