The forgotten Jain heritage of Odisha (Orissa)

Enriched with forests, waterfalls, rivers, valleys, beaches, lakes and temples, Odisha is a kaleidoscope of past splendor and present glory. Being the meeting place of Aryan and Dravidian cultures, with is delightful assimilations, from the fascinating lifestyle of the tribes, Odisha retains in its distinct identity. Once, a stronghold of Jainism, the Jain heritage of Odisha has now been lost in the pages of history. Such was the dominant presence of Jainism in the ancient era, that a Vedic Puran named “Adityapuran” placed Kalinga in the list of “Anarya Bhumis[1] (a land where the Dharma is not established), whereas Jains gave Kalinga, a place in its list of 25 Arya Bhumis (where Dharma was established). 

Note: Footnotes with numbers in brackets have been provided [] for references which are mentioned at the end of the article.

Following is the timeline of Jainism in Odisha -

~850 BC - The revered Jain Agam, Shri Uttaradhyayan Sutra mentions that Lord Parshwanath visited this region in 850 BC when the King Avakinnayo Karakandu became a great devotee of the 23rd Tirthankar and took Diksha (monkhood)[2]. Jain Kshetra Samsa as well as Jain texts like Vyavahar Bhashya and Harivash Puran also show that Lord Parshwanath had preached in places like Tamralipti (Tamluk in West Bengal), Kopataka (Kupari, Balasore) and Kumari Parvat (Udaygiri and Khandgiri, Bhubaneshwar) in the Kalinga region[3]. Therefore, as early as 9th century B.C, Jainism had already created its place in the religious life of the people of Odisha, and continued to flourish under the royal patronage.

558 BC - As per Jain scriptures like Shri Bhagwati Sutra, Shri Avashyak (Niryukti) Sutra, Harivansh Puran and Haribhadravritti, Lord Mahavir visited various places like Valuyagam, Subhoma, Succheta Malaya, Siddharthgram and Tosali (Sisupalgarh, Bhubaneshwar) in Kalinga after 11 years of Diksha with Mankhaliputra Goshal[4] [5].

~ 530 -510 BC - Emperor Shrenik Bimbisar of the Magadh empire, who was a great devotee of Lord Mahavir made a pilgrimage to Kumari Parvat (Udaygiri and Khandgiri, Bhubaneshwar) and constructed a beautiful temple on the hill and placed a golden idol of Lord Adinath which was installed by Gandhar Sudharma Swami. This idol came to be known as the “Kalinga Jina” and was deeply revered by the entire populace of Kalinga. King Shrenik also constructed rock cut caves in Kumargiri for the use of Jain monks and nuns during monsoon[6] [7].

509 BC / 468 BC - King Chetak who was the maternal uncle of Lord Mahavir, ruled over Vaishali in 5th century BC. His son, Shobhanraya was married to Kalinga emperor Sulochan’s daughter. After Chetak lost Vaishali to Konik Ajatshatru, Shobhanraya fled to Kalinga. As Sulochan had no sons, Shobhanray was crowned the ruler of Kalinga. Shobhanraya was a staunch Jain and during his rule Jainism flourished making Kumari Parvat a major pilgrimage[8].

378 BC - Chandaraya was crowned as the 5th successor of Shobhanraya. During that time, the 8th Nanda emperor Kaivarta Nanda attacked the kingdom of Kalinga, destroyed the temple on Kumari Parvat and took away the idol of Kalinga Jina to Patliputra[9].

357 BC - Himavant Sthaviravali by Acharya Himavant Kshamashraman (composed in ~2-3rd century AD) states that the last Purvadhar, (i.e. who had the knowledge of all the 14 Purvas) Acharya Bhadrabahu Swami arrived in Kumari Parvat, 170 years after the nirvan of Mahavir. He attained Kaldharma (death) through an Anshan (meditative penance known as Santhara/ Sallekhana) of 15 days of fasting without even consuming water[10].

