Mirpur Jain Temple: Stunning Artwork Of Ancient Craftsmen Of India

Mirpur Jain Temple is situated in the vicinity of a fortified village Mirpur, district Sirohi, Rajasthan, India. The temple is believed to be the oldest marble monument in Rajasthan, and one of the oldest Jain temples in India. It is also one of four Jain temples found there.


“Jainism is considered an independent, pre-Buddhist religion with possible roots in the Indus Valley Civilization. The predominance of karma is one of the key features of Jainism. Karma is the sum of a person’s actions in this and previous lives; it determines their fate in future existences.

The distinguishing features of Jain philosophy are its belief in the independent existence of soul and matter; the denial of a creative and omnipotent God, combined with a belief in an eternal universe; and a strong emphasis on non-violence, morality, and ethics.” 1

Built probably in the 9th century AD during the rule of a Rajput King, this sacred place is dedicated to the 23rd Jain Tirthankara, Parshvanatha. He was one of the four greatest Thirthankaras (‘ford makers), saviors, and spiritual teachers of the so-called dharma (righteous path) in the Jain beliefs.

Considered a historical figure, Parshvanatha was probably born in the city of Benares (today known as Varanasi around 817 BC). When it happened, the thrones of the god Indra shook, according to a legend.

Indra came down to earth to celebrate Parshvanatha’s birth on this occasion.

Born with blue-black skin, Parshvanatha was a robust and good-looking boy who played with the Gods of water, trees, and hills. At age eight, Parshvanatha began practicing the twelve essential duties of the adult Jain householder.

Parshvanatha is credited with the ability to remove obstacles and save devotees. He is most often depicted in a lotus or kayotsarga posture. Several statues and paintings show his head shielded by a multi-headed serpent, fanned like an umbrella.

Parshvanatha’s snake emblem is carved (or stamped) beneath his legs as an icon identifier.


Parshvanatha “practiced fasting. He observed with scrupulous care the twenty-eight primary and the ninety-four secondary rules of the order of monks. He was found lost in meditation. He attained pure omniscience. He attained the final liberation in the Sammeda Hill, which is known today as the Parsvanatha Hill.” 2

The 23rd Jain Tirthankara spiritual teacher lived for one hundred years. He attained Nirvana in 772 BC.

The temple is famous for its exquisite carvings on marble. It is believed that the artwork of the Mirpur Jain Temple is much older than 1000 years. Therefore, the ancient art of this temple most probably served as a model for the later Dilwara and Ranakpur temples, whose art has often been compared to that of the Mirpur.

The domes, pillars, and borders with carvings of floral and geometric designs are the unique features of this temple. The murals on the temple’s ceiling show striking motifs that are not recognizable in other Jain temples. The idols of the temple are regularly re-anointed in an annual ceremony.

Based on historical records, the temple was destroyed by Mahmood Begda of Gujarat in the 13th century, but it was later rebuilt and renovated in the 15th century. No doubt, this must have been a large and flourishing city at one time, as evidenced by the scattered relics here.mirpur-jain-temple-stunning-artwork-of-ancient-craftsmen-of-india


Today, however, only the main temple with its mandapa (a pillared hall) stands high on the pedestal with carved pillars and engravings depicting every aspect of Indian mythology.

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