Jain Remains of Ancient Bengal

by Shubha Majumder | 2017 | 147,217 words

This page relates ‘Archaeological sites in Purulia District’ of the study on the Jain Remains of Ancient Bengal based on the fields of Geography, Archaeology, Art and Iconography. Jainism represents a way of life incorporating non-violence and approaches religion from humanitarian viewpoint. Ancient Bengal comprises modern West Bengal and the Republic of Bangladesh, Eastern India. Here, Jainism was allowed to flourish from the pre-Christian times up until the 10th century CE, along with Buddhism.

Archaeological sites in Purulia District

4.11. Map of Purulia district showing the important sites mentioned in the text

1. Kotra (Gajpur):

The present site is the only excavated (Pl.II. A) Jain site in this district yielding Jain sculptural and stone temples remains. It falls under the jurisdiction of Purulia Mufussil, located about 20 kms north of Purulia on the Purulia-Barakar road near Gajpur. In 2000-2001 the Directorate of Archaeology and Museum, Govt. of West Bengal undertook a trial excavation at the site and exposed ruins of a Jain temple complex, probably a Pañcāyatana temple. Some good quality Jain sculptural remains were unearthed from this site (News Letter CAST, EI, 2002: 10) and these are presently displayed in the Haripada Sahitya Mandir, Purulia.

2. Pakbirra:

The site Pakbirra (23˚10΄ N. 86˚41΄ E.) with its rich archaeological relics associated with Jain ideology (Pl.II.B) is situated in the Puncha Police Station, about 56 kilometers south-east of Purulia town and is bordered by the district of Bankura on its eastern side. This fair-sized village can be approached, among other alternative routes, by the Purulia-Hura metal road to Bankura more and from there towards Puncha again by motorable road. A sinuous kutcha path which bifurcates from the metal road only 1.5 kilometer west Puncha town leads to the village Pakbirra.

Though we call the site by the name Pakbirra but, there is not a village by that name.

The site actually comprise of seven surrounding villages (Mukhopadhyay 1977: 27), i.e.,

“Thakurthan (attached with the temple site and Mahato dominated), Raidih (Mahato-dominated with a few Brahman families), Muditara (Mahato–dominated), Gorardih (Manjih-dominated), Puratandih (Mahato–dominated), Baurirdih (Manjih-dominated) and Ragdardih (Manjih-dominated). The temple site is also famous as “Bhairava Than”.

Periodical visits by the British administrators at the site from the middle half of the nineteenth century have unveiled its prosperous cultural heritage. At the same time, their reports also inform about the gradual deterioration of the site as well as its cultural paraphernalia. The earliest description of the site is provided by Lieutenant R.C. Beavan who in a letter dated 11th March, 1865 addressed to the Asiatic Society of Bengal, reported the antiquarian remains of Pakbirra. He found the remains of several temples, three of which were then standing, albeit in a very dilapidated condition. Two of these were constructed of stone, and one of brick, all three were about 25 feet in height. In a small shed, close to the temples, he noticed a colossal naked male figure, of which he gave a fairly detailed description, and four other “separate figures of apparently the same person, only much smaller”. He also found “the model of a small temple” having a standing figure on each side, and “a few other fragments of stone figures scattered about, chiefly of small size”. The whole area, according to Beavan, could not occupy “more than a couple of acres of ground” and he searched in vain for the traces of any inscriptions or writing of any kind which might give a clue to the date of these buildings, but could find none”. He found a “good-sized tank” in the vicinity and “solitary temples, all in a ruinous condition” in the neighbouring jungle area (Beavan 1865: 66-69). In 1877 the place found its mention in W.W Hunter’s report, though it was based on the description, given by Beavan (Hunter 1877: 298-304).

Beglar’s report, published in 1878 was based on his tour of this region during 1872-73. It provided the most authentic archaeological record of the site. He has left us a graphic account of the site. In his report, Beglar recorded the existence of a total of twenty one temples of which thirteen were of stone and the remaining were brick-built, most of them being in ruins. He also refers to the numerous Jain sculptures which are collected within a long shed.

According to him, the principal object of attention here is a colossal naked figure, with the lotus as symbol on the pedestal. In his words the temples of Pakbirra:

“A large brick temple, the only one standing, of brick; faces east, and has its doorway of the usual overlapping type, and without the stone still cutting up its height into a doorway proper and an illuminating window;………………..there is no interior roof to the cell, the pyramidal hollow of the tower being open to the sanctum; there is no object of worship inside.

To the north of this stands a line of four stone temples, three still standing, one broken; these are of the usual single cell-pattern, and the doorway is not cut into two portions; these then, as well as the brick one just noticed, were single-cell temple, but at some subsequent period mandapas were added to them;………….all these temples face north.

North of this is another, but irregular, line of temples, five in number; of these, two are of stone and three are of brick, the latter all ruined; of the stone ones, one is standing.

North of is another line of four temples, three of stone and one of brick, all in ruins

Due east of the brick temple, which has been noticed as still standing, are two mounds, evidently the remains of two other brick temples. To the south of this line of temples is another line of three stone temples, all in ruins”.

Regarding the decoration as well as other aspects of these temples he stated that:

“The ornamentation of the stone temples is confined to plain mouldings in the lower part; the façade is quite plain, but entire, showing that they were originally intended for single-cell temples without mandapas in front……………………temples all stood on a large stone-paved platform……..There are some tanks close to the temples; one, a large one, had stone ghats and revetments once, now in ruins……..The material of all the stone temples noticed is a moderately fine sandstone, carefully cut and set without cement; the workmanship is plain, but good; the pillars, that were afterwards added to support the roofs of the mahamandapa, are plain, with square ends and octagonal shafts”.

He also excavated “a mound of ruins” and it yielded “five Buddhist sculptures of late age”. Besides, he also documented numerous Jain sculptures and a few specimens of votive chaityas which were then placed under a shed. He noted that “It occupies the site of a large temple of which the foundations still exist” (Beglar 1878: 193).

Beglar’s report is quite relevant in understanding the actual scenario of the site as well as the ruins. He seems to have been totally confused between Buddhist and Jain sculptures, in so far as no Buddhist sculptures have been found at Pakbirra. The “votive chaitya” of his report is clearly a miniature Jain caurmukha shrine (pratimāsarvatobhadrikā) and the image containing male and female figures under a tree are none other than those of a Jain tutelary couple (Ādimithuna Mūrti). Beside these, Beglar’s report is of immense value in reconstructing the total history of the site.

