Jain World
Sub-Categories of English Books
Jainism : as a Religion
An Antiquity of Jain Asceticism
Jain Asceticism in Vedic literature
Rsabhadeva and Other Tirthankaras
  Tirthankara Parsvanatha
  Jain Ascetic Sects and Schools
  Jain Scriptures
  Ecology and spirituality in Jain tradition
  Theory of Anekantavada
  Conception of soul (Jiva)
  Ajiva Tattva
  The Theory of Karma
  Classification of knowledge
  Jain Ethics and Asceticism
  The Categories of Jain Ascetics
  The Lay Adherent (Sravaka)
  Vegetarian Diet
  Jain Mendicant
  Meditation (Dyane)
  Rites and Rituals
  Jain as a Community
  Status of Women
  Spread of Jainism
  Art and Architecture
  Jainism and Science

Art and Architecture

    170. The Jainas have been amongst the foremost in contributing to the field of art and architecture since early days. The images of Tirthankara Risabhadeva and the figures of standing or sealed nude Yogins found inscribed on some terracotta seats, relics of the prehistoric Indus Valley Civilization, discovered at Mohenjodaro, as well as nude Harrappan red stone statue are almost equally old. The latter is remarkably akin to the polished stone torso of a Jana image from Lohanipur (Patna), which is ascribed to the Mauryan times (4th c. B.C.) King Kharavel of Kalinga, as the Hathigumpha inscriptions speaks, reinstalled the Jain image which had been taken away by Nanda to Magadha in (4th c. B.C.) During the Satavahana period (60 B.C. to 225 A.D.) Mathura and Saurastra were the main centers. The earliest Mathura sculpture represented by Kankalitila where from Ayagaptta, Stupa, images, and other Jain cultural material are recovered. Gandhara art and Mathura art belong to Kusana period (First B.C. to 2nd A.D.) in which Jainism flourished to Mathura and the Ardhaphalaka sect, Yapaniya Sangha and Nagara art came into existence.

171. Gupta period (4th to 7th C.A.D.) is said to be the golden period of ancient Indian Culture. Harigupta, Siddhasena, Harisena, Ravikirti, Pujyapada, Patrakesari, Udyotanasuri and other Jainacaryas have been in existence during the period. Karnataka, Mathura, Hastinapur, Saurastra, Avanti, Ahicchatra, Bhinnamala, Kausambi, Devagumpha, Vidisa, Sravasti, Varanasi, Vaisali, Pataliputra, Rajagraha, Campa etc. were the main Jain centers of art and architecture. After the Gupta period, Kakkula, Vatsaraja, and Mahendrapala were the Jain kings in the Pratihara dynasty. King Mona, Navasahasanka and Bhoja were followers of Jainism. Dhanapala, Amitagati, Manikyanandi, Prabhacandra, Asadhara, Dhananjaya etc. had contributed to the literary field during the same period. Chittod was the capital of Paramaras where Kalakacarya and Haribhadra devoted their lives for he development of Jain art and architecture. During Candela dynasty, Khajuraho, Devagadh, Mahoba, Madanapur, Canderi, Ahar, Papora, and Gwaliar became famous for their Jain art. Some important inscriptions, Toranas, images and other sculptural material are found in Tripuri.

172. As mentioned earlier, Bihar has been a prominent state since very early days with regard to Jain culture. It is the Parinirvanabhumi of so many Tirthankaras and is enriched through Jain statues, relics, sculpture etc. at Radiograph, Melinda, Parsvanatha hill, Simbhabhumi, Barabar hill, Patna, Pavapuri etc. The earliest Jain images are recovered in Bengal from Surohar and Mandoil of Mathura style. The images of Jain Tirthankaras found in Udisa at Udaigiri-Khandagiri, and some other places such as Keonjhar, Mayurabhanja, Jaipur, Cuttack are very beautiful from artistic point or view.

173. Gujarat and Rajasthan have been strongholds of Jainism since an early time. Satrunjaya, Girinar, are Siddhaksetras of Jainism. Rastrakutas and Calukyas, Pratiharas, Paramaras, Cauhan and other dynasties patronized Jainism and its art and architecture. Hemacandracarya was a court poet of Jayasimha and Kumarapala. Vastupala and Tejapala who were ministers of Baghelas of Solanki branch built a large number of Jain temples at Girinar, Abu, Satrunjaya, etc. They are also found in large number at Ranakapur, Udaipur, Sirohi, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Jaipur, Alwar and so many places. The existence of Jainism in Punjab and Sindh can traced out long before the Christian era, from the sites of Mohanjodaro, Harappa, Taksasila, Simhapur, Sindhudesh, Lahore etc.

