Sammed Shikharji Parikrama

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

The Parikrama is divided into 3 main sections.
1) Madhuban-Dhokatta: 21 Kms (5 Hrs)
2) Dholkatta-GT Road-Nimia Ghat Temple: 13 KMs (2.5 Hrs)
3) Nimia Ghat-Madhuban: 19 KMs (5 Hrs)

Things to Carry
Time-Distance: 53 Kms around 14 hours to complete
When to Start: 4 AM.
What to carry: Light lunch & snack that you can eat even when walking like Cucumber, Oranges, Dates and other dryfruits, Rajgira Vadi/Chikki 
What to wear: Shoes preferred but carry Floaters. Carry Jerkin/Sweater. It could be cold and chilly.
Medicines: Antiseptic & Bandages. You might get shoe bites and blisters.

Some loose coins. Its extreme poverty and its very remote. At every village, children would come after you begging.

Map from backpage of book- ‘Shikharji Guide’ by R.P.Pandit

We started early at 4.30 AM. The weather was chilly and breezy. Around 2.5 Kms after crossing 'Sita Nala' cross Pipradih village to reach Pandedih village which is around 5kms. Now the both the extreme ends on the Vandana- Chandraprabhu Tonk and Parshavnath Tonk are visible far away on the right side.

From Navadih village,we proceed to Baritond village. The clock read around 1.5+ hrs and mobile app showed 8KMS. At around 14 Kms you will reach Chatrobeda village. 

Barritond Village...

For almost next 1.5 hours the trail goes through dense jungle across the mountains and valleys. The trail is prepared by forest department. The fresh misty morning and eerie silence amongst the tall trees makes this 7 km walk the most enjoyable.

Just few kms before the Dholkatta village, as the jungle become less dense, you begin to again see the mountain range on right and almost 4 tonks-Chandraprabhu, Anantnath, Sheetalnath and Abhinandan are visible. 

Dhokatta (Dholkatta Nala) was the first stop for rest and breakfast- It was close to 9.15 AM- around 4/4.5 hrs and distance should be 21 Kms. After 20 mins rest we proceeded further.

After 10 mins walk you will come to diversion. A big dusty road prepared by Forest Department goes straight to GT road via Dahia.  We took the right trail which was shortcut to GT road.

The toughest 8KM walk under blazing sun on hot tar was tiring indeed. It was almost 12.45 PM and we had clocked almost 33 kms and we had reached our second destination- Nimia Ghat.

The peaceful surroundings of  Parshavanath Digamber Jain temple helps to much needed relaxation. Time to remove shoes and have hearty meal and refreshing chai from Pandit.

Around 2/2.15 we started the last stretch of 16 kms. Its straight road from here. After about 1Km, leaving the main road we took a diversion on the dusty trail on the left. Far away tucked in the mountains is Parasnath Tonk clearly visible (circled).

After crossing Kodotond at 33Kms, we procedded further to khuntahar village, famous for its huge idol of Bajarangbali.

It was close to 4PM and we had clocked 39 kms. After completing 10/11 kms walk from Nimia Ghat, the trial enters a dense forest but this time its steep climb. As confusing trail take us up and down it was also starting to get darker and darker.

The trail reached Mohanpur and it was pitch dark. Last few kms of trail was more of dragging our sore feet

The final readings...