Jain reliigion in Goa

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Evidence of early Jainism Influence

There are ruins of three Jain temples belonging to Vijayanagar period. The first Jain Basti of Neminath is from Bandivade of Ponda taluka. The other two Jain temples are located in Cudnem and Jainkot area of Narve and both these temples belong to the Vijayanagar period.

Ruins of the Neminath Jain Basti at Bandivade 

A stone inscription from Nagueshi exhibited in the Museum of Archaeological Survey of India refers to the reconstruction of  this Jain Basti during Vijayanagar period in 14th century. The Neminath Basti of Bandivade is square shaped and built of laterite blocks with grilled windows. An arch is provided at the entrance. It is possible that a dome existed over the structure. Lime mortar has been found to have been used extensively as the binding material.

Ruins of the Cudnem Jain Temple.

The "Garbagriha" as well as the  "Mukha Mandapa" are constructed of laterite with Lime mortar being used as the the binding material. The entrance of garbagriha has an arch. The laterite blocks discovered in the excavation clearly indicate that there were arches in the "Mukha  Mandapa". These arches were embellished with a laterite floral pendant at the center of the arch. One such floral pendant has been discovered in a recently conducted excavation. The presence of these arches strongly suggest that there was a overlying dome covering the temple. This "Mukha Mandapa" is  8 x 8.30 meters. There are four pillars in the center and four others on each side wall. The "Garbagriha" as well as the "Mukha Mandapa" stand on a 2meter high platform. The octagonal "Shikara" of the "Garbagriha" has five tiers. The lower most is half spherical with a rectangular small entrance for the "Garbagriha". This is the only medieval temple of Goa which has a "Nagara" (Indo-Aryan) architectural features. The high platform and the tall Shikara give a sense of soaring height to the temple. The "Mukha Mandapa" has a gabled roof with tiles. A "Prakara"  wall with a base of pillars has also been unearthed. This Jain temple is similar to the Saptakoteshwar temple of Narve and the Chandranath temple of Paroda. It is possible that this temple was the forerunner of these architecturally similar temples. The use of Lime mortar and the architectural features indicate that the temple belonged to Vijayanagar period. A broken stone head of a "Teerathankara" or a Jain saint, with beautifully sculpted curls was also found near the "Garbagriha". A stone torso of another Jain "Teerathankara"  with a "Srivasta" symbol was also unearthed. Another find occurred while desilting a nearby well in the vicinity of the temple. At a depth of 5 meters, the right leg of a Statue was discovered. It appears that the broken head and the leg belonged to the same image. This image of a "Teerathankara" belongs to the Kadamba period. It however appears  that Jains during the Kadamba period were not prosperous to begin with but in the subsequent Vijayanagar Period, they might have gained prosperity due to their active participation in mercantile activity. 

Ruins of the Narve Jain Temple. 

The ruins today are called "Jainkot"  and are located in the Village of Narve in Bicholim taluka. They lie very near the present temple of Saptakoteshwar . In front of the Saptakoteshwar temple, there is ancient pathway constructed  of locally available laterite slabs which lead to the ruins of Jain temple. These consist  of mainly door jams, ceiling canopy and lintels chlorite schist. The Jain temple was built of  laterite. Lime mortar has also been noted to have been  used extensively here also. In an inscription there is only a mention of the name "Sparsvanath" and along with the name of the month and day, corresponding to the English calendar  date of March 13th,  1151 AD. During this period the Kadambas were in power and its ruler at that time was King Vijayaditya.



If anyone has access to more accurate information on jainism in Goa please let us know.