In 1887, the Public Works Department published a “revised list of monuments” wherein the relics of Pakbirra found its due place[1]. However, in spite of elucidating the relevance of the site, no precautionary measures were taken to protect its cultural heritage. The above statement is certainly proved by the report of T. Bloch. He visited the site in 1903 and documented the fragments of four stone and one brick temples. He wrote that “especially the brick temple has suffered very badly during the last thirty years, and only a small tottering fragment of its spire is still standing” (Bloch 1903: 14). However, the credit of identifying a few sculptures at Pakbirra correctly must go to him, which were earlier identified as Buddhist sculptures by Beglar. Bloch opined that these sculptures are ascribable to that of the Jain pantheon.

Subsequently, visits by Adris Banerji in 1942 led to the documentation of a few sculptural specimens but no definite information about the site is available in his report (Banerji 1942: 43-47). There is no doubt that the condition of the site further worsened and this is quite clear from McCutchion’s report of 1961. He clearly stated the ruinous condition of the site. In his words “Today only three temples are still standing, all of them in a badly ruined condition, having lost most of their facing stones….the large brick temple, which was still standing in his (Beglar’s) day…. is now a mere mound” (McCutchion 1961: 38).

In order to conserve the three standing tri-ratha single-celled temples of the site, an effort was made by the Directorate of Archaeology, Government of West Bengal during the field seasons of 1976-79. Accordingly, the temples were repaired and reconstructed by the authority.

In 1982, the site was surveyed by Dilip K. Chakrabarti. He wrote:

“two stone temples (each about 6m high) are still standing but otherwise the site is much dilapidated and even the ruins mentioned by the early authors are no longer traceable…..The site now may be said to be under the general protection of the people who more or less keep an eye on the loose sculptures the bulk of which has been transferred to a pucca shed and a mud hut. Some images are lying outside”. (Chakrabarti 1987: 353).

In 1986 a detailed study on the iconography of the remaining forty eight sculptural specimens of the site along with a few fragmented pieces of architectural members/ indistinct objects, ascribable to the Jain pantheon was made by Bhattacharya, Mitra and Bhowmick. Their report also included an elaborative description of the art style as evident from the sculptural specimens. (Bhattacharyya et al, 1986)

Therefore, the database available in form of reports (as discussed here) by several authorities and scholars clearly suggests the gradual deterioration of the site as well as its heritage and also signifies the inattentive roles played by the former to conserve the same.

3. Laulara:

It is a prosperous village located 4 kms north of Puncha under the jurisdiction of the Puncha Police Station and close to the ruins of Pakbirra. At Mukherjipara of the village, only 1 km away from the Laulara bus stop, there is a modern Kāli temple and in front of this temple on a cemented platform are images of three Jain Tīrthaṅkaras worshipped as village deities. All the images are significantly eroded though the image of Tīrthaṅkara Ṛṣabhanātha is identifiable. Besides these sculptural remains, we also notice two āmalaka and one kalasa very close to this find spot. The presences of these antiquities suggest that the site had a close association with Jainism during the early medieval period.

4. Mudidi:

This is a small village situated 3.5 kms west of Laulara village. We documented the ruins of a temple at the back of a primary school of this village. Now the find spot is covered with bushy trees and it is very difficult for us to document the details of the site. However, a broken image of Tīrthaṅkara Śāntinātha, three āmalaka, one large kalasa along with a few decorated pillars and one partially damaged doorjamb were recorded amidst the ruins. The ruins need scientific clearance for better understanding about the architectural activities at the site. The presence of a Tīrthaṅkara image at the spot suggests the Jain affiliation of the architectural remains as well as the site.

5. Dhadki:

The village falls under the jurisdiction of Pooncha Police Station and can be considered as a satellite site of Pakbirra. The village lies on the Pooncha-Manbazar Road. Beglar visited a place, close to the village, known as Dhadki Tanr and he noticed a renovated temple facing east. It had a mahāmaṇḍapa and other subordinate temples surrounding it (Beglar 1878: 195-96). However, during our exploration at the site we noticed only a low mound at this place which was mentioned by Beglar in his report. However, we could document three Jain icons in a modern Śiva temple, in the western part of this village, just behind the Primary School of the village.

6. Paruda:

The village of Paruda is under the jurisdiction of Pooncha Police Station. It is 15 kms from Dhadki, another sculptural site, and is on the northern bank of the Arkasa River. The village belongs to the cluster of satellite sites associated with the Pakbirra temple complex. According to the villagers, several fragments of Tīrthaṅkara icons were found from a number of ponds/water bodies of this village. They showed us a particular abraded head of a Jina measuring 15 cm. The Shyamsundar temple complex of Paruda has several architectural members including a huge āmalaka strewn over the fairly high mound of the temple complex itself. An annexe room of the temple has a well preserved specimen of Tīrthaṅkara Ṛṣabhanātha made of chlorite stone.

7. Badra:

It is a small village 4 kms from Dhadki, Pooncha Police Station, and is under the jurisdiction of the Lakhra Gram Panchayat. In the western part of the village, on a cemented platform are several fragmentary sculptures. They were collected from different parts of the village itself. Among the fragmentary images we identified a broken icon of Candraprabha and a pedestal of Tīrthaṅkara Ṛṣabhanātha.

8. Baramoshya:

The site is situated about 1km east of Puncha-Manbazar road and 3 kms from Pakbirra. Just at the outskirts of the village, only 1.5 kms away, there are structural remains locally know as Deulbhira. In the centre of the village there is a modern temple, constructed by the Shri Bharatvarshiya Digamber Jain (TS) Mahasabha, New Delhi. The temple houses fifteen Tīrthaṅkara images along with two Caumukhas or Pratimāsarvatobhadrikās and one image of an unidentified female deity.

9. Lakhra:

This ancient site is situated only 6 kms away from Pakbirra. On the basis of archaeological findings of the village it can be considered as an important satellite site of Pakbirra. The village is under the jurisdiction of the Pooncha Police Station. On the outskirts of the village (Pl.II.C) amidst a vast field is a dense grove and therein lies scattered about a dozen āmalakas. Among the ruins of one or several temples somewhat forming a sacred enclosure are two beautiful images of Tīrthaṅkaras, a few broken pedestals and a fragmentary image of an Umā-Maheśvara. Several hero-stones lie on the vast field surrounding the temple ruins. We also recorded several hero-stones and architectural remains from the main habitation area of the village.

10. Tatari:

The village of Tatari is under the jurisdiction of the Pooncha Police Station and is about 3 kms from Pooncha town on the Pooncha-Kenda Road, not far from the Nangteswari temple complex. The Kasai River flows about 5 kms away from this village. The Padui-Tatari jor flows through this village. I recorded two separate ruined temple complexes in this village (Pl.II.D). Another find-spot locally known as Budha Babar Than in the same village is in the locality of Saragara. On reaching the spot which is presently a thick grove (of banyan and other trees) piled with architectural remains, massive door jambs and dressed stones of different sizes we were overwhelmed by the presence of an outstanding icon of Mahāvīra.

