Source: The post is based on the article “Jain community protests: What are the issues linked to Jharkhand, Gujarat shrines’ Scheme” published in Indian Express on 5th January 2023
What is the News?
Members of the Jain community have been staging protests over demands related to two holy sites — Sammed Shikhar on Parasnath hill in Jharkhand and Shetrunjay hill in Palitana of Gujarat.
In Jharkhand, the issue is about Parasnath hill being declared a tourist spot and an eco-sensitive zone while in Gujarat, the row is over the vandalizing of a shrine and related security concerns.
What is Parasnath Hills?
Parasnath Hills are a range of hills located in Giridih district of Jharkhand. The highest peak is 1350 meters.
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 of 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.
The Santhals call it Marang Buru, the hill of the deity. They celebrate a hunting festival on the full moon day in Baisakh (mid-April).
Every year, thousands of Jains from across the world undertake the 27 km long trek of climbing the hills to reach the summit.
What are Palitana And Shatrunjaya Hill?
Shatrunjaya Hill is a sacred Jain site located in Palitana town, Bhavnagar District, Gujarat.
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.
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.
It is said that Adinath (also known as Rishabha), the founder of Jainism, meditated beneath the rayan tree at the summit.