Samet Shikar Tirth
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Nearly 92 cms high, black-colored idol of Bhagawan Parshvanath (Bhagawan
Shamaliya Parshvanath) in the Padmasana posture.
It is on the Samet Shikhar Hill near Madhuvan at a height of 4450 feet
from the sea-surface.
The history of this tirth is very ancient. This paramount tirth was known
by the names - Samet Shail, Sametachal, Samet Giri, Samet Shikhari,
Samadhi Giri, Samidi Giri etc. At present, it is known as Samet Shikhar or
Parshvanath Pahad. Twenty Tirthankaras of the preset group of twenty- four
tirthnkaras and a number of Tirthankaras of the past groups of twenty-
four Tirthankaras, attained salvation on this holy land. There is a
reference that in the second century Acharya Padliptasuriji came on a
pilgrimage to this place by akashgamini vidya. Palganj was the original
foot of Samet Shikhar and the present-day Madhuvan is at a distance of 20
kilometers from Palganj. Madhuvan is the present-day foot of the hill.
Since it was the land of penance and of nirvana of many Tirthankaras and
Sadhus, every particle of this land is great, holy, and adorable. A touch
of this land purifies the human birth. A pilgrimage to this sacred place
removes trouble adds to religious merits (punya) and destroys bad karma of
devotees. This tirth was renovated many times and its last renovation was
accomplished sometime between the years 1803 and 1841 of the Vikram era.
Sheth Khushaldas often came on a pilgrimage to this place and the idols
had become very old. It was difficult to identify the places of nirvana of
different Tirthankaras. Therefore, according to instructions of
Devavijayagani, he practiced the penance of a three-day fast (attham) and
muttered prayers (jaap) to Padmavatidevi. He saw a dream. Accordingly, he
saw on the hill an auspicious figure of Swastika with particular numbers.
The places of nirvana of tirthnkaras were fixed according to the numbers.
With blessings of the goddess, Khushaldas built small temples of foot
idols of these twenty Tirthankaras, a large temple named jalmandir, the
Kothi dharmashala at the Madhuvan foot of the hill, the temple of
Bhomiyadev and the seven temples of shamaliyaji Parshvanath and others. He
thus performed immortal acts of religious worship.
When His Holiness
Acharyadev Sagaranandasurishvarji came on a pilgrimage to this place in
the year 1980-81 of the Vikram era, the twenty-second renovation of this
great sacred place was begun according to his wish in the year 23012 of
the Vikram era. Under the auspices of Maneksagarsurishvarji Maharaja,
disciple of His Holiness Sagarandasurishvarji, the jalmandir and the
twenty-nine Devkulikas were installed.
AS the name suggests,
Madhuvan, the foot of the hill is really a beautiful forest. At this foot
of the hill surrounded by hills, trees, gardens and natural beauty, there
is temple of Bhomiyadev. There is a splendid hill-shaped idol. It is very
impressive. By merely seeing him, one makes one’s journey comfortable.
This actually wakeful idol protects the denoted pilgrims who pray to it
and removes their obstacles. There are also a dharmashal, a bhojanashal, a
beautiful garden and a group of eleven temples. They remind one of the
chief tunk of Palitana. The ascent on the hill begins from a little
distance beyond the Bhomiyadev temple. The ascent of six miles, six miles
of round journey for seeing the tunk and descent of six miles make a
journey of 18 miles. If the journey is begun at about 5 o’clock in the
morning, it is completed at about 4 O’clock in the evening. For a
pilgrim, it is desirable to keep a torch and a stick with him. For using
on the journey, food is given to the pilgrims, when they return. It is
convenient to ascent by the way of the Jalmandir and descends by the way
of the tunk of Bhagawan Parshvanath. When the pilgrims climb half the
distance, the tunks of nirvana places of Bhagawan are seen.
(1) The first
tunk of Gautam Swami: The first tunk is of Gautam Swami,
the treasure of many achievements. In the temples, there are foot-idols
of twenty- four Tirthankaras and Gautam Swami attained salvation on the
fifth hill in the city of Rajagrahi. But the tunk is made for pilgrims
to see. All the tunks on Samet Shikhargiri are seen from this tunk.
(2) The Tunk
of Bhagawan Kunthunath: In this tunk of Bhagawan Kunthnath,
the seventeenth Tirthankara,there are black-colored foot-idols of
Bhagawan. It is also known as sandhargiri tunk.
