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Jainism in Gujarat – Origin – History of Jain Religion in Gujarat, India

Jainism is flourishing in Gujarat state of India. Here is a look at the history, origin and development of Jainism in Gujarat. The history begins around 6th century BC.

Jain history in Gujarat can be traced back to the life of the 22nd Tirthankara Neminatha also known as Arisanemi. He attained nirvana at Mount Girnar in Gujarat.

Another important even that is recorded in Jaina history of Gujarat is the meeting of the council of Jaina teachers and followers at Vallabhi after the Nirvana of Mahavira in the 6th century BC.

It is widely believed that Jains migrated from eastern parts of India to western parts of India like present day Gujarat 300 BC.

History of Jain Religion in Gujarat, India
Shatrunjaya Jain Temples

Kings, queen, rulers and aristocrats encouraged Jainism in the region. This led to Jainism gaining importance in social, cultural and religious activities of the area.

The Chalukya Solanki Kings built Jaina Temples. One of the ancient Jain Temples on Mount Abu was built during the reign of King Bhia (1022 AD to 1064 AD).

Vanaraja of the Chavada dynasty founded the city of Anahilvada Pattana and built an ornate Jain temple of Parhvanatha.

In the 13th Century AD, Vastupala and Tejapala, two ministers of the Vagehla dynasty, were instrumental in building the ornate Jain temples in Shatrunjaya and Girnar at Mount Abu.

Hemachandra of Dhandhuka, a famous Jaina teacher, Siddharaja Jayasimha of the Chalukya Dynasty and Kumarapala were instrumental in spreading non violence and Jaina devotion in Gujarat.

Jain influence, which began around 600 BC, is clearly visible in the art, architecture and literature of Gujarat. It continues even today.