A Shiv Temple positioned on a hill west of Ranchi. Through the month of Shravana, devotees offer the lingam. The hill gives a panoramic view of the city Is one of the landmarks of Ranchi Town. The Shiva temple is located on the top of the hill also known as Pahari Mandir. At the bottom of the hill is Ranchi Lake. Ranchi lake was excavated by Colonel Onsely in 1842.
About Pahari Mandir
The temple of Lord Shankara (Shiva) is situated in the heart of the city on a hill called Pahari Mandir. It is a bare black land outcropping in the midst of a flat land. The age-old Pahari Mandir is located 8 kms from the railway station and 12 kms from the airport. The 2140 feet Ranchi hill houses the temple at its summit. One needs to climb a flight of 468 steps to reach the summit.
This place is fast developing into a religious tourist site as this is the best place to have a bird’s eye view of the city of Ranchi and also attain some salvation by paying obsequies to the Lord. A huge crowd of Shiva devotees gather here between the months of February and October, during Shivaratri and other important days earmarked to pray to the Lord. The Lord also known as Pahari Baba is worshipped in the form of a linga. The hillock also known as Richi Buru is famous for its breathtaking views of the city and some spectacular sunsets and sunrises.
At the foot of this hill is the beautiful Ranchi Lake. The lake was dug by a Britisher; Colonel Onsely in 1842 is frequented by all visitors for its beauty. The lake is flanked by two temples and a pillared bathing ghat where tourists heading to the Pahari temple take a dip before proceeding to climb the steps of the hillock. The people of Ranchi have a unique way of remembering the heroes who sacrificed their lives during the freedom struggle. It is said many freedom fighters were sent to the gallows atop this hill. When the country won freedom, the residents of Ranchi, decided to pay respect to those martyrs by hoisting the tricolour on the hill. And the tradition continues with people hosting the tricolour during Independence and Republic Day atop the temple as a mark of respect towards those who sacrificed their lives. This is a unique gesture found at a temple, which is rare and special.
The temple also has the relation to some freedom fighters of Ranchi. The real name of this beautiful embedded old shiv mandir which is about 300 ft. high is ‘Richi Buru’. The temple built on top of Ranchi or Fansi hill can be reached by climbing a flight of steps, numbering a few hundreds. From there the devotees can have spectacular views of the city and the Ranchi Lake which is flowing through the bottom of the hill.
It is a very charming and imposing temple of Lord Shankara which is another name of Lord Shiva. Ranch hill was earlier known as Phansi Tongri and it was the place where freedom fighters were hanged to death. To remember the importance of this important hill in the freedom movement, the tricolour flag is unfurled on the Independence Days and Republic days.
The surroundings of the temple have well maintained picturesque surroundings and to reach the temple at the top of the mountain requires tapping up more than 300 steps. Most of the devotees visit this place to make their wishes and also make the opportunity to thank Lord Shiva for the blessings. One can have a bird’s view of the whole Ranchi city from the temple premises and the view is really an enchanting, eye- pleasing experience. The trees of different species add to the beauty of the hill especially during the rainy season. During Shravan time, the devotees offer Jal (Dhara) to Lord Shiva and the Shravan season is a major draw of visitors.
A charming and imposing temple of Lord Shankara, another name for Lord Shiva is positioned on a hill in the west of Ranchi. Through the month of Srawana, devotees offer on the lingam. The hill gives a panoramic view of the city and is one of the major landmarks of Ranchi Town. The Shiva temple located on the top of the hill is also known as Pahari Mandir. At the bottom of the hill is Ranchi Lake.
The surroundings are picturesque and to reach the temple at the top of the mountain requires tapping up more than 300 steps. Many devotees visit this place to make their wishes and also for the opportunity to thank Lord Shiva for his blessings. A bird’s view of the whole Ranchi city is possible from the temple premises and the view is really an enchanting eye pleasing experience. The trees of different species add to the beauty of the hill especially during the rainy season. During Shravan time, the devotees offer Jal (Dhara) to the temple deity and the Shravan season is a major draw of the pilgrims.
Pahari Mandir is renowned for its shiva temple along with all the other temples. Parallely it is also known for its pious festivals which have been celebrated graciously in their specific time. Many devotees surrounding Ranchi came here at this time to offer their respect to the Deities. The Republic Day and The Independence Day holds a special significance in this temple premise as this is the only temple which unfurl the National Flag on these days.
Chants of ‘BOL-BUM’ and the jingle of kanwars fill the morning air at the Pahari Mandir every year on the days of the auspicious Shravani Mela.
A sea of saffron-clad pilgrims can be seen surging towards the Pahari Temple after completing an arduous journey on foot. The Kanwariyas, with pots of water balancing adroitly on their shoulders, both excited and humble at their mission. Some of the devotees come from far-flung areas. The pilgrims board trekkers from their villages or towns and come to the Swarnarekha river at Namkum. They walk from the river to the temple which is a 12 km long stretch.