11. Paruldiha:

The village is one and a half km from the famous site of Budhpur on the way to Pairachali and under the jurisdiction of the Pooncha Police Station. An exquisite image of Ṛṣabhanātha is presently worshipped as Bhairava in the courtyard of the residence of a local villager called Lakshman Chandra Ganguli. According to the local villagers they brought this image from a place near the Kansavati river bed. This is actually a find spot from where we recorded a beautiful Jain image.

12. Bhasardanga:

The present find spot situated only 1.5 kms away from Paruldiha exhibits an exquisite specimen of caumukha. More extensive exploration is required for a better understanding about the nature of the finding.

13. Tuisama:

Tuisuma is a remarkable site on the bank of the river Kasai (Kangsavati). As far as our present knowledge goes it is very difficult to ascertain the religious character of the site due to its assemblages containing two fold characters, both Brahmanical and Jaina, now scattered over a vast area (Pl.II.E). From a large number of Śaivite sculptures as documented by Beglar like śikhara bearing carved image of Śiva liṅga at the site undoubtedly denote its Brahmanical identity especially Śaivic though the presence of a few specimens of Jain sculptures cannot be overlooked altogether (Beglar 1878: 196-7). Beglar in his report also mentions about the presence of a small extant temple supposedly standing over an older one. On the basis of stylistic minutiae of the fragmented and strewn pieces of architectural members (āmlakas) he has rightly traced out the similarities between the temple and small ones at Telkupi.

14. Manbazar:

The Manbazar town is 45 kms south-east of Purulia town. We recorded three Jain icons in the private temple of the Rāja of Manbazar locally known as Garh Patharmahara Thakurbari. According to the present Rāja, the icons were brought from a place near Budhpur. The temple complex has some scattered architectural remains including a broken āmalaka.

15. Palma:

This is a well known archaeological site situated in the Police Station of Kendra, at a distance of about 20 kms from Purulia town along the Purulia-Manbazar road on the left side of river Kasai. A brief description of the antiquities of this site was first published by E.T. Dalton (1866: 186-7). He refers to a temple which was “on a mound covered with stone and brick”, and to numerous Jain Tīrthaṅkara images lying at different places. Among these images, one Tīrthaṅkara image was larger than life-size which was “broken away from the slab on which it was cut, and the head, separated from the body, lies near”. W.W. Hunter in his report (1877: 289-99) also mentioned about the archaeological ruins of Palma. His report about Palma was probably based on the information which was given by Dalton. However, Delton’s account about Palma contains a serious error regarding the location of Palma which he states was within a few miles of the station of Purulia and near Cossai river (Dalton op.cit.,). This led Coupland (1911: 263-4) to tag the description of Dalton to a place named Balarampur, also of some antiquarian importance. Information about the site also came from the account of Bloch in 1902 (Bloch 1903: 14) when he noticed a heap of debris with some stone pillars and two images of Tīrthaṅkaras at this locality (see also Patil 1963: 356). Walsh recorded four memorial stones from the site in 1937 (Walsh 1937: 429). There were some other sculptural specimens reported from this place now housed in the Patna Museum. The Sarak Samity of Dhanbad had constructed a temple at Palma which also possesses three Tīrthaṅkara sculptures. During our recent visit at the site we documented ten specimens of different Tīrthaṅkara images from four localities of this village. I also noticed a huge structural mound at the entry point of this village which is presently occupied by the villagers (Pl.II.F). They admit to collecting different architectural and sculptural remains from this mound in different times. The eroded part of the mound which gradually extends to the interior of the village has some expose structural remains, though presently they are reduced considerably and presently stand in a severely damaged state of condition.

16. Kurmasol:

The village is situated near the Chakratoya River under the Kenda Police Station. At the centre of the village there is a modern Śiva temple constructed over an old temple ruins and inside this temple is a beautiful image of Jain tutelary couple, presently under worship. Some fragmented sculptural specimens were also documented from two different localities.

17. Mahara:

The site is located 3 kms from Kurmasor and 18 kms from Manbazar along the Manbazar-Purulia Road. Undoubtedly, the place laid bare evidences of one abandoned temple complex as attested by several architectural fragments like āmlakas though presently standing in utter ruins. Besides, the site also possesses an extant temple complex which has undergone several courses of renovation works. The presence of an image of Jain Tīrthaṅkara Ṛṣabhanātha, attached on the rear wall of Deuli, is clearly evidential to identify the Jain character of the site. The image has received a recent coat of white wash which mars much of its beauty. Large number of hero stones are scattered over entire area.

18. Dakakendu:

This is a small village, however, of grat archaeological importance, situated about 15 kms south of Kenda Police Station and 5 kms north-west of Mahara. We documented a damaged specimen of Jain aṣṭapādatīrtha along with other sculptural remains from the house of Mathur Karmakar in the village. In the centre of the village there is a modern temple (Hari Mela) and a hero stone was documented from this place.

19. Chakolta:

Just 1 km east of Dakakendu and 3 kms west of Mahara is situated the present site of Chakolta. From the southern part of the village, we recorded ruins of ancient temple under a Kusuma tree. Different sizes of āmalakas, damaged door jams and other structural remains are scattered here and there (Pl.II.G). Inside the ruins of a temple we documented three damaged specimens of Jain sculptures. The site needs more detailed investigation.

20. Bandoan:

The present site is situated about 20 kms west of Barabazar Police Station and 9 kms south west of Dakakendu. The site is also known as Banjor Bandoan. The Jain association of this village is attested by the discovery of a weathered image of Tīrthaṅkara Ṛṣabhanātha from Kalbhairav Tala, in front of Bandoan High School. This is a large village and we identified two localities of this village where old habitational remains along with the structural ruins were noticed. Besieds this Tīrthaṅkara image, an image of snake hooded Viṣṇu along with a Natarāja medallion is also recorded from this village.

21. Ulda:

The present site is situated about 8 kms north of Bandoan, on the right bank of river Kumari. The Barabazar Police Station is about 16 kms west of this village. This is a large village with lot of archaeological potential. Jainism had strongly survived in this village during the early medieval period. In the centre of the village there is a religious spot known as Dwarsini where three different sizes of Jain Tīrthaṅkara images are still worshiped as Brahmanical deities. We also recorded two memorial stones, close to this find spot.