282 BC Arya Mahagiri arrived in Kumari Parvat and attained Kaldharma by practicing Anshan[11]

265 BC - Emperor Ashok Maurya attacked the Kalinga empire and annexed it to the Mauryan empire.

236 BC - Arya Suhastisuri (guru of Emperor Samprati) arrived in Kumari Parvat and attained Kaldharma by practicing Anshan[12]

232 BC – Kalinga regained independence from Mauryan empire post Ashoka’s death[13].  Kalinga’s ruler, Vudharaja (Vriddharaja) built 11 caves on Kumari Parvat for the use of Jain monks and nuns during monsoon[14]

Udaygiri Caves (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

165 BC – Vudharaja’s son, Mahameghvan Bhikhshuraj Kharavel ascended to the throne of Kalinga[15].

157 BC Kharavel attacked and defeated Magadha, which was then ruled by Bahasatimita or Pushyamitra of the Shunga dynasty and recovered the idol of Kalinga Jina which was captured by the Nandas[16].

156 BC –The temple on Kumari Parvat was renovated and the idol of Kalinga Jina was reinstalled in the presence of Arya Shri Susthitsuri and Achrya Shri Supratibuddhsuri[17]. Both the Acharyas conducted one crore chants of the holy “Suri Mantra” there.[18] 

Image of the Apsidal Chaitya structure at Udaygiri where the Kalinga Jina was installed

Top view of the Apsidal Chaitya structure at Udaygiri

To preserve the knowledge of Jain Agams, Kharavel initiated an Agam Vanchana (council) for a verbal compilation of the Agams and especially the Purvas (Drishtivad). Kharavel invited Acharya Balissah, Acharya Bodhiling, Devacharya, Acharya Dharmasena, Acharya Nakshatra along with 200 Jinakalpi monks (naked monks who used to imitate the life and penances of Tirthankars as per Shwetambar Agams; now extict.) and Sthavirakalpi Acharyas (Cloth bearer monks) namely Arya Susthitsuri, Achrya Supratibuddhsuri, Acharya Umasvati, Acharya Shyamacharya along with 300 Sthavirakalpi monks. Aryaa Poini along with 300 nuns and 700 Shravaks- Shravikas were also present during the compilation[19].

Based on the compilation, following scriptures were composed later[20] [21]
  • Pragnapana Sutra” (Pannavana) by Arya Shri Shyamacharya
  • Angavidya Sutra” (from a Purva named Vidyaprasad) by Arya Shri Balissah
  • Tattvartha Sutra” by Acharya Umasvati.
Kharavel also constructed rock cut cave shelters for Jain monks on both the hills of Kumari Parvat (Udaygiri and Khandgiri). On one hill, he constructed caves for Jinakalpi monks (Udaygiri) and on the other he constructed caves for the Sthavirkalpi monks (Khandagiri) [22].

152 BC – The Hathigumpha inscription was carved on the Kumari Parvat (Udaygiri) which mentions the life of Kharavel in Prakrit. The inscription begins with the words[23] – “Namo Arhantanam, Namo Savasidhanam” making it the earliest archaeological evidence of Navkar mantra. Other important highlights of the inscription are –

  • In the 8th year of his reign, Kharavel expelled members of the Ajivika sect (followers of Makkhali Gosala) from the Barabar caves in Gaya and mutilated their inscriptions[24] [25].
  • In the 12th year of his reign, Kharavela caused panic amongst the people of Magadha by driving (his) elephants into the Sugamgiya (Palace), made the King of Magadha, Bahasatimita, bow at his feet and recovered (the image) 'the Jina of Kalinga' which had been taken away by King Nanda[26] [27] [28].
  • In the 13th year of his reign, on the Kumari Hill where the Wheel of Conquest had been well-revolved (i.e., the religion of Jina had been preached), he offered respectfully royal maintenances, silks and white clothes to the Jain monks who by their austerities had extinguished the round of lives. As a layman, Kharaval realised the nature of “jiva” and “deha” and brought a Council of the wise Jain ascetics and sages, from hundred (i.e., all) quarters near the temple of Kalinga Jina on the top of the hill, with stones brought from many miles (yojanas). He restored and renovated the Arhat temple on the Kumari Hill by spending twenty-five hundred thousands; and caused to be compiled expeditiously the (text) of the seven-fold Angas (Jain Agams)[29]

