Sammed Shikhar is located in Giridh district in Jharkhand and is considered the holiest of all the places for Jains as twenty of the twenty four Tirthankaras left their earthly bodies here and attained Moksha. Hence it is also referred to as Teerthraj or King of Teerths or pilgrimages. Sammet Shikharji is said to be ‘the topmost light of Nirvana’.
The Parshvanath hill is about 4481 ft high. From forested lower slopes the mountain rises handsomely to its rugged peak and the summit is covered with temples. The temples are all relatively modern, the finest one being the temple on the South East which has five fluted domes containing an image of Lord Parshva the twenty third Tirthankara in black marble dated 1765 on its base. Pilgrims conclude their pilgrimage at this place after visiting every shrine by walking the thirty mile circuit of the base of the hill. The foot of the hill is called Madhuvan as it has large clusters of trees sprinkling madhu or honey. Renovation work was carried out here at different periods of time.
Places of Interest
Shwetambar Kothi and Temple
A 90 cm idol of Bhagavan Parshvanath is the principal deity installed here. There is also a huge Jina temple in the form of a cluster of eleven temples. Inside the Kothi is an attractive temple of Shri Bhomiaji Maharaj.
Digambar Jain Terah Panth Kothi
In the middle of the Kothi there is a majestic temple of Lord Chandraprabhu. On the left side of the third door of this temple Samavasaran(the structure from where the Tirthankars preached) temple has been built.
This temple houses the idols of many Jain Tirthankars. Fifty two Jinalayas have been built here.
This museum was built by the Jityasha Foundation Kolkata. Many articles related to Jainism have been collected in the first floor of this museum including ancient art pieces made of sandalwood and ivory. A 6 feet idol of Lord Parshvanath in the meditation posture is displayed in front of the sprawling hall. There are exhibition of pictures depicting Jain architecture all around on the walls. The museum also contains a collection of all postage stamps issued on Jainism. Fifty scenes depicting special sequence of events of Jainism have been shown on the second floor of the museum.
Shri Digambar Jain Madhyalok Research Centre
This Research Centre which has been recently built as described in the Jain scriptures depicts the ‘Madhyalok’. In a huge hall the main building houses a massive statue of Bhagavan Parshvanath. For Jain scholars a library is being developed along with research facilities.
References to this great hill has been made in the scripture Jnatadharm Katha, in the medieval literature Samidigiri or Samadhigiri and in the Parshvanath Charitra(biography of Parshvanath).
How To Reach
The nearest railway station is Parasnath which is 23 kms away from Shikharji. Travel time between them is approximately 45 mins, Giridh station 32kms approx 45 mins, Dhanbad 85 kms approx 1.30 hrs, Gomoh 40 kms approx 1hr.
The nearest airport is Ranchi 190 kms approx 4.5 hrs, Patna 210 kms approx 5 hrs, Kolkota 350 kms approx 7 hrs.
Due to security reasons, night travelling by road in these areas is strictly not advisable.
Many Dharmashalas like Beespanthi Kothi, Terapanthi Kothi etc and guest houses by various organisations with bed, food and utensils provide accommodation for the pilgrims. These dharmashalas also have beautiful temples constructed within them.
Shikharji as it is generally referred to, is the holiest of all Jain pilgrimage sites as the land has been rendered pure by the attainment of Moksha of twenty Tirthankars. The very ground has been hallowed by their purity and Divinity and all pilgrims going there feel the spiritual vibrations that bring them peace and help them in their spiritual quest for enlightenment and bliss.