22. Sonadaha:

The village Sonadaha is 7 kms east of Barabazar, along the road that runs between Barabazar and Amrabera and is under the jurisdiction of the Barabazar Police Station. At the western part of the village in the locality known as Khelaicandi which has a modern temple with three exquisite sculptures, an image of Ṛṣabhanātha installed in the temple and two caumukhas. According to the villagers, the specimens were brought from a nearby abandoned structural site called Pabanpur. Incidentally, Pabanpur is a major sculptural site in Jharkhand.

23. Herbona:

This village is located 3 kms from Sonada or Sonadaha, under the jurisdiction of the Barabazar Police Station. There is a modern Siva temple in the northern part of the village and we recorded seven pieces of sculptures lying neglected in the temple complex. Among the seven icons, only the icon of Ambikā is intact. The rest are broken into halves. An intact Pārśvanātha image of smaller dimensions is worshipped inside the temple.

24. Basudevpur:

The site is located about 5 kms north of the Barabazar Police Station. It is an important locality containing the debris of an abandoned temple complex noticeable in the form of scattered pieces of sculptures and other fragmentary architectural members. Close to this village, an isolated locality known as Naktibandh possesses a hero stone. Undoubtedly, it is not in its original locale and must have been transported here at a later date. Chandanpur, located a few kms away of Basudevpur, has an image of a Jain Tīrthaṅkara lying under a tree, thus, again indicating towards the Jain affiliation of the place.

25. Sashandihi:

The site is located about 3 kms west of the settlement site of Tuima under the Barabazar Police Station. River Kumari flows along the southern part of the village. In the western part of the village, there is an ancient burial ground, extending over an area of 105 x 60 m, containing a good number of in situ memorial stones/menhirs. It is very interesting that temple ruins are located about 200m to the east of this find spot and amidst the ruins is a magnificent image of Viṣṇu, dateable to eleven–twelfth century CE. However, we also documented an image of Jain Yakṣiṇī Ambikā from a newly constructed temple in the center of the village. This findspot needs more detail and extensive study to understand the proper contexts of these sculptural remains as well as this memorial ground.

26. Bansgarh:

This is a large village situated about 1 km south-east of Balarampur, along the Barabazar-Balarampur road. The present village stands over ruins of an earlier settlement, on the bank of a large pond. In this village we documented two Jain sculptural specimens from two separate localities. The image of Tīrthaṅkara Ṛṣabhanātha rests under a Neem tree, behind the house of Haripada Mohanti. The other Tīrthaṅkara image, along with an image of Viṣṇu, is presently kept in the Durgā temple of the village. According to the local villagers, some fragmented as well as complete Jain images were also kept in the Śiva temple near to the Durgā temple. However, during the renovation of the temple these images were displaced and are presently nontraceable.

27. Sasandihi:

This is a small tribal village located on the left side of the Balarampur-Purulia railway tract and only 2 kms north of Balarampur railway station. In the outskirts of this village, there is place of worship locally known as Buro Thakur Tala and here the main image under worship is of Tīrthaṅkara Ṛṣabhanātha.

28. Sirgi:

About 3 kms west of Sasandihi there is another important archaeological site known as Sirgi. At the centre of the site, known as Devasthan or Gram Devatar Sthan, is scattered with the fragmentary pieces of sculptural specimens and architectural members, most of which are assignable to Jain religious pantheon. Among these sculptural remains we documented a Jain aṣṭapādatīrtha along with a caumukha from this village.

29. Deuli:

The site is known for its ancient temple complex presently standing in a cluttered condition in form of a structural mound (Pl.II.H). The site contains an in situ stone sculpture of Tīrthaṅkara Santinātha. It is situated about 3 kms south-west of Suisa railway station, near the Baghmundi hill.

Beglar described it as a Pañcāyatana temple complex, two sub-shrines (one on the south-west and the other on the north-east) of which were in existence during his time.

According to him,

“….. the main temple is too far buried in, and surrounded by, it consisted of a sanctum, an antarāla, a mahāmaṇḍapa, an ardhamaṇḍapa, and probably a portico; the ruins of the tower have now so shut up the entrance, that the only means of access is by crawling through, much in the manner of snakes; the ornamentation consisted of plain straight lines of mouldings, sparingly used, and the execution, as also the material, is coarse, the last being a coarse-grained sandstone” (Beglar 1966: 189)

At present only the central shrine with the said in situ image along with two corner shrines survives (Chakrabarti 1993: 127). This image is presently worshiped by the local villagers as a Brahmanical deity. The architectural style and other sculptural fragments now scattered in debris help us to unambiguously identify the ruins as a Jain temple site.

30. Suisa:

The site is located about 50 kms west of Purulia town and 2 kms north-west of Deuli village under Baghmundi Police Station. Beglar visited this site and recorded the presence of numerous stone sculptures, mostly associated with Jainism, kept under a Bata tree (Beglar 1966:190). During our recent visit we can able to document these groups of sculptures, which were mentioned by Beglar in his report, including the remains of Bhumij cemetery close to the site. A group of assorted images, eleven in number are housed inside an enclosure supposedly constructed by the West Bengal Directorate of Archaeology. Beglar’s report refers to these same images which were at that time kept under a tree. In addition to these images, a solitary image of Viṣṇu and few pieces of architectural members can also be seen in the same assemblage. The vailable evidences lead us to the assertion that they formed part of an abandoned Jain temple complex of Deuli.

31. Birgram:

The present site Birgram is located about just 5 kms away from Deuli and it is really an important site. I notice an extensive open rock bed at the site and from the surface we collected some microliths. Apart from these I documented an abandoned stone temple (pidha type) which still stands at the site (Pl.III.A). Since the adjoining villages have yelded several Jain sculptural remains of ancient period most probably this temple remains at Birgram was associated with Jain ideology. Significantly, a number of carved unfinished pillars have also been documented, suggesting, a manufacturer site which made use of the locally available rocky outcrops. More over the well known site Deuli is not very far away from this site and the nature of the rocks found at Birgram and that used at Deuli suggest that Birgram as a source so far as the procurement of stone is concerned.

32. Arsha:

The present site is situated about 6 kms south-east of Baram. This was an important Jain centre and at present ruins of two abandoned temple complexes are noticed at two different localities of this village, Nakti Deul and Deuli Mandir. The Bengal List of Monument refers to this village and Block also records the ruins of the two temples along with some magnificent Jain sculptural specimens from this village.

33. Tumba:

This village is about 3 miles north of Arsha village. Few years ago during the digging of a pond three Jain images were unearthed. These images have been housed in a newly constructed temple at the western part of the village and worshiped as Brahmanical deities. It is very interesting to mention here that the present temple was constructed over the ruins of ancient habitation. In and around this temple, we documented some architectural fragments including āmlaka, damaged portion of door-jambs and some broken pillars.

