Parasnath Hills, also known as Shikharji, is a renowned pilgrimage site for Jains located in the Giridih district of Jharkhand, India. It is considered one of the holiest Jain pilgrimage sites as it is believed to be the place where Lord Mahavira, the 24th Tirthankara of Jainism, attained nirvana (spiritual liberation) after a life of asceticism.
How to Reach Parasnath Hills:
- By Air: The nearest airport to Parasnath Hills is Birsa Munda Airport in Ranchi, approximately 160 kilometers away. From there, you can hire a taxi or take a train to reach Parasnath.
- By Train: Parasnath Railway Station is the closest railway station, well-connected to major cities in India. You can reach Parasnath by train and then proceed to the pilgrimage site.
- By Road: Parasnath is accessible by road and can be reached by bus or car from nearby towns and cities. The town of Giridih serves as the base for travelers visiting Parasnath Hills.
Best Time to Visit:
The best time to visit Parasnath Hills is during the cooler months, from October to March, when the weather is pleasant and suitable for trekking and pilgrimage activities. Summers can be quite hot, and monsoons (July to September) bring heavy rainfall, which may hinder travel.
Local transportation options at Parasnath include taxis, auto-rickshaws, and cycle rickshaws. The pilgrimage site itself is best explored on foot.
Parasnath offers limited accommodation options primarily in the form of dharamshalas (pilgrims’ lodges) and guesthouses. These accommodations are often simple and cater to the needs of pilgrims. It’s advisable to book in advance, especially during peak pilgrimage seasons.
Nearby Places to Visit:
- Sammet Shikhar: The highest peak in the Parasnath Hills, it is the main pilgrimage site for Jains and offers stunning views of the surrounding region.
- Kundalpur: Known for its Jain temples and religious significance, it’s a short distance from Parasnath Hills.
- Giridih: The nearby town of Giridih is known for its natural beauty and is a good base for exploring the region.
Popular Things to Do:
- Visit Sammet Shikhar and pay homage at the various Jain temples.
- Participate in religious rituals and prayers at the pilgrimage site.
- Trek to the summit of Parasnath Hills for panoramic views and spiritual experiences.
- Explore the surrounding forests and natural beauty.
- Attend religious festivals and gatherings, especially during Mahavira Jayanti.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions):
- Is there an entry fee to visit Parasnath Hills? There may be a nominal entry fee to access certain areas and temples within Parasnath Hills. Check locally for the latest fees.
- Is photography allowed at Parasnath Hills? Photography rules may vary, and there may be restrictions on photography within certain temple complexes. Respect local guidelines.
- Are there specific dress code requirements for visiting the temples? While there isn’t a strict dress code, it’s advisable to wear modest and respectful attire when visiting Jain temples.
- Is there mobile network coverage at Parasnath Hills? Mobile network coverage may be limited, especially in the higher reaches of the hills. Plan accordingly for communication.
- Is Parasnath Hills safe for tourists? Parasnath Hills is generally safe for pilgrims and tourists, but it’s important to respect the religious customs and traditions of the Jain community.
Before planning your visit to Parasnath Hills, check for any updated travel information, temple timings, and guidelines, as conditions may change, especially during religious festivals.