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The Hidden Treasures: Azimganj, Jiyaganj & Kathgola

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Bengal is rich with history and so is Jainism. Although Jainism is not as widespread in Bengal as in Gujarat and Rajasthan, it too has some very beautiful and interesting stories to tell. Not to forget the contribution of Marwari Jains to Bengal, I write this post to highlight the contribution of the marwari jains in the development of Jainism along with its architectural heritage in Eastern India.

Murshidabad, the erstwhile capital of Bengal founded by Murshid Quli Khan, the nawab of Bengal in the early 18th century was at its peak in the early 19th century. Jains came to Murshidabad, drawn by the promise of trade and banking as the city had become the economic center of Bengal. Several families settled in the nearby twin towns of Azimganj & Jiyaganj which became the nucleus of the Murshidabad Jain community.

In course of time they acquired immense wealth, enabling them to construct many beautiful Jinalays (Jain temples) in these twin towns. At its peak, this community numbered…