The Hathigumpha inscription

~150 BC – Maharaja Kudepasiri succeeded Kharavel as the ruler of Kalinga[30]. He also built caves for Jain monks on Kumari Parvat. Inscriptions in the Manchapuri cave in the Kumari Parvat (Udaygiri) mentions his name[31]. The cave also depicts a relief representing two male figures and two female figures worshipping the Kalinga Jina[32]

Relief in Manchapuri Cave depicting the worship of Kalinga Jina (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

40 AD -50 AD – Due to an acute famine in northern India, Acharya Vajraswami (who had the knowledge of the 10 purvas) arrived at the coastal town of Puri[33] where there was a Jain temple dedicated to Shri Jirawala Parshwanath[34]. He also successfully made the local Buddhist king embrace Jainism. Currently a Jain idol can be seen on the outer walls of the Jagannath Puri Temple.

Jagannath ki Vividh Pehchan by Devdutt Pattnaik

2nd Century - 3rd Century AD – A tribe called Murundas, who ruled over an extensive territory from Chota Nagpur region of Bihar to the district of Ganjam in Odisha patronized Jainism[35] [36]. Gold coins excavated from Sisupalgarh near Bhubaneswar show that Maharajadhiraja Dharmadamadara who belonged to the Murunda tribe was a patron of Jainism[37]. This fact is corroborated by the Jain text Prabodh Chintamani. The last ruler of the Murunda tribe also practiced Jainism and worshipped the Nirgranth tradition (Jainism)[38]

Early 4th Century AD - Satrubhanja ruled from the Keonjhar district of Odisha and the Asanpat inscription from Keonjhar district states that he donated large amount of wealth to Bhikshus, Nirgranths although he himself remained a staunch follower of Brahmanism[39].

7th Century AD – Buddhist traveler Hiuen-T’sang’s records state that Kalinga had 10 Buddhist Sangharamas (monasteries) with 100 priests and 500 temples with different sorts of unbelievers most of whom were Nirgranths (Jains)[40]. He adds that Buddhist temples were about 100 in numbers whereas those of (Jain) Tirthankars were more than 1000[41].

The Inscriptions of Shailodbhava dynasty who ruled over the Kangoda region (parts of the present-day Ganjam, Khordha and Puri districts in the Odisha state) inform that Jains followed extreme penance and austerity to attain supreme knowledge[42]. The Banapura copper plate records that  Shailodbhava king Dharmaraja II alias Sri Manabhita's wife Kalyandevi was a Jain and she made grants for Jain monks namely Arhatacharya Nasichandra and his disciple Ekasata Prabuddhachandra who wore only one piece of cloth[43].

10-11th Century AD – The Somavamshi dynasty gave royal patronage to Jainism and erected Jain temples at various places including Bhubaneshwar[44]. King Uddyotakeshari of the Somavamshi dynasty built cave temples and installed idols of 24 Tirthankars on the Kumari Parvat (Khandgiri) as per the three inscriptions engraved inside the Lalatendukesari cave and Navamuni cave of the Khandagiri hill [45] [46].

12th Century ADGanga dynasty rose into power in Kalinga who were staunch followers of Vaishnavism. Anantavarman Chodaganga constructed the temple of Shri Jagannath at Puri. A stone inscription[47] from Bhogpur village (Bhimilipatnam Taluk of the Vishakhapatnam district) reveals that in 1178 A.D (11th regnal year of Anantavarma Rajaraja II of the Ganga dynasty) one Kannam Nayak (Sreshthi), a subordinate of the Utkal King, installed a sacred image of Tirthankar at Ramaramagiri (the modem Ramatirtham) in a temple called Rajaraja Jinalaya which is undoubtedly named after his overlord, Rajaraja II. 

Thereafter, the presence of Jainism gradually declined in the region because of lack of royal patronage and intolerant attitude of other sects.


Based on the documented resources available in Research papers, museum directories, historical publications and Archaeological newsletters, I have been able to list more than 120 cities/ villages[48] [49] [50] where Jain archaeological remains have been found within the state boundaries of Odisha. The entire list has been provided at the end of the article.

It is important to note that the list is not exhaustive and there could be various other sites as well. I have tried to sort them from north to south based on their districts and locations. Out of the 30 districts in Odisha, Jain historical remains have been identified in 15 districts in form of idols of Tirthankars, Yaksh/ Yakshini’s, votive tablets etc. Five Districts namely Koraput, Jajpur, Balasore, Cuttack and Khordha account for more than 76% of the Jain historical remains.

