Jainism in Bundelkhand

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Bundelkhand, in the heart of India, has been an ancient centre of Jainism. It is mostly in modern Madhya Pradesh, but part of it is in Uttar Pradesh.

Bundelkhand was known as Dasharna or Jaijakabhukti in ancient times. The Betwa (Vetravati) and Dhasan (Dasharna) rivers flow through it.

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.

भगवतोर्हतः चन्द्रप्रभस्य प्रतिमेऽयं कारिता महाराजाधिराज-श्री-रामगुप्तेन उपदेशात् पाणिपात्रिक-चन्द्रक्षमाचार्य्य-क्षमण-श्रमण-प्रशिष्य-आचार्य्य सर्प्पसेन-क्षमण-शिष्यस्य गोलक्यान्त्या-सत्पुत्रस्य चेलु-क्षमणस्येति

The Ramagupta Inscription found near Vidisha 375 CE
The Shantinath Temple at Deogarh. The columns show Jain monks.

Prominent Tirthas

Many of the famous Jain tirthas, Vidisha, Deogarh, Lalitpur (Uttar Pradesh) , KARGUANJI,JHANSI, Chanderi, Kundalpur, Khajuraho, Ahar, Papora, Sonagir, Nainagir, etc. are in this region.

Jain Communities

Bundelkhand is home to several Jain communities:

The Khandelwals are originally from Rajasthan, but they have been present in Bundelkhand since ancient times.

Navalsah Chanderia in 1768 in his Vardhamana Purana mentioned 11 communities that were partly Jain. These include

A few among them are still jain and follow the Taranpanthi sect.

The Bhadavar region (Bhind, Muraina, Etawah) is adjacent to Bundelkhand and is home to

See also