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After Jains, the Santhals stake claim to Parasnath Hills

  • Category
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    13th Jan, 2023

Context

After the Central government assured members of the Jain community that the sanctity of their holy place, Sammed Shikharji on Parasnath hills in Jharkhand would conserve, the members of the Santhal tribe in the State have staked claim to the hill as their Marang Buru (hill deity). 

Background

  • Recently, the Jharkhand governmenthas decided to cover the Parasnath hills under Tourist spots of the state.
  • After this decision, the Jain community across the country has shown discontent as the site belongs as a holy place to them.
  • At last, the government took back its decision.

About

About Sammed Shikharji

  • Shikharji also known as Sammed Shikharji is a pilgrimage site in Giridih district, Jharkhand, India.
  • It is located on Parasnath hill, the highest mountain in the state of Jharkhand.
  • It is the most important Jain Tirtha (pilgrimage site)by both Digambara and Shewtambara, for it is the place where twenty of the twenty-four Jain Tirthankaras along with many other monks attained Moksha.
  • It is located on Parasnath hill, the highest mountainin the state of Jharkhand.

Parasnath Hills are a range of hills located in the Giridih district of Jharkhand. The highest peak is 1350 metres. It is one of the most important pilgrimage centres for Jains.

  • They call it Sammed Sikhar. The hill is named after Parasnath, the 23rd Tirthankara. Twenty Jain Tirthankaras attained salvation on this hill.
  • For each of them, there is a shrine (gumti or tuk) on the hill.
  • Some of the temples on the hill are believed to be more than 2,000 years old. However, although the place is habited from ancient times, the temples may be of more recent origin.

Santhal’s stakes

Santhal tribe is the largest tribal community in Jharkhand and has a sizeable population in other States like Bihar, Odisha, Assam and West Bengal.

  • The Santhals call Parasnath Hills asMarang Buru, the hill of the deity. They celebrate a hunting festival on the full moon day in Baisakh (mid-April).
  • The Parasnath hills are actually called Marang Buruand have clearly been mentioned in the Gazetteer of undivided Bihar’s Hazaribaghdistrict in 1932, much before it became part of separate Giridih district.

Verifying, please be patient.

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