While most of these idols are kept in Hindu temples and worshipped as Bhairav’s, Gramdevata’s, Devi’s etc. some are well preserved in the museums in the state. Sadly, animal sacrifices are offered in front of many idols which are worshipped as local deities. The map showing most of the identified locations is as below. 

Mayurbhanj District 

Major Jain archaeological sites can be found in the towns of Baripada, Khiching and Badasahi in Mayurbhanj district. The Jagannath temple of Baripada houses three Jain images out of which two images date back to the 9th century AD. The outer wall of Maa Kichakeswari Temple, Khiching depict a relief showing a Jinakalpi Jain monk giving a sermon to a King/ prince. Jain images are also preserved in the Baripada state museum and Khiching museum. 

Jain idols from Mayurbhanj District, Odisha

Keonjhar District

The most notable site in this district is Podasingidi where many Tirthankar idols have been excavated. Most of the idols are preserved in the Jain Heritage Sculpture Shed maintained by the ASI and Odisha State museum in Bhubaneshwar date back to 7th to 12th century AD. Rare images of Ambika with Tirthankars are worshipped by locals at Ramchandi Temple in Podasingidi. The Baula hill in the Anandapur subdivision has a Jain temple known as Yogichhata. The hill also has rock cut caves, which were used by Jain monks. 

Jain idols from Podasingidi, Keonjhar District, Odisha

Jain idols from Keonjhar District.

Balasore District

With the third highest number of Jain historical remains in the State of Odisha, Balasore District has 16 Jain sites. The Narayan Temple at the village of Ada and the Archaeological shed at Ajodhya preserve most of the images. Sadly, the images at the Narayan temple lie in ruins, neglected completely. 

Jain idols from Narayana Temple, Ada, Balasore District

Jain idols from Ajodhya, Balasore District

Jain idols from Ajodhya, Balasore District

Bhadrak District

Although only three Jain sites have been identified in this District, the site of Charampa is a very significant one as many medieval era Jain idols were found from here. A colossal 6 feet high idol of Lord Adinath dating to the 9th century AD was excavated from Charampa along with unique idols of Shri Ajitnath and Shri Shantinath Bhagwan bearing cut marks which are kept at Odisha State museum, Bhubaneshwar. The double concave cut marks found on those idols indicate to votary of the faith of the extreme path followed by the Tirthankars to achieve salvation. These idols also have been assigned to the 8th and 9th centuries A.D. One idol of Shri Parshwanath is being worshipped as Kharakia Thakurani in the Charampa village by the locals. 

Jain idols from Charampa, Bhadrak District

Jajpur & Kendrapada Districts

The Jajpur District has the second highest number of Jain sites across Odisha (23 to be precise). Major sites include Jajpur town, Baruadi, Narasinghpur, Kantabania, Bansabadi, Kuansa among others. At Narayana Chowk, Shri Parshwanath Bhagwan is worshipped as Anant Vasudev whereas an unidentified Tirthankar image is worshipped as Vishnu in Narasinghpur. The Hanseshvar temple and Sitaleshvar temple have many Jain idols in their custody. A Chaturmukhi shrine is used as a base for a garden pot in Narasinghpur while multiple Chaturmukhi shrines lie scattered in the fields of Nayagarh.

Jain idols from Jajpur District

Jain idols from Jajpur District

Jain idols from Jajpur District

Jain idols from Jajpur District

Cuttack District

Scattered across 12 different cities/ towns, Jain sites across Cuttack District are very prominent. Pratapnagari near Cuttack preserves a maximum number of Jain idols and a small museum has been constructed on the site. While most of idols at Choudwar have been badly painted and worshipped as Shiva, Parshwanath Bhagwan is worshipped as Anantavasudeva at Bhanapur. Cuttack has temples of both the Digambar and Shwetambar sect, but the Digambar Jain temple preserves very beautiful ancient idols dating back to 11th century AD. The walls and pillars of Sobhaneshwar Temple, Niali show images of Tirthankars in Kayotsarg mudra which suggest that this was a Jain temple in ancient times.

