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Pushkar: 11th century Jain statue found

Pushkar: 11th century Jain statue found

Author: Kshitiz Gaur
Publication: The Times of India
Date: June 6, 2008
URL: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/Pushkar_Ancient_Jain_statue_found/articleshow/3104476.cms

A medium-sized black stone statue of 17th Jain Tirth-ankar Kuntunath, dating back to 11th century, has emerged during excavations in holy town of Pushkar, about 15 kms from here.

The statue is one of the more than 36 statues found in last one year at old Pushkar and Ghat areas of the region. The discoveries con-firms of a religious congregation being held at the place some time in the medieval period.

Eighteen more such statues have been discovered in old Pushkar alone, including a Shivling of nearly one thousand year old, rare statue of god Kartikeya, statue of Vishnu and more Jain Tirthankar statues.

The statue of Jain Tirthankar Kuntunath in a meditating posture appeared when renovation work was going on at the famous Varaha temple in Pushkar. It bears characteristics of Jain architecture - curly hair, sharp features on face, etc. The style of meditation is also peculiar of Jain philosophy.

The statues have been kept in the government museum at Akbar Fort in Ajmer. Archaeologists and historians are studying different perspectives of new scripts of Chouhan dynasty of 11th century.

Two months ago, more than 20 statues were found during construction work on a personal land near Jat Vishramsthali behind the famous Bramha temple. The work containing scriptures in Ingal and Pingal, local dialects spoken during 10th century, and representing the meditation postures, dates between 6th and 11th centuries.

"These new discovery shows that Jainism flourished well at the time of Hindu ruler Prithvi Raj Chouhan,"said Akbar Fort museum superintendent Syeed Ajam Hussein. "Pushkar has the importance of multi-religious studies. The statues are in very good condition,"he said, adding that the statues bear pure art of Jain sculptures and therefore have significance for the scholars and archaeologists.

About 8 years ago, a metallic statue pertaining to Jain religion was also found in the area which dated back to more than two thousand years. "The period is important because that was the time when the region was ruled by Hindu kings, and Ghajnis invaded the land,"added Ajam.

"Pushkar is an ancient city and clues are there that Vikramaditya of 6th century had studied in Pushkar. The land has more treasure dug under it,"said a Pushkar-based archaeologist Rajendra Yagnik. "More than 4 times, the university at Pushkar was ruined by the invaders. This university was unique with Samkhya, Yoga and Jain philosophies being taught there,"he said, adding, "A group of Italian archaeologists also visited the place and gathered information of scriptures found here."

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