34. Gadh Jaypur:

The present site is situated within Jaipur Police Station. An image of Tīrthaṅkara Ṛṣabhanātha was reported by S.K. Swaraswati (1975: 265) from this village. It is at present displayed in the Asutosh Museum of Indian Art, Calcutta University. The site is late mediaeval and was associated with local political development. The village has a distinct ethno-history bespeaking the rise and the growth of local ruling authority. The nearby site of Kotsila substantiates the historical milieu of such development.

35. Rajnoagarh:

This village comes under the jurisdiction of the Kenda Police Station. Just behind the office of the Sabara Samity, there is a big pond locally known as “Paralya Dighi”. On the bank of this pond, on a high platform stands a fairly eroded Tīrthaṅkara image whose pedestal is cemented into the platform itself. Therefore, the emblem of the Jina cannot be seen. The elaborate jaṭājuṭa suggests that the icon is that of Ṛṣabhanātha. This image is locally worshipped as goddess sasthīmā.

36. Khelaicandirthan:

This find-spot of a Ṛṣabhanātha image is in Ward No. 16 of Purulia Municipality. The locality is known as Mahalipara beside Reny Road. Most probably, the image was brought from somewhere else and the exact provenance is not known. The current location of the image is essentially a dolmen type of “megalithic” burial site. The image has been painted with red colour and is presently worshipped as goddess Khelaicandi. The image is indeed beautiful and it is unfortunate that it is a prey to human vandalism.

37. Surulia:

Surulia is a locality in the Purulia Municipality and is very near to Khelaicandirthan. In a local Śiva temple, we recorded two beautiful (one of them is broken) Tīrthaṅkara images along with some architectural remains, including a kalasa.

38. Podlara:

The village of Podlara is under the jurisdiction of Purulia Mufussil Police Station. It lies on the Purulia-Barakar Road and is about 6 kms from Purulia town. There is a possibility of the erstwhile existence of a deul or temple enshrining a Pārśvanātha image since the find-spot of this icon is strewn with several architectural appendages.

39. Chharra:

The site Chharra (23˚ 22΄N and 86˚ 25΄ E) is situated 4 miles north-east of Purulia town on the Barakar road under the jurisdiction of Purulia Mafashal (or Mufussil). It is quite interesting that the site stands on a large hill outcrop. It is a renowned village of religious significance which received the attention of several scholars from 19th century onwards. Periodical visits by the British administrators at the site from the middle half of the 19th century have unveiled its rich Jain cultural heritage. At the same time, their reports also inform about the gradual deterioration of the site as well as its cultural paraphernalia.

The earliest description of the site is provided by Col. E.T.Dalton (1866: 186-195) who in his “Notes on a Tour in Maunbhoom in 1864-65”, reported about the antiquarian remains of Chharra. In his report he mentioned that “there are two very old stone temples called ' Deols' or ' Dewalas…..There were originally seven of these Deols. Five have fallen, and the fragments have been used in building houses in the village. The most perfect of the two that remain, is a tower terminating in a dome of horizontal courses of stone about 30 feet high, with a circular finial like a huge cog-wheel, and the remains of flag-roofed colonnades on both sides. The slabs forming the roof are great blocks of granite from 5 to 9 feet in length, 2 to 2.5 in breadth and 1 ft thick. There is no carving about these temples, and no object of worship now in the shrines, but on some of the stones that are scattered about, tracings of the nude "Tirthancaras" are visible”.

In 1877 W.W.Hunter mentioned the site Chharra in his work on Statistical Account of Bengal. His report (1877: 299) about Chharra was completely dependent on Col. E.T. Dalton’s report.

Beglar’s report, published in 1878, was based on his tour in this region during 1872-73. In his report he mentions about the existence of a two partially ruined temples along with some ruins of other old temples. Besides these evidences, he also noticed “numerous votive chaityas with mutilated figures either of Buddha or of one of the Jain hierarchs” lying in the village. According to him, the ruins of this village are associated with Brahmanical and principally Vaishnavite ideology (Beglar 1878: 182).

In 1901, the place found its mention in G. Coupland’s report (1911: 268), though it was based on the description, given by Dalton. According to him, there are some large tanks in the vicinity which were constructed by Saraks as asserted by the local tradition.

Later on the site was visited by T. Bloch in 1903. According to him, the temple of Chharra “are small, insignificant, stone temples…..As the images…..are almost entirely Jain figures, with the exception of one stone linga, I conclude that the temples originally belonged to the Jains” (Bloch 1903: 14).

In 1918, the site was visited by Anantaprasad Sastri and he described that the two temples of Chharra being 50 ft. high, one of them being in a somewhat better condition of preservation. He also refers to an image of a female deity discovered from the tank, representing, according to him, the Hindu goddess Sahasrabhuja (i.e. thousand armed?). In different parts of the village he noticed a number of scattered Jain images. Interestingly, during his visit he also noticed a ten-armed deity made of grey stone under worship by the local people as Baneswar Śiva. In his report he mentions the presence of a cakra in one of his hands. In my recent visit I also noticed a ten-armed image of snake-hooded Viṣṇu, very close to the ruins of Chharra. It is quite possible that the latter image was the one that is reported by Sastri. The presence of a Brahmanical image in Jain cluster is really interesting and I have discussed in detail about this snake-hooded Viṣṇu in my book on Chharra (Majumder 2015:34). In his valuable report, Sastri also mentions about the ruins of Golamara and a large-sized Jain image, which was partially buried under soil, along with an image of an eight-handed goddess seated on lion. The last image was found in association with other sculptural and architectural ruins. Among these ruins he also noticed an inscribed slab. The inscription mentions a donor Śrī Dānapati Sādhokasya. The inscription was written in Nāgari letters of 10th-11th century proto-Bengali script. The presence of this inscribed slab helps us to postulate an approximate date for the ruins of Chharra and its surrounding areas (Sastri 1919: 283-87).

After a close scrutiny of the site, R.D.Banerji was of the opinion that the site had a long association with Jain cultural relics. His report includes the presence of large ruins of Jain temples survived at the village and their materials having been used in the construction of a modern temple of Śiva at this place. His documentation of several Jain images along with caturmukhas or caumukhas, of which few of them have been installed at various parts of the modern temple, substantiate the claims of Jain affiliation of the site. He also brought to our notice to a very large image of the first Tīrthaṅkara Ṛṣabhanātha attended by 71 others of the preceding and the forthcoming ages, which was worshipped as Dharmmaraja by the local people (Bandyopadhyaya: 1933: 144-46).

McCutchion, while describing the architectural details of the temple of the site stated that the dilapidated temple was tri-ratha on plan and facing east. The base is marked by the rudimentary mouldings and the tower is decorated with square bhumi-āmlaka. According to him “the ornamentation of the śhikhar suggests an earlier stage than that of the Telkupi temples”(McCutchion 1961: 40).