Jain idols from Cuttack District

Jain idols from Cuttack District

Jain idols from Pratapnagari, Cuttack District

Jain idols from Choudwar, Cuttack District

Jagatsinghpur District

Nuadhana, Sahada, Nasik are major sites in Jagatsinghpur district. A Jain idol in Nuadhana is worshipped as Gramdevati (village deity) and animal sacrifices are made in front of the idol.

Jain idols from Jagatsinghpur District

Khordha District

Blessed with the most important Jain center in the entire state of Odisha, Kumari Parvat, (now known as Udaygiri and Khandagiri Caves) the Khordha District has 12 Jain sites in its precincts. The town of Sisupalgarh near Bhubaneshwar was known as Tosali and was visited by Shri Mahavir Swami Bhagwan. Fragments of idols of Jain Tirthankars have been found from the walls of temples in Bhubaneshwar and the Odisha State Museum in the city preserves various Jain artefacts. A clothed Tirthankar idol can also be seen on the outer walls of the Somnath Temple in Budhapada. In Panchagaon a votive tablet depicting Arhat, Gandhars & Purvadhars, has been found.

Jain idols from Udaygiri - Khandagiri, Khordha District

Jain idols from Bhubaneshwar, Khordha District

Nayagarh, Bolangir and Boudh Districts

On the western parts of Odisha, sparse presence of Jainism can be seen. Only four Jain sites have been identified in these three districts. A broken idol of Shri Parshwanath Bhagwan can be found lying in ruins at the famous Harishankar Temple in Balangir. While many Jain images can be found in Ranpur the walls of Ramnath Temple, Boudh have images of Jain Tirthankars which indicate that this was a Jain temple earlier. 

Jain idols from Nayagarh, Balangir and Boudh Districts

Puri District

Apart from the Jagannath temple at Puri where a Jain idol can be found on the outer walls, Jain remains can be found in Barala, Beguniapada, Pindola, Lataharan among others. At Jiolo Sasana, an idol of Ambika with a Tirthankar is worshipped as Bhagvati. 

Koraput & Rayagada Districts

With the highest number of Jain historical remains, Koraput in the southern part of Odisha, which shares its borders with Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, has 31 Jain sites while Rayagada has one Jain historical site. Subei a village 16 Kms from Sunabeda and 34 Kms away from Koraput has the relics of a Jain temple, containing rare images of the Tirthankars. Other important sites include Kachela, Jamunda, Jeypore among others. Recent excavations in Biripada village in Rayagada has revealed various metal idols dating back to the 9th century AD. Further excavations are expected to reveal more such places in future.

Jain idols and temples at Subei, Koraput

Jain idols from Koraput District

Jain idols from Koraput District

Jain idols from Koraput District

Jain idols from Koraput & Raygada Districts

The entire list of 123 cities/ towns/ villages in Odisha with Jain heritage sites is as below-


