Madhuban is one of the tourist attractions among several places to visit in Giridih district of Jharkhand. It is a village where a temple, more than 2000 years old, is believed to exist.
It lies in Pirtland Block and is a religious site for Jains. Samosharan temple and Bhomiyaji Asthan are the most important Jain temples in Madhuban. Jain scriptures, manuscripts and idols at the Jain museum make the tourists aware of the many unknown facts.
The museum balcony has a telescope through which enthusiasts can visualize the Parasnath Temple. If one is trekking to Parasnath Temple the journey starts from Madhuban. It is a stretch of 13 km at the northern side of the temple. Even the bus route ends at Madhuban from where one has no other way other than trekking.
Madhuban is 28 km from Giridih and Parasnath is distanced by 10 km. Presence of numerous Jain temples has made the place extremely sacred for Jains all around the globe.
Therefore, Madhuban also being a picnic spot, has limitations regarding non-vegetarian dishes and alcohol. Rest houses at Madhuban provide rest to the tired devotees from the temple.
Jain temples in this village have mural paintings that depict the temples on Parasnath Hill. An icon of Parshvanath, which dates back to 4th century, is present in a temple at Palganj. It is 19 km from Madhuban.
Usri Falls is located on Tundi Road of Giridih district. 13 km east of the township, Usri Falls is one of the demanded picnic spots of the state. The river separates into three different streams, as the river falls down 40 feet deep gorge. Impenetrable forest of Parasnath Hills covers the surrounding of Usri Falls. Gushing down of the river amidst the Parasnath Hills is a mesmerising scenic view.
Giridih is the closest railway station from where tourists can take three-wheeler autorickshaws, taxis or tangas. Buses are easily accessible from the bus stand, which take the tourists to necessary destinations. The State Government has taken the initiative to make Usri Falls, Khandoli Dam and Parasnath into further more accessible tourist spots of the state.
Parasnath Hills or Sri Sammeta Shikharji is located around 4480 m above sea level. They are a range of hills in Giridih whose highest peak is 1350 m high. It is not only the highest mountain peak in Jharkhand but also the highest mountain in the southern part of the Himalayas.
It is considered to be the oldest Jain temple, as the dates are recorded as 1775 AD. One of the most important and sanctified pilgrimages for Jains, Parasnath is the place where 20 Tirthankaras out of 24 have attained salvation.
Parasnath was the 23rd Tirthankara after whom the hill was named. As tourists proceed through the hill, they come across shrines or gumtis on the way, which are dedicated to the Tirthankaras.
Some temples are considered to be older than 2000 years. Unlike the place which is inhabited since ages, the temples are of a much modern outlook. The hills of Parasnath along with its dense forest surrounds Usri Falls.
Parasnath is mostly inhabited by Santhals who call this hill deity as Marang Buru. In mid April during Baisakhi, these people celebrate the hunting festival on a full moon day. The hill is surrounded by a dense forest known as Madhuban. Tourists interested in trekking have to start from Madhuban. The hill is easily accessible from the northern side.
27 km is the total distance that trekkers need to cover. Tourists unable to walk seek the help of "doli wallahs". Torch is a must keep for those climbing up hill. Stalls on the way serve tea, coffee and other energizing drinks.
Gautam Swamy hill and Chandra Prabhu hill are two other tourist interests before Parasnath. Paragliding and parasailing are some of the adventure sports that are being planned by the State Tourism Department at Parasnath hills.
Parasnath is 168 km from Ranchi, 98 km from Jhumri Tileya, 76 km from Hazaribagh, 52 km from Dhanbad and 57 km from Bokaro by road. It is easily accessible, as it is situated on the Grand Trunk Road NH 2. Nimia Ghat is the closest railway station though it is not much popular. So Parasnath station serves the purpose. Isri Bazar is an adjacent town from the southern direction of the hill.
Khandoli is one of the attractive tourist spots for adventure seekers situated in Jharkhand. Located 10 km North East of Giridih, Khandoli dam is a water reservoir that is noted for various water sports and adventure activities. Bird enthusiasts also have innumerable species to explore. Entire Khandoli site is widely visible through a watch tower and hillock, which has a height of 600 ft. Travellers here can enjoy boating, mountaineering, rock-climbing, parasailing and kayaking apart from the elephant and camel safaris.
Closest railway station to Khandoli is Giridih. Bus and taxi services are available from the station which can guide the way to the dam. At the foot of Khandoli hill is Khandoli Village. More than one lakh residents of Giridih are served water from this reservoir. The hill is shaped like a saddle and the peak looks like a volcanic cone.
Migratory birds from the Himalayan belt, Africa, northern Asia and Australia are seen around Khandoli Lake. Great Cormorant, Siberian Duck, Siberian Crane, Brahminy shelduck and forty such varieties of birds are seen here who reproduce in this apt environment. The migration has some how reduced because of the pollution. Some small birds and animals are caged and kept in the amusement park, which spreads over 6 acres.
Tourists generally throng at Khandoli during winters to watch wonderful migratory birds. Rides like toy trains and swings keep the tourists entertained. Rock climbers can try rock climbing, rappelling, river crossing and such other challenging activities by the granite rocks that form the Khandoli Hill. Pedal boats, speed boats and water scooters are some water activities that can be enjoyed on Khandoli Dam. Scuba diving, rafting, canoeing, sailing, ringo ride, waterskiing and surfing attract tourists from the metro cities across India. These activities have further enhanced the tourism in Jharkhand.
Harihar Dham is one of the wanted pilgrimage destinations in Giridih district of Jharkhand. Also known as Harihar Dham temple, it is visited for the biggest Shivalinga in the world, which has a height of 65 ft. Sprawling over an area of 25 acres, the temple has a river surrounding it. The huge Shivalinga took 30 years to be completed.
Devotees throughout the nation visit the temple during Shravan Poornima, apart from the tourists who prefer visiting it at any time of the year. According to Hindu religion, a full moon night of the Shravana month is considered to be holy by the worshippers of Lord Shiva. Nag Panchami is also celebrated here. Many marriage ceremonies also take place here due to the religious importance of the temple.
Grand Trunk Road passing through Bagodar is 3 km from Harihar Dham. It is a small hamlet situated at 60 km south west of Giridih district. The temple is also seeked due to its typical and classic structure.
Jharkhand is renowned for various adventurous spots where tourists actually get the scope to experience daring activities. These activities can be enjoyed at Giridih, Parasnath and Satpahar hills. Giridih district being the hub of such adventurous activities attracts tourists from every corner of the nation. Paragliding, water sports and parasailing are some of the unfamiliar activities that are making the state popular.
Water sports are a common entertainment at Giridih. 8 km north east of the district, there is a water reservoir where various adventurous sports take place. Bird watching is another engagement for bird enthusiasts. Adventure does not end with water activities. Elephant and camel safari are other forms of amusement. Boating, rock-climbing, parasailing and kayaking are activities that can be enjoyed here.
Hot air balloon ride is another venturesome activity that tourists can enjoy at Giridih. Being one of the successful technology of the bygone days, which carried humans and flied, people are still interested in this sport. With proper training from the experts, tourists can enjoy the ride in the sky and relish the beauty of nature.
Parasailing considered being an aero sport is a reckless activity where enthusiasts sail at a height of 300 ft altitude. A parachute known as parasail is dragged by a jeep on land or motor vehicles on water through a rope. Flying freely in the open air is a thrilling experience indeed.