A recent study by D.R. Das mainly based on the photographs appearing in the works of McCutchion revealed that the temples of Chharra are indisputably Jain in character. He studied the detail architectural development of the Chharra temple (Das 1997: 111-2).

The visit of Dilip.K.Chakrabarti at the site resulted in the first hand documentation of at least five Tīrthaṅkara images at several locations (Dharmarajatala, Basantitala), of which one cannot be identified because of its defaced cognizance, three votive stūpas and an āmlaka (Chakrabarti 1993: 128).

In 2010, R.K.Chattopadhyay and D. Acharya published a lengthy report on the early medieval archaeological remains of District Purulia. In this report, they discussed the archaeological remains of Chharra especially based on the earlier reports (Chattopadhyay and Acharya 2010: 10). However, they identified a locality as a memorial ground which was very close to the main site and about 6 kms north of Purulia along the Barakar-Raghunathpur-Purulia road. Interestingly they noticed in situ (80 x 30 x 30 cm) Hero stone. The lower portion of the stone containing a rock-cut niche accommodating the engraved figure of a seated person could be explained as an image of Tīrthaṅkara in a low relief. They clearly identified the religious association of the site which was singularly Jain in character.

In the recent exploration several Jain sculptural remains from three different localities of the present site i.e., Basanti Devi Mandir, Śiva Mandir and Dharmaraj Mandir have been documented (Pl.III.B) . Documentation was also carried out of a very dilapidated temple located at Chharra and a huge heap of structural ruins at Badhgar, only 3 kms away from the present site. Most probably this is the ruins of a temple complex which was also earlier mentioned by several scholars.

40. Hatuyara:

Hatuyara is a small village 3 kms west of Chharra. Towards the south of the village, an image of Tīrthaṅkara Pārśvanātha was found at the back of a Śiva temple. Interestingly, the settlement of the present site is not very ancient and it does not possess any other archaeological remains and we may identify it as a find-spot. It may not be ruled out that this particular image was most probably brought from the nearby site of Chharra and iconographically, this image shows similarity with the other Jain images of Chharra.

41. Golamara:

Another important “find-spot”, situated only 4 kms northwest of Chharra. During our exploration, we documented three Tīrthaṅkara images from Bhairava sthan. This particular find-spot is located in between the sites of Chharra and Golamara. These images are at present kept in a modern temple and regularly worshipped by local villagers. Among these images, one is a colossal figure of Tīrthaṅkara Mahāvira. The other two are images of Ṛṣabhanātha and an unidentified Tīrthaṅkara. A damaged specimen of a Jain Dvi-tīrthika and two half buried Hero stones were also noticed. Most probably these images were brought from the site Chharra when the temples there were abandoned.

42. Sitalpur:

The present site is situated about 8 kms north-east of Purulia town. An image of Jain Tīrthaṅkara Ṛṣabhanātha is now plaqued onto the outer wall of a modern Śiva temple situated to the south of the village (Bhowmick 1983: 38-39). We documented fragmentary pieces of sculptures and architectural members spread over the entire village, though in devastated condition. To understand the religious nature of the present site, we need more detailed study and also minutely examine the explored antiquities from the village. The low structural mound, close to this Śiva temple, must be exposed for better understanding about the nature of this settlement.

43. Karcha:

The site is situated 7 kms away from Purulia and 2 kms south of Sitalpur, along the Purulia-Hura road. A modern Durga temple at the site possesses a large āmlaka besides, two images of Jain Tīrthaṅkaras. Among them, the image of Tīrthaṅkara Ṛṣabhanātha is presently fixed in the outer wall of a modern Durgā temple and this is partially damaged. Another one is the image of Tīrthaṅkara Pārśvanātha which is also badly damaged and kept in the house of a villager.

44. Bhangra:

It is an important archaeological site situated about 8 kms east of Purulia in the vicinity of Karcha More along the Purulia-Bankura Road. The site possesses an ancient temple that has undergone long courses of renovation. Inside this temple a solitary specimen of a Jain caumukha (Bhowmick 1983: 39-41) along with a figurine of Tīrthaṅkara and a Hero stone is presently installed. Very close to this temple, there is another modern temple containing a sculpture of Jain Tīrthaṅkara Ṛṣabhanātha, measuring 104 cm x 50 cm. This image is badly weathered and its icongraphic details cannot be identified.

45. Hatmura:

The village is situated about 2 kms east of Bhangra More and 2½ kms north of Jaynagar More along the Purulia-Hura road. Altogether it is an important locality containing the debris of an abandoned temple complex noticeable in the form of scattered pieces of sculptures and other fragmented pieces of architectural members. Mention may be made of an icon of a Jain Yakṣiṇī Ambikā, now lying under a tree in the Soloana Durga Mandir complex at Chatni Para of the village which is the centre of the present village.

46. Bhabanipur:

Lying 9 kms east of the Purulia town and 2 kms from Karcha, this site is situated along the Purulia-Hura road in the close proximity of Hatmura-Jaynagar. The exploration conducted in and around this area suggests the survival of a huge religious complex sprawling over a wide area in the form of a Śiva temple along with an abandoned Jain temple complex as clearly attested by the presence of the relics of several architectural members and an inscribed image of Ṛṣabhanātha (Pl.III.C). A close observation at the Mitra Para of this village has resulted in the documentation of a single hero stone plaqued onto the eastern wall of a Śiva temple.

47. Nangtir Than:

On the banks of the Kansavati River or the Kansai, near Jitujuri village there is the Ma Nangteshwari temple complex, locally known as Nangtir Than or the place of worship of the goddess Ma Nangteshwari. The village is situated under Purulia Mufussil Police Station The site lies on the left bank of the Kasai, 1km upstream from the cremation ground of Pooncha also known as Donaberar Ghat which has the Sasankali temple complex. Three large icons of Ṛṣabhanātha are installed in this temple and they were definitely associated with the earlier religious beliefs and practices of this site.

48. Anai Jambad:

The site is an important locality containing a twin settlement, of which the older one, i.e, Anai possess an abandoned Jain religious complex, confirmed by the presence of fragmented architectural members (āmlakas, door jambs, lintels) and sculptural pieces strewn over the site. A sizable proportion of these specimens have now been shifted to the modern settelement, known as Jambad. In spite being a Brahmanical settlement, the site and its Jain religious ethos are still breathing under the active control/ patronage of the existing Jain religious community and by their regular worship of the said transferred specimens from the site of Anai. All together six sculptural specimens, two each of Ṛṣabhanātha, Candraprabha and Pārśvanātha are now installed at a local Ashram of Jambad. The site also possesses few stray occurrences of Hero stones.

