Jainism in Maharashtra

Jainism in Maharashtra

Marathi Jains
Regions with significant populations

Jainism has been present in Maharashtra since ancient times. The famous Ellora Caves demonstrate that Jainism was part of a thriving religious culture in Maharashtra in premodern times.


  • History 1
  • Modern Maharashtran Jain communities 2
  • Religious organizations 3
  • Jainism in Mumbai 4
  • Notable People (Marathi Jains) 5
  • Photo Gallery 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


The oldest inscription in Maharashtra is a 2nd-century BC Jain inscription in a cave near Pale village in the Pune District. It was written in the Jain Prakrit and includes the Navkar Mantra.

The first Marathi inscription known is at Shravanabelagola, Karnataka near the left foot of the statue of Bahubali, dated 981 CE.

Maharashtra had many Jain rulers such as the Rashtrakuta dynasty and the Shilaharas. Many of forts were built by kings from these dynasties and thus Jain temples or their remains are found in them. Texts such as the Shankardigvijaya and Shivlilamruta suggest that a large number of Maharashtrans were Jains in the ancient period.

Modern Maharashtran Jain communities

The native Jains of Maharashtra today are endogamous communiites and generally do not intermarry with the Jains who have arrived from North India. They are all are Swetambar and Digambaras and are divided into four large communities:

  • Saitwal, originally Tailors and Cloth Merchants
  • Chaturtha, originally agriculturists, now engaged in various professions
  • Panchama, various professions
  • Kasara, traditionally coppersmiths
  • Upajjhaya
  • Kamboja[1][2]
  • Harada
  • Dhakad A small Jain community found primarily in Western Vidarbha districts of Akola, Yavatmal, Washim and Amravati.

Each of the four major communiites led by its own spiritual leader (Bhattaraka), who heads a Matha.

Immigrant Jains have a large population in Maharashtra. Majority of them are from Rajasthan and Gujarat. Some of them are from Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. Some of these communities have been in Maharashtra for centuries, and are now indistinguishable from the native residents of Maharashtra. They are divided in following large groups:

Religious organizations

The Marathi Jains), Karnataka (Kannada Jains) and Goa.

Jainism in Mumbai

Mumbai has one of the largest populations of Jains amongst all the cities in India. Mumbai also has numerous Jain temples.

Notable People (Marathi Jains)

Photo Gallery

See also


  1. ^ People of India: Maharashtra - Kumar Suresh Singh, Anthropological Survey of India - Google Boeken. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2012-04-24. 
  2. ^ The Castes and Tribes of H.E.H. the Nizam's Dominions - Syed Siraj Ul Hassan - Google Boeken. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2012-04-24. 
  3. ^ People of India: Maharashtra - Kumar Suresh Singh - Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2013-01-30. 
  4. ^ The Assembly of Listeners: Jains in Society - Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2013-01-30. 
  5. ^ A World Religions Reader - Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2013-01-30. 

External links

  • JainConnect.org Newly evolving Online Portal/Directory for Jain Community.
  • A portal to connect jains and discuss about Jainism and other things
  • Jain Tirthas in Maharashtra
  • Ellora
  • History Of Maharashtra