[1] Jain Tirth Sarva Sangrah, Sheth Anandji Kalyanji Pedhi, Part II - Pg. 503
[2] Lord Mahavira and his Times by Dr. Kailash Chand Jain, Pg. 16, 69,
[3] Shodhaganga – Jaina Order, A continuity through adverse economic condition; Pg. 38
[4] Lord Mahavira and his Times by Dr. Kailash Chand Jain, Pg. 54
[5] Shodhaganga – Jaina Order, A continuity through adverse economic condition Pg. 39
[6] Jain Tirth Sarva Sangrah, Sheth Anandji Kalyanji Pedhi, Part II - Pg. 504
[7] Muni Speaks – (Mahameghavahan Bhikshuraj Kharvel by KJ based on “Jain Itihaas” by Param Pujya Acharya Shri Kulchandra Suri.)
[8] Jain Tirth Sarva Sangrah, Sheth Anandji Kalyanji Pedhi, Part II - Pg. 504-505;
[9] Jain Tirth Sarva Sangrah, Sheth Anandji Kalyanji Pedhi, Part II - Pg. 505
[10] Jain Tirth Sarva Sangrah, Sheth Anandji Kalyanji Pedhi, Part II - Pg. 504
[11] Jain Tirth Sarva Sangrah, Sheth Anandji Kalyanji Pedhi, Part II - Pg. 505
[12] Jain Tirth Sarva Sangrah, Sheth Anandji Kalyanji Pedhi, Part II - Pg. 505
[13] Sailendra Nath Sen (1999). Ancient Indian History and Civilization. Pg. 176–177
[14] Jain Tirth Sarva Sangrah, Sheth Anandji Kalyanji Pedhi, Part II - Pg. 505
[15] Jain Tirth Sarva Sangrah, Sheth Anandji Kalyanji Pedhi, Part II - Pg. 505
[16] Epigraphia Indica, Vol. XX (1929–30). Delhi: Manager of Publications, Reprinted 1983.
[17] Himavant Sthaviravali - Pg. 5-8
[18] Muni Nyayvijayji, Jain Tirtho no Itihas Pg. 560
[19] Maharaja Kharvel by Acharya Purnachandrasuri Pg. 107-115; Jain Tirth Sarva Sangrah, Sheth Anandji Kalyanji Pedhi, Part II - Pg. 505
[20] Jain Tirth Sarva Sangrah, Sheth Anandji Kalyanji Pedhi, Part II - Pg. 506;
[21] Muni Speaks – (Mahameghavahan Bhikshuraj Kharvel by KJ based on “Jain Itihaas” by Param Pujya Acharya Shri Kulchandra Suri.)
[22] Jain Tirth Sarva Sangrah, Sheth Anandji Kalyanji Pedhi, Part II - Pg. 506
[23] Epigraphia Indica, Vol. XX (1929–30). Delhi: Manager of Publications, Reprinted 1983
[24] Radhakumud Mookerji (1995). Asoka. Pg. 206.
[25] AL Basham (1951). History and Doctrines of the Ajivikas, a Vanished Indian Religion. Pg. 158–159
[26] Romila Thapar (2003). The Penguin History of Early India: From the Origins to AD 1300. Pg. 211–213;
[27] Helmuth von Glasenapp (1999). Jainism: An Indian Religion of Salvation. Pg. 431;
[31] Epigraphia Indica, Vol. XX (1929–30). Delhi: Manager of Publications, Reprinted 1983
[33] Glory of Jainism: Shri Vajraswami by Dr. Kumarpal Desai (
[34] Muni Nyayvijayji, Jain Tirtho no Itihas Pg. 560
[35] N.K.Sahoo, Op.cit Pg. 427-28
[36] Dr.D.N.Das The early History of Kalinga, Pg-284
[37] A.S.Altekar, J.N.S.I., Vol. XII, Pg.1-4
[38] N.K.Sahoo, History of Orissa, Vol.I, Pg.451
[39] S.N.Rajguru 0.H.R.J, 1970
[40] S, Beal, Budhist Records, Vol. - II, Pg. 208
[41] T.Watters, on Yan Chwang's Travell in India, Vol.II, Pg. 194-196
[42] Shodhaganga – Jaina Order, A continuity through adverse economic condition Pg.44
[43] Epigraphia Indica, Vol.XXIX, Pg. 38-43
[44] Shodhaganga – Jaina Order, A continuity through adverse economic condition Pg.46-47
[45] R.D.Banarji, Epigraphia Indica, Vol.XIII, Pg.-165ff;
[46] K.C.Panigrahi, C.B.K.S.O, PP. 52ff
[47] S.I.I, Vol.X, No.710, V.Rangacharya; A Tropographical list of the Inscriptions of the Madras Presidency, Vol.III, Part.II, PP.316-17, lines 7,13,18and 19
[49] Dipsikha Acharya, Puravritta -Journal of the Directorate of Archaeology & Museums, Volume 2, 2017, Govt. of West Bengal. Pg. 111-128
[50] Das Kornel & Giridhar Gamang, Jaina Antiquities and monuments in Koraput, 2017


  1. Very well Done. Organised & Systematic manner. How many places you have personally visited? If you want I can provide you some more data to update

    1. Thank you. I have been to very few of these sites in Odisha. Please provide additional data that you have. Would love to add value to this post!

  2. Truley Very interesting.good work arpitji.
    This shows that in past jainism is the main and only religion on earth.

  3. Exhaustive research arpitji, keep up the good work, there are more such sites in Andhra and telengana which are geographically contigious with Orissa.

