Parasnath And Shatrunjaya Hill


Parasnath And Shatrunjaya Hill

News: Members of the Jain community have been staging protests across the country for the past two weeks over demands related to two holy sites – Sammed Shikhar on Parasnath hill in Jharkhand and Shetrunjay hill in Palitana of Gujarat.

About Parasnath Hill:

o Parasnath hill is home to Sammed Shikhar, considered among the most important Jain pilgrimage sites, where 20 of the 24 Jain Tirthankars are believed to have attained salvation.

o Sammed Shikharji, located on the Parasnath Hills in the Giridih district of Jharkhand, is the biggest pilgrimage of the Jain community.

o The Hill is named after Parasnath (the 23rd Tirthankar)

About Shatrunjaya Hill:

o One of Jainism’s holiest pilgrimage sites, Shatrunjaya is an incredible hill studded with temples, built over 900 years. It is said that Adinath (also known as Rishabha), the founder of Jainism, meditated beneath the rayan tree at the summit. The temples are grouped into tunks (enclosures), each with a central temple flanked by minor ones.

o The sacred site contains hundreds of shrines that were sanctified when Rishabha, the first Tirthankara of Jainism, gave his first sermon in the temple on the hilltop.

o The Palitana temples on Shatrunjaya Hill were built over a period of 900 years starting from the 11th century. It was Kumarpal Solanki, a great Jain patron, who built the first temples on this site. The temples were destroyed by Turkish Muslim invaders in 1311 AD, when the saint Jinaprabhasuri, who was then 50 years old, presided over the temples, but later restored them to their glory.

Why were Jains protesting?

o In Jharkhand, the issue is about Parasnath hill being declared a tourist spot and an eco-sensitive zone, neither the Centre nor the state consulted the main stakeholder

o In Gujarat, the row is over the vandalizing of a shrine and related security concerns, the Jains are
demanding that Shatrunjaya hill and the area around it be protected so as to maintain its holiness. They also want further probe into the vandalism case.

What is the latest update?

The central government however stepped in after nationwide protest with an order to stop all “tourism and ecotourism” activities on the Parasnath Hills, where the shrine is located.

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