174. The inscriptional history of Jainism in Maharashtra starts with the Parle inscription of first c. A.D. that commences with "Namo Arihantanam". Keljher, Pavanar, Nagpur, Bhandara, Remtek, Akola, Karanja, Achalpur, Latur, Bhadravati etc. are main Jain ancient sites with archaeological remains. Sirpur is famous for its artistic decoration. Malakhed was found inhabitant when Padaliptacarya visited in about 1st c. A.D., Jain caves are found at Ellora, Nasik, Dharasiva, (Osmanabad) etc. Pratishthanpur, Belgaon, Kolhapur, Ehol, Alaktakanagara, Kunthalgiri, Ardhapur, Kandhar Karanataka (Karad), Mahimagiri, Vatapi, Meghuni etc. have been main centers of Jainism where huge and magnificent Jain temples idols and inscriptions are found. Mrgesavarvarman's in inscription (450-478 A.D.) states that a huge donation was made to Digambaras, Svetambaras, Kurcakas and Yapaniyas. Belagaon and Kolhapur were also ruled over by Silaharas of Konkana who built their huge Jain temples like Adataraditya, Satyavakya, Candraprabha, Ratta, etc. Vatapi, Ehol, Meguli were also Jain centers of this period when Pulakesi First, Kirtivarman, and Ravikirti constructed Jain temples.

175. Andhra Pradesa has been a stronghold center of Jainism. Acarya Kundakunda (1st c. A.D.), the spiritual leader of the time hails from Kondakunda situated on the boarder of Andhrapradesha. King Vishnuvardhan of Calukyas, Akalavarsa, Amoghavarsa, and Krashnaraja of Rashtrakutas, Bhima, Ganga Vijayaditya, Durgaraj etc. of Vengis, Tailapa, Vikramaditya of Badami Calukyas, some kings of Velanatichoda period patronized Jainism by way of constructing temples, Vasadis and Vidyapeethas. Some of them, afterwards, were occupied by Virasaivaitas and Lingayatas, who have been great destructors of Jain monuments and the community as well. 176. Jainism in Karnataka goes back at least to Bhadrabahu and Candragupta Maurya who migrated to South India via Ujjain with twelve thousand disciples due to severe calamity and famine into he North. Simhanandin, the Jainacarya, established Gangavadi dynasty. Jainism was its state religion for about seven hundred years during which hundreds of Jain monuments were erected by the kings. Pujyapada, Prabhacandra, Jinasena, Gunanandi, Patrakesari, Puspadanta, Vidyanada, Anantavirya, Joindu etc. get the patronage of the dynasty. Of the kings the name of Racamalla Satyavakya may be specially mentioned under whose reign Camundaraya, his great minister erected the colossal statue of Gomatesvara Bahubali, the unparallel statue in the world. After Rashtrakutas Jainism got set back. One Vasava murdered his master Vijjala, the Kalacuri Jain king and perished Jainism and its adherents. He established an independent sect named Lingayata and persecuted the Jainas. From Jain archaeological standpoint, the main sites are Mangal, Nandidurga, panditarahalli, Candrasala vasadi, Aarapur, Arkettar, Sarangipattam, Halebid, Kelasaur, Aihole, Marol, Honwad, Honnur, Kalholi, Mulguna, Lakkundi, Nagire, Billigi are the main places where the Jain monuments are richly available.

177. Jainism entered in Tamilnadu most probably from Kalinga in about 4th c. B.C. Visakhacarya proceeds to Cola and Pandya countries with the entire Munisangha. It can be supported by the caverns containing beds carved out in the rock found in hills and mountains around the Pudukottai, Madura and Tinnevelly and rock-cut sculptures and inscriptions in the hills of the north Arcot district which indicate the existence of Jainism in Tamil Nadu in 3rd c. B.C. Kanci was one of the important seat of learning in South India. It was the capital of Pallvas who were mostly Jainas in early centuries. The inscriptions of Jinakanchi refers to some prominent Jainacaryas of the city like Kundakunda, Samantabhadra, Jinacandra, Pujyapada, Akalanka, Anantavirya, Bhavanand, mallisena etc. The North and South Arcot region is very rich from Jain archaeological standpoint. Pancapandava, Trirumalai, Vallimalai, Vidal, Villipuram, Chinglaput may be specially mentioned. Sittanavasal, Narttamalai, Tenimalai, Bommamalai, Malamala, Samanar Kudagu, etc. have been the Jain centers since last two thousand years. Most of these places have paintings, and sculptures of Sittanavasala tradition, which may be compared with Ajanta and Sigirya. Some of the rock-cut temples like Samanar Kudagu have been converted into Visnu temples.

