Lets have a look at a few religious places in Jharkhand -
Home to a complex of 22 temples of which the biggest and the tallest at 72 ft is the temple of Baidyanath that houses one of the 12 revered jyotirlingams in the country, Deoghar is the most sacred place in Jharkhand. It holds great sanctity among Hindus because it is believed to be the only karmalingam - a lingam that has the power to fulfill all dreams.
Every year in the month of Shravan (July-August) devotees undertake an ardous 100 km trek from Ajgaibinath (Sultanganj) to baidyanath dham. The pilgrimage ends at Basukinath, a hilly scenic town about 43 kms from Deoghar. At the Deoghar complex also visit temples associated with tantric practices and Shakti worship like Ma Sandhya, msa, Ma Bangla and Ma Kamakhya. Before leaving don't forget to make an offering of meetha dahi to Lors Baidyanath. Naulakha temple is situated 1.5 kms from the Baidyanath temple. The yoga centre (ashram) at Rikhia is worth a visit and is situated about 8 kms from Deoghar.
Temple timings - 4 am to 3.30 pm and 6 to 9 pm.
Stay - JTDC run hotels
Natraj Vihar (Tel-06432-222422)
Hotel Vaidyanath Vihar (Tel -06432-222804)
Hotel Yashoda International, Station road (Tel - 06432- 221429)
Atop a 4,480ft high hill stands one of the holiest shrines of Jains where 20 of the 24 Thirthankaras have said to achieved salvation. Join the Jains in their spiritual journey by walking up the steep hill.
Temple timings - 8 am onwards
Nearest Airport - Ranchi 140 kms
Railway Station - Dumri.
Sun temple, Bundu
About 39 kms off Ranchi Tata Road stands a temple dedicated to Surya, the Sun God. Drawn by seven magnificent horses with Surya sitting in splendour the chariot shaped temple looks ready to take off. Stay at its dharamshala if you like to.
Just 70 kms from Ranchi this cave like structure with a tiny headless statue ( Chhinnamastika) of Goddess Kali on the confluence of river Bhairavi and Damodar is believed to have ancient origins. The Goddess is seen standing on bodies of Kamdeo and Rati on a lotus bed. Don't forget to buy famous khoya peda from here.
Timings - 4 am to 12 , 4 to 6 pm.
According to Buddist chronicles, when an aunt of Lord Buddha failed to distrcact him from his asceticism and meditation, she gave up in desperation uttering 'Iti khoyi' literally meaning 'lost here'. King Siddhartha continued his meditation and attained enlightenment but the muttering of his aunt stuck to this village. Iti Khoyi eventually became Itkhori where Hindus, Jains and Buddhist co exist happily to this day. You can visit the maa Bhadrakali Temple complex here, besides an ancient stupa like structure with 104 Bodhisattvas and a foot impression of Sheetalnath the 10th Tirthankara, that is revered by the Jains.