The temple of Lord 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 2,140 feet Ranchi hill houses the temple at its summit. One needs to climb a flight of 468 steps to reach the temple. One can enjoy beautiful landscape of Ranchi from the top of the hill. There are Kali temple and Mahakal temple at the foot of the hill and Vishwanath temple in the middle on the way to the summit. At the summit there are Durga temple, Hanuman temple and a small cave housing the Nag temple. The rock of the cave of Nag temple is believed to have the footprints of Lord Shiva. I like this temple complex and used to frequent here when I was in Ranchi. Now I go to Pahari Mandir, whenever I get time, during my short visits to Ranchi.
Ranchi hill was earlier being known as Phansi Tongri (Hanging Hill) and it was the place where freedom fighters were hanged to death. It’s said that more than 250 freedom fighters were hanged here from the trees by the British rulers. The people of Ranchi have a unique way of remembering the heroes, who sacrificed their lives during the freedom struggle. When the country won freedom, the residents of Ranchi, decided to pay respect to those martyrs by hoisting the national flag 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.
Pahari Mandir holds the distinction of being the only temple in the country to continue with the tradition of hoisting the national flag every Independence Day ever since the first Tricolour was unfurled here in the intervening night of August 14 and 15, 1947.