(3) The third
tunk of the Eternal Jina, Rusabhanan: In this tunk there
are black-colored foot-idols of the Eternal Jina, Rishjabhanan.
fourth tunk of the eternal Jina Bhagawan Chandranan: In
thus tunk, there are white foot-idols of Bhagawan Eterna Jina Chandranan.
(5) The fifth
tunk of Bhagawan Neminath: In this small temple, there is
black foot-idolsof Bhagwan Neminath. For Bhagawan Neminath a
four-mouthed Jain Temple is built. This tunk of Bhagaan Neminath the
twenty-first Tirthankara, is also known as Mitradhar tunk.
(6) The sixth
tunk of Bhagawan Arnath: In this tunk of Bhagawan Arnath,
the eighteenth Tirthankara, there are black foot-idols of Bhagawan
Arnath. There is a new four-mouthed temple of Bhagawan Arnath. It is
known as the Natakgiri tunk.
seventh tunk of Bhagawan Mallinath: In this tunk of
Bhagawan Mallinath, the nineteenth Tirthankara is also known as
Sabalgiri. In it there are black foot-idols of Bhagawan Mallinath.
eighth tunk of Bhagawan Shreyansanath: In this tunk of
Bhagawan Shroyansanath there are black foot-idols of Bhagawan
Shrenshanath. The tunk is also known as Sankulgiri.
(9) The ninth
tunk of Bhagawan Suvidhinath: In the ninth tunk of
Bhagawan Suvidhinath, there are at present white foot-idols of Bhagawan
Suvidhinath. It is known as the suprabhgiri tunk.
tenth tunk of Bhagawan Padmaprabh Swami: In this tunk of
Bhagawan Padmaprabh Swami, the sixth Tirthankara, there are at present
black foot-idols of Padmaprabha Swami. It is also known as the Mohangiri
eleventh tunk of Munisurvat Swami: In this tunk of
Bhagawan Munisuvrat Swami, the twentieth Tirthankra, there are at
present black foot-idols of Bhagawan Munisurvat Swami. It is also known
as the Nirjargiri tunk.
twelfth tunk of Chandra prabha Swami: In this tunk of
Chnadraprabha Swami, the eighth Tirthankara, there are at present black
foot-idols of Bhagawan. It is known as the Lalitghat tunk. It is on a
high hill and the ascent on the hill is difficult. It is at a distance
of two miles from the Jalmandir. Of all the caves on the high hills,
here is the biggest excellent cave. It is good for meditation and
thirteenth tunk of Bhagawan Risabhadev: In this tunk of
Bhagawan Risabhdev, the first Tirthankara, there are white foot-idols of
fourteenth tunk of Bhagawan Anantanath: In this tunk of
Bhagawan Anantanath, the fourteenth Tirthankara, there are at present
black foot-idols of Bhagawan Anantanath. It is also known as the
fifteenth tunk of Bhagawan Shitalnath: In this tunk of
Bhagawan Shitalnath, the tenth Tirthankara, there are foot-idols of
Bhagawan Shitalnath. It is also known as the Vidyutgiri tunk. Its ascent
sixteenth tunk of Bhagawan Sambhavnath: In this tunk of
Bhagawan Sambhavnath, the third Tirthankera, there are at present white
foot-idols of Bhagawan, It is also known as the Datt Dhaval tunk.
seventeenth tunk of Bhagawan Vasupujya Swami: In this tunk
of Savupujyaswami, the twelfth Tirthakara, there are at present his
eighteenth tunk of Bhagawan Abhinandan Swami: In this tunk
of Abhinandan Swami, the fourth Tirthankara, there are his foot-idols.
It is also known as the Anadagiri tunk.
nineteenth tunk, the Jalmandir : This tunk of Jalmandir is
the splendid temple of shamaliya Parshvanath. There are trees on three
sides of it. Shamaliya Parshvanath is Mulnayak in this temple, which is
among the spectacular places on the hills. In thirty tunks on the hills,
there are foot-idols. The Tirthankara Bhagawan is seen only in this
Jalmadir. The open ground of the temple is beautiful. There is vast open
space, which can accommodate five hundred people. There are two
dharmashalas. There are facilities for taking meals. In the chief
sanctuary of the temple, there are idols of Shamaliya Parshvanath,
Bhagawan Sambhavnath, and Bhagawan Abhinandan Swami. In the sanctuaries
and on the open grounds to the right and to the left, there are idols of
28 Tirthnkaras, gods, goddesses, and Parshva Yaksha. The great rich
merchant Khusaldas built this splendid temple in the year 1825 of the
twentieth tunk of Ganadhar Subh Swami: This is the tunk of
Ganadhar Subh Swami. At present, there are in it black foot-idols of
twenty first tunk of Bhagawan Dharmanath: In this tunk of
Bhagawan Dharmanath the fifteenth Tirthankara, there are at present the
foot-idols of Bhagawan. This tunk is also known by the name Dattvargiri.
