Thursday, February 26, 2009

Luxury stay at Parasnath

Luxury stay at Parasnath- Move to woo Jain youths

Giridih, Feb. 20: The experience of travelling to Parasnath Hills is all set to change in another two years with high-class lodging and dining facilities coming up in the area.

With an aim to attract youths to the Jain pilgrimage centre, Shri Digambar Jain Saswat Tirthraj Sammedshikhar Trust, a welfare organisation of the Jains, has embarked on a mega project to set up rest houses, hotels, cafeteria and preaching centres in Madhuban, located at the foot of the hills.

The project, Digambar Jain Saswat Vihar, will be wrapped up by 2011. In the first phase, a dharamshala called Niharika has already come up in Madhuban. The five-storeyed building with eight suites was inaugurated on February 15. There are plans to build six more wings comprising three buildings having around 200 rooms, a cafeteria, separate buildings for Jain saints along with preaching centres and special food zones for them called Aharshala.

Keeping in mind the fact there is a perennial crisis of water and power in Madhuban, a power substation and an underground water tank will also be installed.

Every year, around 50,000 Jain pilgrims visit Madhuban and Parasnath Hills. But the community feels that the participation of youth is low because of poor accommodation facilities in Madhuban.

“We hope that with options of better stay, we will be able to bring more and more youths here,” said Yogesh Jain, one of the trustees and architects of the project.

Although the budget is a whopping Rs 7 crore, the facilities will be available to the pilgrims at a very low price.

Amartya Sen urges Jain industrialists to invest in Pawapuri

PATNA: Nobel laureate Amartya Sen on Saturday urged industrialists the Jain community to take initiative to develop Pawapuri in Bihar's Nalanda district, where Lord Mahavira, the founder of Jainism, is believed to have attained enlightenment.

"They (Jain industrialists) should invest for its development," Sen told reporters here.

The renowned economist, who visited Pawapuri Friday, said there was a need to set up three-star hotels, an engineering college and other infrastructure for the area's development.

Sen recalled that last time he visited Pawapuri in 2003 when he was part of the delegation of former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. Pawapuri is nearly 90 km from Patna.

He is currently in Bihar for a meeting of the mentor group of the proposed Nalanda International University in Nalanda. Sen heads the mentor group.

Thousands of Jains from across the world visit Pawapuri to offer prayers at the site where Mahavira's last rites were performed.

From Economics Times

Monday, February 2, 2009

Parasnath on amenity drive


Ranchi, Jan. 30: Once it was a must-visit spot for both Jains and tourists, but neglect has led to a dwindling footfall of visitors to the Parasnath hills.

But, the state tourism department, it seems, has woken up to the problem and is now mulling plans to provide “world-class” facilities to visitors to the Parasnath hills — also referred to as Shri Teerth.

Located 170km from Ranchi, every year lakhs of Jain pilgrims visit Parasnath hills. The tourism department has mooted a plan to develop the area and rope in the occasional foreign visitor as well. Plans include a bus stand, a shopping complex, a mediation-and-yoga centre, hotels and an amusement park.

State tourism secretary A.K. Singh said they are in the process to procure 106 acres to start the project in three months. “We are also chalking a blueprint for the mega project by roping in department officials. The government has decided to sanction Rs 50 crore shortly,” the secretary said.

“The project would also provide employment to local youths. We would take in 400 men for this project in a bid to improve the socio-economic condition of the area. The people would also be responsible for the upkeep of the hills,” Singh said.

"Over foreign 1,000 tourists come here every year, including some NRIs. We also receive some 5 lakh domestic tourists. We want these numbers to increase and promote the area as a must-see spot.”

Apart from the Parasnath temple, there are several Jain temples belonging both to Digambers and Svetambers sects. On Mahavir Jayanti, the temple is chock-a-block with visitors and pilgrims.

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