49. Sakra/Sankra:

This village is under the jurisdiction of Para Police Station and lies adjacent to the Purulia-Cheliama Road. In the south-western part of the village there is a Dharma temple. Two Tīrthaṅkara images and broken fragments of Jain icons are presently worshipped in this temple as Brahmanical deities.

50. Pabrapahari:

The village Pabrapahari is under the jurisdiction of Kashipur Police Station. It is located 3 kms north of Hura along the Sonatoli Road and a few kilometers from the famous site of Kroshjuri. A Ṛṣabhanātha image of the pañca-tīrthika type was recorded from this village. It is presently within the precincts of a small box-like modern temple built on the ruins of a structural mound, under a big tamarind tree. The mound is locally known as Tentultala. This image is now worshipped by the villagers as Śivathākur, i.e., Śiva (Pl.III.D).

51. Bauridi:

Bauridi is a large village under the jurisdiction of Hura Police Station and is about 3 to 4 kms from the Ladhurka temple complex. In a recently constructed Siva temple opposite a Primary School of this village we recorded five Jain icons, of which four are Tīrthaṅkaras and the fifth is an Ambikā image. It is evident that the temple was constructed on a low structural mound which has the scattered ruins of a remarkable ancient temple. The local villagers claim that they frequently find fragmentary Jain sculptural and architectural remains from different parts of this mound. I also recorded two Śiva liṅgas from the eastern part of this mound. The temple site itself is locally known as Bhairavathān and this village was earlier known as Haraliadih.

52. Ladhurka:

Lying mid-way between Purulia and Hura, approximately 3 to 4 kms east of the former site, Ladhurka is situated on the western bank of a tributary of the river Kasai. Ladhurka is well known for its temple complex of Chandeswar which clearly indicates its affluent condition as a popular religious site from a very long time. The present temple complex must have been erected on the ruins of an earlier temple. From the relics of the earlier temple, one specimen of Jain sculpture and one of Brahmanical pantheon have been recovered. Four insitu specimens of memorial stones at the site also possibly form part of this earlier temple complex.

53. Telkupi:

A submerged temple site, Telkupi is located on the left bank of the river Damodar under the jurisdiction of Raghunathpur in the Purulia district of West Bengal. This ruined village is about 10miles to the northnorth-west of Raghunathpur and 5miles north-east of Chelyama, another temple site in this river valley.

The earliest description of this elaborated temple complex comes in the report of J.D. Beglar who visited the place twice and documented the architectural and sculptural details of three groups of temples (Beglar 1878: 169-178). Beglar observed the complex as a unit that contains the finest and largest number of temples within a small space. Among the three clusters of temples, the largest cluster consisted of thirteen temples on the bank of the river Damodar which was mentioned as Bhairavasthan. In his report, he mentions that this group of temples belonged to the Brahmanical ideology except a few which were either Jain or Buddhist. The conditions of all the temples were not good except some which were in good condition and also contained the deity in the garbhagriha or the sanctum of temple. However, during his visit, most of the temples were not under worship.

W.W. Hunter in his work Statistical Account of Bengal refers to “eight or nine of these temples at Telkupi on the Damodar and there is an image still worshipped by people in the neighborhood, which they call Birup” (Hunter, 1877: 299). He assumed that the image of Birup was probably the image of Mahāvira. The report of Hunter speaks about the Jain association with the temple known as Bhairavasthan. This is important in trying to understand the early nature of the site in the Pala period when they were built and when the local religion was Buddhist and Jaina. The temples originally may have numbered over forty, but even before the construction of the Panchet Dam, the banks of the river must have eroded sufficiently to destroy many temples.

Later on, a work entitled as List of Ancient Monuments in Bengal (1896: 552-54) also gives us some information regarding this temple complex but the description therein is based on that of Beglar. Though the following additional remark is important; “The ruins of these temples are the most extensive in the whole district. The river has gradually been encroaching on the high bank on which the ruins stand, and temple after temple has fallen down”. However, in spite of elucidating the relevance of the site and preparing a list of temples, no precautionary measures were taken to protect this cultural heritage.

This above statement is certainly proved by the report of T. Bloch. In 1903, Bloch visited the site and saw only ten temples out of thirteen seen by Beglar in the first group. Interestingly in his report he specifically refers to the worship of Bhairav, Kāli (Tārā?), Mahādeva (Śiva), liṅga (Śiva), and Sūrya (Alokiteśvara?) in those temples of Telkupi (Bloch 1903: 14).

The District Gazetteer of Manbhum published in 1911 also contains some information regarding this temple complex. Though the report hardly adds anything new to what was published before except for some detailed iconographic observation of deities in temple no. 6 of Telkupi (Coupland 1911: 287-89).

In the early thirties of last century, two short notices on the temple by N.K.Bose furnishes a new perspective in the whole premise of research in which he was able to offer a comparative analysis of the temples with those of canons of Nagara temples of Orissan variety (Bose 1932: xv-xvi; 1340 BS: 617-22).

Apart from these earlier attempts, the first exhaustive report about this submerged site was prepared by Debala Mitra in a monograph when she was engaged in the documentation of the archaeological remains of Telkupi during the tenure of conservation activity at the site (Mitra, 1969). During the course of salvage archaeology, Mitra was able to document altogether twenty-six temples divisible in to two groups; one group comprising thirteen temple standing at Bhairavathan and the rest constituting the other group. She discussed the architectural pattern of the said complex in the following way words, “Spread over several centuries these temples furnish a few missing links in the chain of Bengali rekha temples and, thus, help appreciably in understanding the course of evolution of this particular expression of the rekha order” (Mitra, 1969: 52). Besides these numerous temples crowding the landscape of the site, a handful collection of sculptural specimens also bespeak the “fervent religiosity” that characterized the site. Of these, mention may be made of Śiva liṅga, the images of Umā-M aheśvara, Lakulīśa, Viṣṇu, Sūrya and those depicting the Narasīṃha avatāra of Viṣṇu along with few images of Ambikā, the Yakṣiṇī of Neminātha. Undoubtedly, such varied types of sculptural specimens and their recovery from particular temples catered sufficient data in reconstructing the multi-faceted character of the site though mainly dominated by Śaivism. As out of twenty six temples sixteen contain images assignable to Śaiva group there should be no hesitation in ascribing the complex as a prominent Śaiva centre of the region.

The evidence of rekha deul (Pl.III.E) or the characteristics of temples exhibiting cruciform plan with curvilinear (śikhara) elevation documented by Debala Mitra at the site demonstrates the extension of the Orissan nagara temple-style in this region. It appears from the study of photographs of temples available in the work of Debala Mitra that they bear resemblance to the early groups of Orissan temples.