twenty-second tunk of Varisen, the eternal Jina: In this
tunk, there are at present the foot-idols of Varisen.
twenty-third tunk of Vardhaman, the eternal Jina: In this
tunk, there are at present foot-idols of Vardhaman, the eternal Jina.
twenty-fourth tunk of Bhagawan Sumatinath: In this tunk of
Bhagawan Sumatinath, the fith Tirthankara, there are at present black
foot-idols of Bhagawan. This tunk is also known as the Achalgiri tunk.
twenty-fifth tunk of Bhagawan Shantinath: In this tunk of
Bhagawan Shantinath, the sixteenth Tirthankara, there are at present
black foot-idols of Bhagawan. This tunk is also known as Prabhasgiri
twenty-sixth tunk of Bhagawan Mahavir Swami: In this tunk
of Bhagawan Mahavir Swami, the twenty-fourth Tirthankara, there are his
twenty-seventh tunk of Bhagawan Suparshvanath: In this
tunk, there is black foot -idols of Bhagawan Suparshvanath,the seventh
Tirthankara in this tunk. This tunk is also known as Prabhas tunk.
twenty eighth tunk of Bhagawan Vimalnath: In the tunk of
Bhagawan Vimalnath, the thirteenth Tirthankara, there are at present the
black foot-idols of Bhagawan.
twenty-ninth tunk of Bhagawan Ajitnath: In this tunk of
Bhagawan Ajitnath, the second Tirthankara, there are at present white
foot-idols of Bhagawan.
thirteenth tunk of Bhagawan Neminath: In this tunk of
Bhagawan Neminath, the twenty-second Tirthankara, there are at present
white foot-idols of Bhagawan.
thirty-first tunk of Bhagawan Parshvanath: This tunk of
Bhagawan Parshvanath, the twenty-third Tirthankara is the Mokashanagari
of Samet Shikharji Giriraj. After seeing the thirty tunks, when one
reaches this Mokshanagari, one gets lost in the real joy and delight of
having directly seen paramatmas. This is the highest tunk on the highest
hill. There are 80 upward steps leading to the Jain temple,
‘Meghadambar’ is another name of this tunk. There are foot-idols of
Bhagawan on the stone-slab where Bhagawan attained the final liberation.
He who comes here with a solemn religious vow of going on pilgrimage to
Samet Shikhar offers a coconut God. This stone slab is adorable. On this
peak, there is a pinnacled temple. In it there are foot-idols of
Bhagawan Purusadaniya Parshvanath.
After devotedly and
respectfully bowing to Tirthankaras and Sadhus from this highest tunk and
strongly wishing to make all souls interested in religion, one returns to
Madhuvan. On the way downward, there is a Dak bungalow. There is also the
Gadharvanal where food is given for using on the journey. From the hill,
the group of peaks of temples below, looks like a divine city. The
building style and artistry of all temples of Madhuvan are beautiful and
spectacular. With full devotion, pilgrims come to an end of the great
pilgrimage to Samet Shikhar, the land of nirvana of Bhagawan Parshvanath
who is free from attachment and aversion.
All the tunks and temples on the hill are described in history. Besides,
the Madhuvan at the foot of the hill, there are eight temples, two
Dadawadis and the temple of Bhomiyaji Maharaja. Besides, there are eight
temples of Digamber Vispantthis and nine temples of Digambar Terapanthis.
Works of art and Sculpture:
The scene on the hill is serene, beautiful, delightful, and suitable for
sadhana. From the hill, the scene of the temples of Madhuvan below, looks
like a divine city. Every temple has a distinct and handsome building
style. The natural beauty of the hill is delightful beyond description.
railway station of Girdih is at a distance of nearly 25 kilometers from
the tirth of Madhuvan at the foot of the hill. Bus service and private
vehicles are available. One can climb the hill on foot or in a swinging
cot. There are Svetamber and Digambar dharmashalas. There are good
bhojanashalas, too. On the hill, there is an arrangement for supplying
Svetamber Sangha Kothi Madhuvan, Dist: Girdih, State: Bihar, India.