Shikharji, a very prominent Jain Temple, is located on the highest mountain in the state of Jharkhand “Parasnath Hill”. It is the most important Jain Tirtha (pilgrimage site) for the Jains. According to Nirvana Kanda and other texts, this is believed to be the place where twenty of the twenty-four Jain Tirthankara’s along with many other monks attained Moksha through meditation.
Shikharji means the "venerable peak". The site is also called Sammed Śikhar or Sammet Shikhar "peak of concentration." The word "Parasnath" is derived from Parshvanatha, the twenty-third Jain tirthankara, who was one of those who is believed to have attained Moksha at the site.
How to Reach:
By Rail: Nearest railway station named "Parasnath Station" is situated in Isri bazar, Dumri Jharkhand. It’s around 25 km from Madhuban. Parasnath station is situated on Delhi-Howrah Grand Chord via Kanpur, Allahbad, Mugalsarai, Gaya, Asansol.
By Air: Nearest airport is Kazi Nazrul Islam Airport, Durgapur (RDP) West Bengal and 1-hour drive from airport.
By Road: From New Delhi, Madhuban is appx 1150 km, about 18 hrs driving time. Driving Route for New Delhi to Madhuaban. From Kolkata, Madhuban is appx. 350 km, about 5-6 hrs driving time. Driving Route from Kolkata to Madhuban.
Where to Stay & Eat:
One can easily find various Dharamshalas in Madhuban, managed by Digambar & Shwetamber Societies. There is no much information of these Dharamshalas online. Most of the dharmashalas have in-house Bhojnalaya and they are very well-maintained. One can contact the Dharamshalas in advance to make a room reservation and plan as per the need and budget.
Shikarji Yatra: Jain Tirth Yatra
Time and Distance: Shikharji Yatra has to be completed in a day since there are no facilities to stay overnight on the Hill. There is a provision to stay in Dak Bunglow facility only if prior arrangements are made at Madhubhan. The Yatra takes about 12 hours to 16 hours, depending upon the capacity of the individual.
Yatra timings: One can start the yatra at 3-4 am to reach 1st tonk around 9 am. After that, see all tonks by about 1 pm and start return journey. Reach Madhuban by 5 pm.
Food & Water: Water, tea and biscuits are available on the way from vendors. There is no food facilities on the way or on the top.