The temple of Lord Shankara (Shiva) is situated in the heart of the city Ranchi 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 ones 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. 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 tricolor on the hill. And the tradition continues with people hosting the tricolor 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 real name of this beautiful embedded old Shiv Mandir which is about 300 ft. high is ‘Richi Buru‘. The temple was earlier being known as Phansi Tongri and it was the place where freedom fighters were hanged to death. To remember the importance of this freedom movement, tricolor flag is unfurled on the Independence Days and Republic days.
The temple at the top of the mountain requires tapping up of 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. During Shravan time, the devotees offer Jal (Dhara) to Lord Shiva and the Shravan season is a major draw of visitors.