Almost corresponding to Ek-Patthar-ki-Bavdi group on the east, there is another group of cave temples on the western side. These could be identified as the south western group As we turn round the southern end of the road and move towards north, on the western side of Gwalior fortress, we come across a straight road through an incline of the hill slope leading the Urwahi Gate at the top. Incidentally, the road and the incline commands an excellent view of the Urwahi valley.
On the either side of the hill slope, in the valley near the gate, there are Jain caves. Most famous among those on the right side, is the cave containing the image of a huge Tirthankara standing to a height as high as 17 m. (plate 32) some are seated and some in standing posture.
An inscription found in one of the caves indicates that the statues sculptured in the caves, were attriuted to the Tomar king, Dungar Singh, who ruled Gwalior from 1424-1455 (vikrama samvat). The excavation of the caves is attributed to 1455 v.sy as such is correspons to 1512 A.D.
On the left side of the hill towards south, opposite the Urwahi Gate, there are two open caves with standing Tirthankaras.
They can be identified as (1) tritirthika and (2) Dvitirthika Caves.
This is uniformly excavated to a meter in depth, with sides 7×5 m.lt is an open cave. There are three Tirthankaras carved inside, standing to a height of 4.30 m. in length, (plate 33).
The pedestals towards north, bears two lions seated back to back. In between the lions there is a figure of a ‘bull’, the symbol of Adinath in the mukhapattika. Between the lions and the bull, there are floral representations of, two blosomed lotuses.
The pedestal of the central figure is similar to the one mentioned above. But, between the two lotuses the symbol used, is the goat’ instead of the ‘bull’ in the first.
Similarly, the Thus, from the s ymbols shown on the three pedestals, the three Tirthankaras can be identified as
In a ractangular nich, there is a representation of four manastambhas memorial pillars standing to a height of 1.25 m. There are creepers, with stupa and hemispherical decorations along the body of the pillars. They contains leafy and creeper designs. (Plate 35).
The second nich is cut on a higher contour to a depth of one meter in an sq. m. This contains trichauvimsi Tirthankar pattikas.
Getting down through the wicket gate and looking up the caves and the Tirthankaras G'”‘X imDression is that images are made on a high profile but the execution is there was no attempt to make them artistic. Added to these, there is more Saltan as such, in several images, the face mouldings, the natural flaky sandstone had disfigured them.
Coming through hearsay and tradition, it is said, that this region has 52 yards long Tirthankara and several small and miniature images. It has six inscriptions dated between 1400-1443 A.D. The sculptured images, are seen along the vertical face of the hill, ranging variously from 16 m. to 50 m. in height and spreading to a length of one kilometer.
|(i) Relief Sculptures.||(ii) Tirthankaras in niches.|
|(iii) Tirthankaras in Cave and reliefs.||(iv) Bavangaj Cave|
As we get down the wicket gate to the passage, along the hill slope containing, the Jain sanctuaries, towards the left, we find some reliefs. The reliefs start with a seated figure of Parsvanatha shown along the rock, area of 12 sq.m., and cut to a depth of 1.5 m.
This image is behind the seated in padmasana over a vrttapitha raised over a simhapitha. The Tirthankara has a seven hooded snake behind the head to indicate that the image is of Parsvanatha. As he sits over the vrttapitha, the width across the knees is 2 m. while it is sculptured stretching to a height of 3 m.
One peculiarity of Urawahi group is that as in Ek-Patthar-kl-Bavdi group, there is no hard and fast rule that the chlnhapitha should be followed
corresponding chinha are not seen.
Still further down in the same line, there is a seated figure of Adinatha. It is very imposing and rises to a height of 8 m. over the pedestal. Across the knees, it shows a width of 3 m. As usual, it is seated in padmasana in a meditative posture. Below the vrttapitha some design in carved in the centre. The simhapitha has the ‘bull’ in the central niche. Other usual associates are also seen. The projecting semicircular stone at the top serves as the umbrella of the Tirthankara (Plate 37).