The Devotees don’t even feel the strain of the long walk because the excitement of reaching the temple first which keeps them going. The entire journey is very enjoyable for the devotees. The banks of the Swarnarekha also buzz with activity that begins in the early hours of the night. Devotees take a ritual bath under mast lights put up by local volunteers. They then fill the earthen pitchers with water from the river, and begin a walk that culminates only after the water is poured on Lord Shiva.
The Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC) also arranges facilities for the Shiva devotees, who come from far places. The RMC cleans up the roads leading to the temple. Water tankers are placed at the base of the temple, while extra water carriers are provided everyday during the mela. They make sure that the streetlights have been repaired while new ones have been installed.
The volunteers of the temple take care that the pilgrims or the devotees should not have any sort of problems .If some occur, unfortunately they are always on- foot to offer help to the victims. The Sukhdev Nagar Police Station, which is in charge of the area, constitutes a special security cell to ensure the safety of the Shiv bhakts. A few women constables are also included in the cell. The Pahari Mandir Samiti takes efficient measures to ensure that Pilgrims are satisfied with the arrangements made by them.
Maha Shivratri is a Hindu festival celebrated every year in reverence of Lord Shiva. Alternate common names/spellings include Maha Sivaratri, Shivaratri, Sivarathri,. Shivaratri literally means the great night of Shiva. According to the mythology, Shiva and Shakti married each other. It is celebrated every year on the 13th night/14th day of the Maagha or Phalguna month of the Hindu calendar. The festival is principally celebrated by offering Bael or Bilva/Vilvam leaves, flowers, and other gifts on the Linga which is a symbol of Lord Siva, and bathing it with milk, honey, butter, ghee, rose-water, etc. All-day fasting and an all-night-long vigil.
According to a legend, Parvati performed tapasya, prayed and meditated on this day to ward off any evil that might befall her husband on the moonless night. Since then, Mahashivaratri is believed to be an auspicious occasion for Indian women to pray for the well-being of their husbands and sons. Unmarried girls pray for a husband like Shiva, who is considered to be an ideal husband.
On this auspicious day the sanctum sanctorum housing the deity was altered time and again and finally gave way into a vivid impression. Canopies and Props are decorated like the peoples of groom’s side as this is the marriage day of Shiva and Parvati. The canopies and props came down from the hill of the Pahari Mandir to go round the city in a procession as Barati where the Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister and many more VIP’s felicitate the Barati’s. After the roundabout in the city the barati’s visit to a temple near to the Pahari Mandir to perform the marriage of the gods which is a grand celebration. The important features of this religious function are rigid fasting for twenty four hours and sleepless vigil during the night. Every true devotee of Lord Siva spends the night of Sivaratri in deep meditation, keeps vigil and observes fast.
From the very early morning, Pahari Mandir is flocked by devotees, young and old, who come to perform the traditional Shivalinga worship (puja) and hence hope for favours from the god. The temple reverberates with the sound of bells and shouts of “Shankar Ji ki Jai” meaning ‘Om Namah Shiva’. They observe strict spiritual discipline in the day and worships Lord Shiva in four different forms in the four successive Praharas, each made up of three hours of the night. The offering of a few Bilva leaves is more precious to Lord Shiva than the precious jewels and flowers.They bathe the Lord in milk at the first Prahara, in curd at the second, in clarified butter at the third, and in honey at the fourth and last. Next morning, then they feed the Brahmins first and break the fast after the performance of the prescribed ceremonies. There is no ritual which can compare with this simple routine in sanctity.
Varshik Mahotsava or Annual Ritual is celebrated every year in December. A huge amount of Devotees gather here on this auspicious occasion. The deity of Lord Shiva came out from a sea-shell which is duly ornamented with flowers. On this day the premise of the temple is also embellished with flowers. Lord Shiva is offered with Chhapan Bhog .
Throughout the day Bhajans or the song of god is played inside the temple which make the aura very pious. Different props of gods and goddesses are displayed. The live props play drama mimicking some mythological story. To visualise all this thousands of devotees from all castes and Crete from different parts of the state gather here to make this celebration a grand one.
Independence Day and Republic Day Celebration
The people of Ranchi have a unique way of remembering the heroes who sacrificed their lives during the freedom struggle. It is said many freedom fighters were sent to the gallows atop this hill. When the country won freedom, the residents of Ranchi, decided to pay respect to those martyrs by hoisting the tricolour on the hill. And the tradition continues with people hosting the tricolour during Independence and Republic Day atop the temple as a mark of respect towards those who sacrificed their lives. This is a unique gesture found at a temple, which is very rare and special.
The National Flag is unfurled here virtually right on the stroke of midnight, this temple naturally comes to hold some special significance.