Sammed Shikharji

Base Town: Madhuban (Shikharji)
Where: 23 Kms from Parasnath Railway Station, Giridih district, Jharkhand
How to reach: From Parasnath Railway Station and take a cab from there.
Best time to visit: Sept-February (post rains)
Time visited: Dec 2014
Stay:  Various Dharmashalas, Hotels
Food: Hotmeals in Dharmashalas, few eateries outside
Parking: Parking available inside Dharmashalas

Tour Plan
Day 1: Madhuban - Rest and local Darshan
Day 2: The Climb-Vandana
Day 3: Parikrama (Pradakshina)
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: Gunawa-Guniyaj, Nawada, Pawapuri, Nalanda, Kundalpur
Day 6: Kundalpur-Rajgrihi-Kundalpur
Day 7: Gaya, Vaishali
Day 8: Vaishali Sightseeing, Patna

Day 1- Madhuban

History as per Internet: 
The place is called Sammed Śikhar or Sammet Shikhar, meaning the peak of concentration because it is a place where twenty of twenty-four Tirthankaras attained a state of mokṣa through meditative concentration. It is situated on a group of eight hills called the Parasnath Hills in Giridih, Jharkhand. The base of Sammed Shikharji is called Madhuvan because of the trees sprinkling with drops and crystals of Madhu (Honey) all around the bottom of the mountain.The earliest reference to Shikharji as a tirth (place of pilgrimage) is found in the Jñātṛdhārmakātha, one of the twelve core texts of Jainism: at Shikharji, Mallinātha, the nineteenth Jina practiced samadhi. Shikharji is also mentioned in the Pārśvanāthacarita, a twelfth century biography of Pārśva. 

  1. Best to book room in Dharmashala in advance
  2. Food (Dinner) is available inside in Dharmashalas mostly till 7PM. Some Dharmashalas like BeesPanthi has canteen which is open from 5AM till 10pm and offer snacks like samosa, kachori, poha, upma,, jelbi, tea, coffee, milk etc.
  3. If you need Doli, you will need to book, in the evening prior to you day of climb.
  4. Hot water is usually available somewhere in Dharmshala but you may need to carry the buckets to your room. Some help is available and usually these guys carry up and charge 10rs/bucket.
  5. Start early to climb so that you are back before its dark. It starts getting dark around 5.30/6pm. The gates open at around 3AM.
  6.   In winter the temperatures drop drastically and its cold throughout the day and very foggy till11AM. Carry enough warm clothes. Sweater, mufflers etc are available in local market too.

Started journey by Assansol EXP from Mumbai to Patna.The train was supposed to reached at 3.35pm on Dec 25 but due to extreme fog we reached almost at 8.45PM!. Thankfully we were able to change platforms and catch Hatia Express at 9.45 PM.  Reached Parasnath Station at 3.10 AM on Dec 26. Cabs had already lined up although service starts at 4 am when the forest gates open. We went to Beespanthi Dharmashala which is 20KMS away from Parasnath Station in Madhuban. Luckily we had booked a room in advance and we got the keys after the office opened at 5AM. 

In the morning we went around town and visited local temples. Town landscape. It’s all about this narrow lane which is the main artery of the town with shop spread across this road.

Continuously honking designer rickshaw.


Bees Panthi Dharmashala

Beespanthi Kothi is believed to 400 years old and situated right at the foothills of the mountain. It has 11 temples inside the premises and the main Parshavnath Bhagvan temple is believed to be built around 1815. The Dharmashala has around are 300+ rooms, 25+ bunglows, 3 Bhojnalayas and 1 canteen.

Other Dharmashala's

Terahpanthi Kothi 
This huge Kothi has around 8 Temples and 3 Chaitalayas. The main temple is of Pusphadanta Bhagvan.

Digamber Jain Museum
The muesum has large number of scenes depicting Vrishabhnath Bhagvans poorvabhav and Panchakalyanike of Adinath Bhagvan.

Jain Museum
The double storied museum has several historical Jain artifacts and idols especially in elephant tusk and Chandan wood. There is collection of Jain Stamps and Grain of rice with Parshavanth Bhagwan idol carved meticulously. 

There are around 50 scenes depicting various incidences from the period of Vrishabnath Bhagvan till today age.

The Shikharji mountain peaks can be observed through a binocular.

Jain Stamps in Jain Museum

Jain Old Manuscripts in Jain Museum

Madhyalok Shod Sansthan Digamber Jain Temple
The Parshavnath Temple is said to be built in 1996 and has huge library. Worth watching is Dhyan-gufa.

Gunyatan Digamber Jain Temple

Railway Timetable

Room Booking Phone Numbers

Important Phone Nos

Places to visit around Shikahrji

 Parikrama with Vehicle

It was a long day and after a hearty dinner at 6.30 PM we straight went to bed. We were hoping to start the climb next day at 4AM sharp!