    1. Thank you so much.
      The Telangaga - Andhra belt is equally very rich with Jain heritage.

  4. So happy that I am so lucky to attain such vast knowledge of Jainism.So minutely and beautifully descripted.Thankyou zo much for sharing this post

    1. Glad you found it informative. Please do share with all the Jains so that we can restore the Jain heritage of Odisha

  5. Great Work Arpit. We have very few researchers like you !!

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. I have heard many people(eg Mr. Sanjeev Sanyal) framing the story as follows:
    Ashoka was a staunch Buddhist prior to the Kalinga war. He invaded Kalinga and took away the Jain idols (probably the Kalinga Jina). One or two generations later Kharavela defeated Magadha, and brought back the idols with him. It is claimed that Kharavela's rock inscriptions are right in front of Ashoka's one(on the top of opposite hill) and seem to say that "revenge is taken".

    I would love to know how a Jain should see this, but there are some dubious things in your article:
    1) 378BCE 8th Nanda invaded Kalinga and took away Kalinga Jina
    2) 265BCE Ashoka annexed Kalinga

    Suppose Kalinga separated from Magadha territory some time in between. It is unlikely that Kalinga would have remained separated from the Mauryan empire when they were on a pan-India conquest mission,being so close to their capital Magadha. Thus, I assume that it delcared its sovereignty in the Ashokan reign itself.
    Q1 Why did Chandragupta not reinstall the idol? (If you beleive that the Digambara tradition story of Bhadrabahu is true.)
    Q2 Why did the independent ruler (who most likely would have been a Jain) not install a new idol at that place?
    Q3 You cite Romila Thapar, a recognised pro-Leftist historian, when you claim that the Kharavela inscription specifically names "King Nanda" for stealing the Kalinga Jina, whereas Mr. Sanyal claims that it was Ashoka who stole the idol. Please clarify this.

    Few requests:
    1)Please use BCE instead of BC.
    2)Devdutt Pattnaik is not a scholar that he should be cited as a reference. He is well known for his ideological leanings.
    3)Try not to refer to highly Leftist or Rightist or too much pro-Jainist (eg KJ of Muni Speaks) historians. KJ in one of his articles (Influence of Jainism on Mughal Empire) writes that Hemu was a Jain. He does not cite any basis for his claim. I would love to know your take on this as well.

    1. 4) Try not to use terms like Aryan and Dravidian. These terms are not pro-Jain, they are rather pro-Christian and pro-West.

    2. The Hathigumpha inscription clearly states that the Nanda King took away the idol of Kalinga Jina, so there is no question of Ashoka taking the Kalinga Jina as per your reference of Mr. Sanjeev Sanyal. Not just Romila Thapar's book, all the historians and epigraphists agree on this. You will find this reference not only online but all Jain texts are unanimous that the Nandas took away the Kalinga Jina and not Ashoka.

      Secondly, the theory that Chandragupta Maurya was a Jain is not accepted by the Shwetambar scriptures. Even, in the Digambar scriptures, it is mentioned that he accepted Jainism at the fag end of his life. It can be assumed that even if Chandragupta turned Jain, he could've worshiped Kalinga Jina at Magadha and therefore he wouldn't have wished to give it back as it was highly revered.

      I have never cited any reference of Devdutt Patnaik. Just shared a newspaper clipping of his views on Jagannath Temple. Nowhere my text cites him.

      I only take pro-Jainist references (eg KJ - Muni speaks) only if they are backed by scriptures. If they have used details from Scriptures, I find no harm in citing them. I have no idea that Hemu was a Jain or not as nothing as such is found in scriptures in my knowledge.

      The terms Aryan and Dravidian have been used for common understanding of the readers.

      The decline of Jainism in Odisha was majorly due to lack of Royal Patronage and aggressiveness of Shankaracharya in expanding Vaishnavism.

