Vidisha, situated on the River Betwa and about 100 km south of Deogarh, was one of the first places at which images of Jinas were worshipped. The earliest of them were cut in the walls of the two Jaina caves of Udaygiri, 5 km to the north-east of Vidisha.
The first structural temples no longer exist but the torsos of the Jinas – for which those shrines were built are exhibited in the local open air museum. They are impressive pieces of sculptural art. Vidisha has man- aged to remain a lively centre of Jaina culture. The percentage of Jainas among its citizens is far above the average.
Bada Mandir, one of Vidisha’s fourteen Jaina temples. The architec- ture is Mughal. “Bhilsa (a former name of Vidisha) preserves in an open air museum valuable relics of early Jainism and even today the city is populated by many Jainas who have established modern temples” (Klaus Fischer 1957: 6).
A slightly damaged image of a Jina older than the Bada Mandir in which it is kept. Observe the eight miracle motives’, de- scribed above by Klaus Bruhn, page 107. Here too they begin with the depiction of an Ashoka tree but then they follow a different sequence.