Besides the aforementioned artefacts, the site also possesses a single unique piece of hero tablet, now housed in a modern temple. Here the main subject has been carved within a window shaped tablet. The deceased hero with his stretched hands holding sword and shield portrays the artist’s susceptibility to give a folk outlook to this specimen.

54. Lalpur:

The site is situated about 3 kms east of Gurudi under the jurisdiction of Raghunathpur. It is actually the satellite settlement of Gurudi complex and most of the images of this village were brought from the Telkupi temple complex. Sculptural fragments especially assignable to the Jain pantheon have been noticed from the extreme end of the village. Two Jain images, one of Ambikā and another of Ṛṣabhanātha, have been identified.

55. Deulbhira (Haroptore):

The present site is situated about 5 kms away of Para Police station on the bank of the river Harai. The site of Haroptore popularly known as Deulbhira. Now a day it is an interior locale, though its remoteness never acted as a barrier in its emergence as a religious centre rather it was always considered as a popular place of worship persuaded by the local people generation to generation. In turn it received the royal patronage to develop a religious establishment with all its grandeurs of structural and sculptural representation. At the entry point of the village one can easily locate a structural mound, possibly assignable to early mediaeval period strewn with architectural members and other categories of habitational remnants including potsherds. In this village we documented an image of an image of Ṛṣabhanātha along with other Brahmanical deities from a modern constructed temple. The presence of Sarāk (Jain community) in and around the village supports the fact that the formative phase of religious structure might be associated with Jainism whereas the Brahmanical mode of appreciation was responsible for its socio-religious transformation in the subsequent period.

56. Tadgram:

This is a very beautiful village and two seasonal rivers Harai and Gorai flow along the two sides of this village. Under the jurisdiction of Para, this village is full of archaeological wealth and interestingly during our recent visit at this site we discovered few Black-and-Red Ware sherds from a low habitational mound at the centre of this village. This discovery indicates that the formation of this village was much earlier than what we usually consider. Jainism strongly survived in this village during the early medieval period and we documented good number of Jain antiquities from six different localities of the village. At present a substantial section of the present day population of the village is represented by the Jain “Sarak” community.

57. Chalka:

The present site is situated about 2 kms east of Nadiha under the Para Police station. In the western side of the present village a modern temple was constructed in front of the ruined structure. This ruined temple complex exhibits two damaged specimens of Jain Tīrthaṅkara image (Pl.III.F). These Jain sculptural remains suggest that the site as well as this ruined temple complex had some earlier association with the Jain ideology. Incidentally, a substantial section of the present day population of the village is represented by the Jain “Sarak” community.

58. Cheliyama-Banda:

The site, about 45 kms away from the Purulia town and 18 kms from Raghunathpur, is located on the left bank of the river Damodar, under the jurisdiction of Raghunathpur II Police Station. In the eastern part of the village, a modern temple known as Mahamaya Mandir is located. In front of this temple some sculptural remains are kept. Among those sculptural remains, three image (two complete and one broken) are associated with Jain ideology. All these images are highly abraded though two images can be identified as the image of Tīrthaṅkara Ṛṣabhanātha on the basis of his elegant jatājuta. Temple of Banda is very close to Cheliyama and known for its śikara type temple. This temple site is about 1.5 kms away from our site. The temple stands on a low mound at the western corner of the village (Pl.III.G). The temple is facing west and in front of the temple a detached pillars mandapa exists. The temple is pañca-ratha in plan.

59. Raksatpura:

The site is under the jurisdiction of Raghunathpur and located about 3 kms away from Celiyama along the Raghunathpur-Celiyama road. A substantial section of the present-day population of the village is represented by the Jain “Sarāk” community. At the entry point of the village one can easily locate a low structural mound, possibly assignable to the early mediaeval period and strewn with architectural fragments and other categories of habitational remnants including potsherds and brickbats. In the center of the village, in front of the modern Brahmanical temple is a solitary well carved specimen of Jain Tīrthaṅkara Pārśvanātha. Local people worship this image as a Brahmanical deity.

60. Sanka:

The site is situated about 5½ kms south east of Celiyama under Raghunathpur police station and 2 kms from the site Raksatpura. The scattered architectural fragments as well as sculptural remains associated with Jainism suggest that the earlier religious affiliation of the site was mainly Jain in character. Furthermore, habitational remains including the remnants of metal working (mostly in form of iron slags), presence of brickbats and fragmentary pieces of architectural members confirm the Jain cultural heritage of the site.

61. Badra:

The site is situated 3 kms away from Cheliyama, along the Cheliyama–Barda road. In the center of the village a modern Siva temple is situated and in the left side of the temple an unique Jain antiquity is fixed on a wall. This is a Jain paṭṭa or known as Jain aṣṭapādatīrtha image. Aṣṭapādatīrtha is one of the unique varieties of Jain sculpture ever found from West Bengal.

62. Mangaldiha:

The site of Mangaldiha is situated about 4 kms east of Cheliyama. Here an abandoned temple complex is situated on a structural mound. The architectural vestiges at the site along with other sculptural fragments are enough to elucidate the religious identity of the site which is mainly Jain in character. In the center of the village there is a place for worship locally known sasthi tala where some other fragments of Jain sculptures are scattered. In this cluster the most important image is the image of Tīrthaṅkara Ṛṣabhanātha.

63. Senera:

The present site is situated 3 kms from Raghunathpur on Raghunathpur-Barakar road. At the western side of the village there is a low structural mound (Pl.III.H). A broken image of Tīrthaṅkara Pārśvanātha lies on the top of the mound. This is one of the largest images of Tīrthaṅkara Pārśvanātha reported from West Bengal.

64. Nadiha:

This village is located under the Nituria Police Station. In eastern side of this village there is a modern temple known as Basuli Mandir and inside this temple an defaced Tīrthaṅkara Pārśvanātha image is presently worship as Jagrata Ma Kali by the local villagers. This modern temple is actually constructed over the ruins of ancient temple and we also notice some architectural remains in and around this temple complex.

Footnotes and references:


According to the report “This little known place is one of the richest in Manbhum in objects of interest, a space of 300 by 350 feet being covered completely with temples in all stages of decay…..The numerous heaps contain a wealth of sculpture to be found perhaps in no other spot in Manbhum, and Mr. Beglar very strongly recommends a thorough examination. The sculptures are Brahmanical, Buddhist and also Jain. They range from probably the 8th or 9th to the very latest period……and in the yield of rare varieties of sculpture of the latest period it is, he believes richer than any other place in Manbhum, and perhaps in Bengal”. (PWD 1887: 59)

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