      Aditya Puran is one of the 18 minor Puranas. The complete list is as below-

      Major Puranas - Agni Purana, Bhagavatha Purana, Bhavishya Purana, Brahma Purana, Brahmanda Purana, Lalitha Sahasranama, Garuda Purana, Kurma Purana, Linga Purana, Markandeya Purana, Devi Sapthashati, Matsya Purana, Narada Purana,Padma Purana, Shiva Purana, Skanda Purana, Vamana Purana, Varaha Purana, Vayu Purana, Vishnu Purana

      Minor Puranas - Adi Purana, Aditya Purana, Adya Purana (Sanatkumara), Aushanasa Purana, Brahmavaivarta Purana, Bhargava Purana, Brihadharma Purana, Brihannandishavara Purana, Brihannanradiya Purana, Dharma Purana, Durvasa Purana, Ganesha Purana, Harivamsa Purana, Kapila Purana, Kalki Purana, Kalika Purana, Kriyayogasara Purana, Maheshvara Purana, Maricha Purana, Nandishvara Purana, Narasimha Purana, Parashara Purana, Samba Purana, Saura Purana, Shivadharma Purana, Vishnudharma Purana,Vishnu Dharmottara Purana

    3. I learnt that indeed the name of king Nanda is mentioned and it is really surprising that the inscription does not mention a word about the Kalinga war or Ashoka or Mauryans. It seems that the loss of the Jina idol was more painful to the people of Odisha than the horrors of the Kalinga war. Anyway, for now I am largely convinced that Mr Sanjeev Sanyal is trying to make up a fake narrative. These are the claims he makes in his book The Ocean of Churn and public talks intended for its promotion. It is really shocking to know that such renowned people openly propagate not just a misleading story but also facts that are entirely just made up. In fact, I had been dubious of his (and some other people of his level of ideological leaning) narrative when it comes to pre-Islamic history, which is why I started looking out for what a Jain viewpoint should be.
      The reason why I do not feel like verifying such claims is that I often feel quite jealous of Buddhism, which is why I get carried away by anyone who is propagating an anti-Buddhist narrative. I really hate when the Indian state promotes Buddhism unofficially despite the fact that their was no Buddhism in India before Ambedkar converted to it (and made it an anti-Hindu movement for Dalits). On the other hand, their is severe lack of recognition for Jains, simply because Jain kings have been wiped out of our history syllabus. What I hate even further is that it is Buddhism and not Jainism that is projected as a "Religion of Peace". Jains often grow up believing that the numbers of their community are small simply because Jainism is a very hard religion to follow, and that why would a king who has to fight battles and indulge into violence convert to Jainism.
      Anyway, I loved reading your elaborate reply. By the way, I still was not able to find Aditya Purana even as an Upapurana on the internet.

      I also have some suggestions/requests for you to write history related blogs:
      1)Decline of vegetarianism in east India and south India
      2)History of Marwari Jainism
      3)Decline of Jainism in South India(Tamil Nadu and Kerala)
      4)King Vikramaditya's (of Vikram Samvat calendar) chronology

    4. Sanjeev Sanyal in his interpretations about Orissa , totally provided fabricated versions that do not match the facts. I agree that nowhere there is a mention of Asoka in the Kharavela inscription and nor does Sanyal give a true view when he does not recognize the Girnar edicts of Asoka the contain all the Major Rock Edicts, that he has conveniently avoided to paint Asoka in poor light.

  8. Please also elaborate the process of decline of Jainism in Odisha, and entire East India. Was it because of Islamic atrocities (eg Bakhtiyar Khilji), or beacause of pro-Vaishnavite rulers? Every Jain must know the rulers they ought to see in negative light. Their is nothing like spreading hatred in this.

  9. Can you please shed some light on what is "Aditya Purana"? The Wikipedia page on Puranas does not contain the word "Aditya" even once.

  10. Shrey,
    Excellent compilation! Can you provide references for reference marks 6,7. Mainly Bimbisar creating the temples in Kalinga and Chandanraya and Shobanraya? This would be great help for my research as well!

  11. I'm a research scholar. It was delight reading your article. It helped me in my research,the timeline in specific.
    One query - what happened to the Jain temple and idol of Puri ???
    Anyone if know kindly tell.

  12. Wow great information,learned something new but i don't bakhtiyar khilji going into Orissa.In those days,Orissa was under ganga dynasty although Bengali sultanate under kalapahad did invaded.islamic attrocities ,now attrocity also have religion strange.

  13. बहुत सुंदर जानकारी जिन्हे आप से प्रस्तुत किया रिसर्च करने वाले एवम जंनिज्म मे रूचि रखने वालो के लिए बहुत ही सुगम एवं अच्छा


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