Shikharji Jain Temples

Published: 14.04.2011
Updated: 10.09.2012
Alias(es)
Samet Shikhar, Sammed Shikharji, Sammed Sikarji, Sammet Shikhar, The Thirty Tonks of Shri Shikharji, Śrī Sammeta Śikharjī

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Shikharji Jain Temples

Shikharji or Śrī Sammeta Śikharjī (श्री सम्मेत शिखरजी), also known as the Parasnath Hills, located near Giridih, in Jharkhand state, India, is a major Jain pilgrimage destination and one of the most sacred places for Jains in the world. According to Jain belief, twenty of the twenty-four Tirthankaras (teachers of the Jains) attained Moksha (Nirvana) from this place. Śrī Sammeta Śikharjī is surrounded by a deep forest called Madhuvan, and it was hundreds of miles from populated areas until a few centuries ago.

The oldest reference to the hills as a holy place is found in the Jñātṛdhārmakātha, one of the twelve texts constituting the canonical core of Jain literature. There the hills are described as the place where Mallinātha, the nineteenth Jina, attained samadhi or meditative concentration. This led to the name Sammet Śikhar, the ‘peak of concentration’, more commonly and simply Śikharji, ‘the venerable peak’. The prominence of the Parasnāth hills as a pilgrimage place and their connection with Pārśvanātha can be traced to the medieval period when reference to them was made in the Pārśvanāthacarita, the biography of Pārśva that enjoyed currency from the 12th century. The development of the hills was probably prompted by the popularity of Vulture Peak in Bihār, the holy mountain connected with the Buddha where his disciple Śāriputra and others are alleged to have attained enlightenment.


 

Shri Shikharji Jain Temples


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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Buddha
  2. Concentration
  3. Jain Temples
  4. Jina
  5. Mallinātha
  6. Moksha
  7. Nirvana
  8. Pārśva
  9. Pārśvanātha
  10. Samadhi
  11. Tirthankaras
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