178. Madura was the capital of Pandyas who took their favorable attitude towards Jainism. Its neighboring hills Annaimalai, Nagamalai, Alagarmalai, Muttupatti, Eruvadi, etc. are very rich from Jain sculptural and painting standpoint. It is a land of origin of Samgama literature. Tirukurala, Tolkappiyam, Naladiyara, Cintamani, Silakppadikaram, Nilakesi, Manimekhalai, Kurala etc. are the Jain epics of early period. Pujyapada, Vajranandi, Aryanandi, Patrakesari etc. were the prominent Jainacaryas of the period. Afterwards Jainism was patronized by the Kadamba kings. In Tinnevelly region the Kalugumallai, Tiruchcharanattumalai, Nagarajaswami temple belonged to Jainas but they are under the control of Vedicas.

179. Thus the survey of Jainism in South India gives and apparent picture of its position that it was there popular during the period of Tirthankara Mahavira or even earlier to him. The popularity augmented gradually and Digambara sect became the prominent one. During about 11th c. A.D., Vaisnavism, Alawara and Lingayatas came into existence and stood against Jainism that caused a serious blow to its propagation. The devotees of Sambandara, Tirunavukkarasata, Appara, Mukkanti, Tirumalasai, Tirumangai Vira-Saivas committed heavy atrocities on Jain society, temples, sculptures and Vasadis. Their massacres took place and the Jain centers were converted into Saiva or Vaisnava temples. Some places like Pillaiyarapatti and Kunnakkundi, Arittayatti, Nartamallai, and Kulugamalai, Tiruccirapalli, Virasikhamani, Kudumiyamalai, Dalavaura, Siyamangalam and Mamamdura can be cited in this respect. All this can be evaluated as follows.

180. Jain images, Ayagapttas, Stambhas, Toranas, Vedicas etc. were excavatd from Kankalitila in Mathura belonging to Kusana period. The Stupa made of bricks is called Devanirmita Stupa. The symbols are not traceable on these images, the Sarvatobhadra Pratimas. The names of Kaniska, Ruviska and Vasudeva are inscribed on these images. The unique Jain image of Sarasvati may also be mentioned in this context. The Chausa bronzes, in some Jain images in Lucknow and Patana museums, the Jain remains at Vaibhara hill Rajagiri and the bronzes of the Akota hoard are also belonging to this period. Some auspicious symbols like Phana, Srivats, a Purnaganata, Svastika, Vardhmanaka, Matsya, Nandyavarta etc. are also inscribed on one of the Parsva images. The image of Jivantasvami may also be referred to the period. Then the crystallized forms of the iconography were transferred to rocks on hills like Vaibhara hill, Udaigiri hills in Sanchi and Udaigiri, Kalagumalai in South. Afterwards, the iconography became fixed.

181. In other words it can be said that the Jain iconography was developed during the Gupta period in 4th century A.D. Decoration on Padpitha, Dharmacakera, Paramesthis, Gandharva Yugala, Navagrahs, Triratnas, Bhamandala, and Astapratiharys were included as the symbols of Jain images. However, all the symbols could not be decided in the early Gupta period. The images of the period can be viewed in Mathura museum, Vesanagar, Budhicanderi, Deogarha, Rajagiri, Kumarahara, Vaisali and other places. Some more images of the Gupta period are found in Udaigiri, Vesanagara, Nacana (Patana) etc. with somewhat more decorated forms. Some of the bronzes of the Akota hoara, particularly the image of Jivantasvami in Kayotsarga pose bearing a crown, Bhujabandha, Kundala, Kangana, and the image of Ambika decorated with ornaments and Yaksa-Yaksis are the representative images of the period. Sasanadevatas, Drum-player, a pair of elephants etc. were also included in the symbols.

182. In late Gupta period these symbols were more developed and in about 8th-9th c. A.D. all the symbols, Yaksa-Yaksis, Sasnadevidevatas, were fixed. Afterwards, Ksetrapalas, Dikpalas, Navgrahas, and Vidyadharas were also placed around the Jana images. Tantrism entered into Jain iconography in about tenth century A.D. and as a result, the Yaksa-Yaksis etc. got their due place on the pedestal or around the Jain images with more decorative sculptural surroundings. Sandy stone is widely used in about twelfth century along with black and white marble. The bronze images are also popularly available of the period. In the fourteenth century the development of Jain iconography stagnated and the decline started. This can be understood through perspective of iconographical peculiarities of Tirthankaras and their associates.

183. Temple art is of three types, Nagara, Vesara and Dravid. In Niagara style, the Garvagraha is quadrangular and its summit (Sikhara) is circular with Kalasa. It is used in Punjab, Himalaya, Rajasthan, Madhyapradesa, Udisa and Bengal. The Sikhara becomes flat in Vesar style, which is found in Madhyabharat, and the temple gets the form of pillar in Dravidian style. The earliest Jain temple is found at Lohanipur (Patna) of Maurya period. Then the temple art is available from the seventh century onwards. Painting has also been one of the best methods for expressing the ideas.