Kazhugumalai Jain Beds Rock Sculptures, Tamil Nadu, India

While there are sculptures carved into the rock at a few points on the plateau, including on the way up from Gwalior Gate, the most impressive is the upper set on the western approach, between Urvai Gate and the inner fort walls. Mostly cut into the cliff face in the mid-15th century, they represent nude figures of tirthankars (the 24 great Jain teachers). They were defaced by Babur’s Muslim army in 1527 but have been more recently repaired.

There are more than 30 images, including a splendid 17m-high standing sculpture of the first tirthankar, Adinath.

Visit India Epic India Route © Monika Newbound

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