places to visit in sindh, nagarparkar jain temples

Nagarparkar Jain Temples in Sindh Pakistan

Nagarparkar Jain temples are located in the region near Nagarparkar, in the southern province of Pakistan in Sindh. The site contains a collection of abandoned Jain temples, as well as a mosque heavily influenced by the style of temple architecture. 

The architecture in the region dates from the 12th to the 15th century – a time when the formation of the Jain was at its highest. Frescoes in the Gori Temple are ancient Jain statues that still exist in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent. The temples are inscribed on the temporary list of UNESCO World Heritage status in 2016 as Nagarparkar Cultural Landscape.

nagarparkar jain temples

Jain Temples Location

Nagarparkar Jain Temples of are located at the western end of the city’s largest bazaar. The real name of the temple is unknown, but because of its location near the bazaar it is called the “Bazaar Temple” by the locals. Like the Jain Temple in Gori the area of Nagarparkar is considered a successful center of Jain religion in the past. 

No date for construction could be found but the temple building is at least 500 years old and may date back to the 14th century CE The symbolic structure of the mandir and its intricate architecture and ornamentation are very similar to other Jain temples in the Thar desert.

Background and History of Nagarparkar Jain Temples

The region around Nagarparkar forms a transition point between the wetlands and salt flats of the Rann of Kutch, as well as the arid and semi-arid sand dunes and the nearby Pink-granite Karoonjhar mountains. 

The region was heavily covered by the Arabian Sea until the 15th century, although the region around Nagarparkar formed a plateau.

Nagarparkar was the center of Jainism for a few centuries, and the wealthy Jain community built several magnificent temples on nearby hills between the 12th and 15th centuries which were considered the highest descriptions of Jain buildings.  nagarparkar jain temples

The region became a tourist destination known as Sardhara, and Jain ascetics settled in the Karoonjhar mountains.

Jain influence in the region began to decline as a result of the displacement of the Arabian Sea away from Jain economic centers, as mud from the Indus River was deposited in the Rann of Kutch. 

Changes in the coastal line led to a dramatic change in the population of the Jain area in the 19th century, while the remaining Jains left the area following the partition of British India in 1947, although several temples continued to maintain a large area. 

Several temples have been built in nearby Rajasthan, tracing their treasures back to the ancient sites of Nagarparkar.

Nagarparkar Jain Temples are a Popular Tourist Destination

The remains of many Jain temples are a popular tourist destination and heritage sites in the region. The lack of adequate road system in the area has contributed to the well-being of the area, although recent road construction has led to an increase in tourists, despite the lack of adequate protection of the area.nagarparkar jain temples

In 2009, satellite imagery was used to map the location, and it helped to plan the tourism management system.

The region was commissioned by the Pakistani government in 2016 to be listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site, not only because of its architectural value, but also because it reflects Jainism as part of the maritime-based business community, the changing environmental effects of the universe.

nagarparkar jain temples

Nagarparkar Bazar Jain Temple

The Nagarparkar Bazaar Temple is also a magnificent site, with intricate carvings and intricate paintings, which were used until the liberation of Pakistan in 1947.

Today, the remaining Jain temples are popular tourist attractions and heritage sites in the region. Since there are no local roads, the area is also relatively good. About 14 Jain temples are scattered throughout the region, including the Gori Temple. Built in 1375, the Gori Temple consists of 52 mosque-style temples and is made of marble. It is also home to the oldest Jain fresco in the world.

About 14 Jain temples are scattered throughout the region.

Viravah Jain Temples in Nagarparkar Sindh

Viravah temples were 3 temples found near the town of Viravah, about 15 miles north of Nagarparkar. The site is near the ruins of the ancient port of Parinagar on the outskirts of the Rann of Kutch. The site once housed three temples, allegedly founded in 456 CE by Jesus Parmāra.

During the construction of a nearby road, workers accidentally found many images of the Jains, which were placed by local people in an abandoned temple, and others were taken to the Umerkot museum

Gori Temple

The Gori Temple is located about 14 miles northwest of the Viravah Temple. The temple was built in 1375-1376 CE, in the Gujarati style, and consists of 3 mandaps, with 52 houses of Islamic style. The temple measures 125 feet wide and 60 feet high, and is made of marble. The entire temple is built on an elevated site that is accessed by a series of steps carved out of stone.

For centuries, the temple of Goripur was the famous Jain tirtha. The temple is notable among the local Hindus and its statue of Parasnath.

Bodesar Masjid

Bodesar, 4 miles from Nagar, covers the ruins of three Jain temples. Bodesar was the regional capital during the reign of Sododi. Two-thirds of the temples were used as cattle barns, and the third was noted in 1897 as being lined with holes in the back. An ancient water tank, known as the Bodesar Talao, was also built on nearby hills.

Bodesar white marble mosque was built in a style that was strongly influenced by the construction of nearby Jain temples. The mosque was built in 1505 CE by Sultan Mahmud Begada of Gujarat. 

The mosque has a central dome very similar to the domes found in nearby Jain temples, perched on a 9-square-foot [9.2 m] building on each side. The pillars of the mosque also display Jain buildings, while decorative materials near the roof are also inspired by Jain temples.

Protection and Conservationof Mosque and Jain Temples

The temples and mosques are protected by the Antiquities Act 1968, which is replaced by the Antiquities Act 1975. The site is headed by the Director-General of Archeology and Museums. 

The Endowment Fund Trust for the Preservation of the Heritage of Sindh, established in 2008, has carried out the restoration work using private donations. The site was submitted by the Pakistani government in 2016 to be listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2016.

nagarparkar jain temples

nagarparkar jain temples

nagarparkar jain temples

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