Gwalior Fort, Part 4: Rock-Cut Jain Tirthankar Statues on the South-Eastern Escarpment

At various places along the high escarpment of Gwalior Fort’s hill are rock-cut statues of the Jain pantheon of Tirthankar saints. The best known among these are two major statue groups along the western approach route up the hill through Urwahi valley. There are also a few such caves accessible via a flight of steps along the north-eastern approach route to the hill. However, not mentioned in any of the guidebooks that I referred to is a large group of Tirthankar statues (probably the best of the lot) along the south-eastern escarpment, which I have shown here. These statues are not on any of the routes going up to the table-top, and have to be accessed separately from the other architectural sites on the hill. There is another set of such statues along the north-western escarpment, which I did not visit.

Most of the Jain statues on the hill had been chiseled during the 15th c when the fort was under the control of Tomar kings, though a few are thought to date back as far as the 7th c AD.

View of the main group of rock-cut sculptures, looking southwards:

01 01 jain collosi

This photo establishes scale with the man in the bottom left corner. The tallest statues should be about 25ft high:01 02 jain collosi

General view looking northwards among the main group of statues:01 03 jain collosi

The smaller, northernmost statues:01 04 jain collosi

Photos of the statues below, going in a general south-to-north direction. Most of the faces and genitalia were broken off during the subsequent Mughal period. A few of the faces have been recreated using plaster in modern times:

02 01 jain collosi 02 02 jain collosi 02 03 jain collosi 02 04 jain collosi 02 05 jain collosi 02 06 jain collosi 03 01 jain collosi 03 02 jain collosi 03 03 jain collosi 03 04 jain collosi 03 05 jain collosi 04 01 jain collosi 04 02 jain collosi 04 03 jain collosi 04 04 jain collosi 04 05 jain collosi

A natural spring at the southern end of the statues:04 06 jain collosi 05 01 jain collosi 05 02 jain collosi 05 03 jain collosi 05 04 jain collosi 05 05 jain collosi 05 06 jain collosi 05 07 jain collosi 05 08 jain collosi 06 01 jain collosi 06 02 jain collosi 06 03 jain collosi 07 01 jain collosi 07 02 jain collosi 07 03 jain collosi 07 04 jain collosi 07 05 jain collosi 08 01 jain collosi 08 02 jain collosi 08 03 jain collosi

Rock-cut cave at the northern end09 01 jain collosi 09 02 jain collosi 09 03 jain collosi 09 04 jain collosi

4 thoughts on “Gwalior Fort, Part 4: Rock-Cut Jain Tirthankar Statues on the South-Eastern Escarpment

  1. Pingback: Gwalior Fort, Part 5: Rock-Cut Jain Tirthankar Statues Along the South-West Approach Road | Sarson ke Khet

  2. Pingback: Gwalior Fort, Part 1: Fort & Palaces | Sarson ke Khet

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