This is a peculiar rendering of the cave cutting, with relief sculptures below. The cave is shown with some niches, possibly intended for individual shrines. Some hallow semicircular opening towards the extreme left has the relief of a rekhanagara shikhara at the top. Below the semi circular space there is a seated figure standing to a height of 2 m. and 1 m. across. It is placed in padmasana, below the lintel of the entrance, ihe iconographical details are worn out.
Below the chaitya cave shrine, there is a panel of five Tirthankaras. Their nudity and the srlvatsa on the chest suggest that they are Tirthankaras. But other features are worn out possibly because of weathering. They have a common pedestal for tons.Toward.the right, there is the relief of tritlrthika in a niche at the top. while another seated Tirthankara is seen in padmasana below.
The top of the cave portion contains super structures or shlkharas of rekhanagara type of temples.
Most of the caves in this group are dedicated to Adinatha. Thus, it can be rightly called as Rsabhagiri hill (Adinatha). No doubt, other Tirthankara images are also seen which could be identified as Chandraprabha, Kunthunatha, Shantinatha, etc.
For all the images big or small, there was less effort to display them prominent, with pedestals serving as chinhapitha. However, most of the Tirthankaras are associated with the motifs or chamaradharis, maladharis, gajakalasha, etc.
The Bavan Gaj Cave is a vertically cut, open cave of 20 m. along the hill slope, with a uniform depth of 8 m. From outside this could be divided into two parts (1) the entrance, (2) the sanctum sanctorum.
The Entrance : This is a rectangular cutting 7 m. high and 2.5 m. in width. Except for the jambs on either side of the entrance and their capitals projecting at the centre of lintel, the entire rectangular space is cut, to form the opening of the entrance. From this, the feet, the fore and the hind legs up to the waist of the image lying in the sanctum can be clearly seen even from a distance.
The entire image of the Tirthankara stretched along the back wall is cut to a length of 17 m. but its width across the shoulders is 3 m.
Above the lintel, it is an oblong narrow cutting up to the upper arms. Half way up, the cutting is extended sidewards, to form a two dwarfish pillars that carry the huge semicircular arch.
Outside away from left jamb, there is a wide rectangular niche.
It measures 2 m. in length, 11/2 m. in width, housing three seated images of Tirthankaras. There is a common pedestal of the three image. It is meter in height. Above the niche of the Tirthankaras, there is a panel of miniature chauvimsi images.
proportional to the size of the figures. the sanctum its side measuring a m. It is open and less room space, is a square opening- except the entrance This does not contain any vestibular space but octangular open rooms on either side of the image * sanctum-,here are two As already stated, the image stands to a height ? the upper shoulder. of 17 m- 2.5 m. across the arms Right above the head of the image, the ceiling is made concave. On either side there is an attempt to portray some human forms.
They could be yaksa and yaksi fix associated with the image. The head is leatureless and the eyes are almost dosed The ear ornaments hanging down to the shoulders, make the earlobes longer. In general, the facial appearances indicate, grim determination.
The shoulders are not slopy but horizontal, and on the chest, srivatsa mark is indicated. One new feature is that a girdle is shown around the waist. In other caves of Gopachal, this ornament is not seen; besides some artificial filigree work is also shown. Unlike in other Tirthankara images, the genital organ is merely indicated.
Another aspect different from those of the caves is, the portrayal of trlchauvimsi miniature figures all along side walls, of the entrance both inside and out. They are carved in rectangular panels, in eight to nine rows with the main images standing in the centre. Evidently, they are proportionately higher from the others.
Trishala Cave : This is connected to the Bavangaj group, but lies slightly on a higher contour and separated from it, a few meters away. There are less prominent caves, but below it, the standing and seated images of Tirthankaras are seen.
This is strangely the wider and comparatively bigger cave in the area. It is usually visited by the devotees. This cave of Trishala, the mother of Mahavira has become famous as a boon-bestowing divinity.
She is seen in stretched posture in supine position wiis g y raised up head, as if sleeping over a bed with a pillow. The figure is naked, and the upper part of the face is flaked off (plate 38) Away from the head, two reliefs of male and female yaksha and the yakshi attending on her. Away towards the nght side,
two standing Tirthankaras are seen.