Jainism in Uttar Pradesh

Uttar Pradesh, a state in north India has a long association with Jainism. Today the state is home to a number of Jain monuments, such as Jain Temples and Jain Tirths.


Parshvanatha, the twenty-third tirthankara, was born in Benaras (now Varanasi)[1] in 872 BCE.[2] According to Jain tradition, Kashi (now Varanasi) is the birthplace of three more tithankaras, namely Suparshvanatha, Chandraprabha and Shreyansanatha.[3]

According to Jain tradition, five tirthankaras were born at Ayodhya, including Rishabhanatha,[4] Ajitanatha,[5] Abhinandananatha,[6] Sumatinatha[7] and Anantanatha.[8]

The famous naked Jain male torso found at Lohanipur, whether Mauryan or, more likely Kushana, is generally taken as indicative evidence of some sort of representational cult in early Jainism which reached an early height at Mathura, and certainly inscriptions from the many ayagapatas of the Mathura region make clear that puja to the tirthankaras with lay and ascetic involvement was an important dimension to this.[9]


It is one of the few regions in India where Jainism has a strong presence and influence. There are many ancient tirthas in Bundelkhand. Many of the modern scholars of Jainism are from this region.


Left: The Shantinath Temple in the fort area at Deogarh. The columns in the temple show Jain monks. Right: Pārśva and other tirthankaras depicted on a panel in the temple

The fort temples are dominated by the Jain temples in the eastern part of the hill fort; the images here are mostly of the "iconographic and the stylistic variety".[10] The Jain temples have a large number of panels depicting scenes from Jain mythology, tirthankara images and votive tablets. The pillars are carved with a thousand figures.[11]

Prominent Tirthas



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