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Jain Architecture

The contribution of Jain art to the mainstream art in India has been considerable. Every phase of Indian art is represented by a Jain version and each one of them is worthy of meticulous study and understanding.  Jain architecture cannot be accredited with a style of its own, for in the first place it was almost an offshoot of Hindu and Buddhist styles. In the initial years, many Jain temples were made adjoining the Buddhist temples following the Buddhist rock-cut style.  Initially these temples were mainly carved out of rock faces and the use of bricks was almost negligible. However, in later years Jains started building temple-cities on hills based on the concept of 'mountains of immortality'.

Compared to the number of Hindu temples in India, Jain temples are few and spaced out. Surrounded by embattled walls, the temples are divided into wards, guarded by massive bastions at its ends, with fortified gateways as the main entrances. These temple-cities were not built on a specific plan; instead they were the results of sporadic construction. Natural levels of the hill on which the 'city' was being built accommodated various levels so that as one goes higher the architecture and grandeur increases. The only variation in these temples was in the form of frequent chamukhs or four-faced temples. In these the image of a Tirthankara faces the four sides, or four Tirthankars are be placed back to back to face four cardinal points. Entry into this temple is also from four doors. The Chamukh temple of Adinath (1618 AD) is a characteristic example of the four-door temple.

The great Jain temples and sculptured monuments of Karnataka, Maharashtra and Rajasthan are world-renowned. The most spectacular of all Jain temples are found at Ranakpur and Mount Abu in Rajasthan. Deogarh (Lalitpur, U.P.), Ellora, Badami and Aihole also have some of the important specimens of Jain Art.


||Introduction||Temple Architecture|| Cave Architecture||
||
Rajput Architecture||
 ||Jain Architecture ||  || Indo-Islamic Architecture||Colonial Architecture||
||
Modern Architecture||Sculpture in India||
||
World Heritage Sites|| ||Famous Architects & Sculptors of India|| 


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