Six Jain Temples in Pakistan That Survived the Test of Time

March, 2023 by Sony Punjabi
Jain temples are spread across many regions of Pakistan. Bhabra, an ancient merchant community from Punjab which prevailed in Pakistan were followers of Jainism. The Jains primarily lived in Sialkot and Pasrur. They are not to be found presently in Pakistan. The prominent Jain Monk was Vijayanandsuri of Gujranwala. His memorial shrine or Samadhi still exists in the city. Nearly all the Jains migrated to India post-1947.  Even though the Jain community is nonexistent, some of their temples still stand, either in ruins or in an identifiable state.

Here’s a list of the prevailing Jain temple ruins in Pakistan that can visit: 

1. Jain Digambar Temple with Shikhar:

Jain Digambar Temple with Shikhar which is a rising tower commonly found in many Hindu and Jain temples is presently run as an Islamic school. It was due to the riots of 1992 when the Islamists were protesting against the demolition of the Babri masjid and violence of Muslims in India that the Temple was destroyed.

2. Nagar Bazar Temple:

The Temple still stands with the structures of the Shikhar and Torona gateway which is an opulent free-standing ornamental and arched gateway is completely intact. It is said that the Temple was in use until the Independence of Pakistan in 1947 and even a few years following that. It is located in the main bazaar of the Nangar Parkar town.

3. Karronjar Jain Temple: 

Karoonjhar Jain Temple is currently located at the foothills of the Karoonjhar mountains in Pakistan where Nagarparkar, a town at the base of the Karoonjhar Mountains is located on the Tharparkar District in Sindh province of Pakistan that is known for the Nagarparkar Temples.

4. Bhodesa Jain Mandir:

During the Sodhar reign, it was the region’s capital back then. It is a magnificent monument of Sindh. The remnants of the three Temples are still present. Back in 1987, two of them were used as cattle stalls. The oldest Temple was structured in a classic style in the 9th century using stones without mortar. A stairway would lead one to the temple which was built on a podium. Stone pillars were carved along with other structural elements. Walls do not stand in their original state and are partially in ruins. Bricks from the temple have been extracted by the localites to reuse for making their homes.  With fine carvings and corbelled domes, the other two temples were built back in 1375 CE and 1449 CE.

5. Virvah Jain Temple:

Virvah Jain Mandir is a collection of ruins of the Jain Temples here. A temple here consisted of 27 devakulikas which are ornate pillars enclosing the holy Temple. One temple has been well preserved. The legendary Pari Nagar ruins which are the fragments of the temple statues of the bygone days are in proximity to Virvah.

6. Virvah Gori Mandir:

The royal Mandir was built with 52 subsidiary shrines in AD 1375-6. It has been devoted to Jain tirthankar Gori Parshvanatha. It is situated at a distance of 24 miles from Viravah.

There are many such temples which lay in shards and fragments. Some still frequented, while some majorly demolished for commercial reasons. Hints of Jain culture currently prevail due to the rich architecture and extensive heritage in some regions spread across Pakistan.


About Author

Sony is a Media Science student perusing her masters in Kolkata. She graduated with an Honours in English. She is a literature enthusiast, a book hoarder and a passionate learner. She wishes to take a tour of the world as a backpacker and wants to end up being a travel blogger. She loves to read, dance and play badminton.

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