This could be reached from Gwalior by Bombay-Agra Highway. It lies slightly towards the north of Morena. Not far from the main road, as we go into the village, we come across a Jain temple. Towards the east of the temple, there is a panel of three Tirthankaras, standing in khadgasana.
They are arranged from broken stone panels, collected from the ancient mound south-west of village. A close look at it suggests that it is of some antiquity.
The arranged panel contains a standing Tirthankara about 5 m. high in the centre projecting out from two more similar panels containing, standing Tirthankaras on either side. They measure 3.20 m. each. The side panels containing the Tirthankaras are also collected from the same mound and fitted into one panel. All the pieces, lithologically look alike in light yellowish quartzite.
It looks as though the main image in khadgasana was the original deity recovered from the dilapidated temple mound. It raises over a rectangular frame of side 4×3.2 m. The side panels appeared, to have come from the dvarasakhas, or the door jambs of the entrance of an ancient temple.
The heads are shown with ringlets of hair suggesting the mahapurusaiaksana. Behind the head, there is a circular prabhamandala; usually associated with the main Tirthankaras in Jain panels. On either side, in the central panel, there are standing chauri bears in tribhanga.
There was no atempt to portray the pedestal over which the image stands. However, the side Tirthankaras have better sculptural finish than those on the pedestal portrayed in the centre. This indicates some variation in the period of their execution.
Normally, in Jain or Buddhist sculptures of the early period, a slight partruberence of ,he head is seen We also find similarity with sculptural tradition of the bare chest without and circular prabhamandala. These suggest an earlier period. However, the
just opposite to the ancient mound in the village, lying in the south-western corner, another collection ol ancient Jain sculptures were installed. Most of them stand to height of 1.20 m. and have a width of 75 cm.
Iconographically, these are different from the sculptures discussed earlier. Their difference lies, not only in height, but more plainer with less ornamentation.
But there is a stress on giving the symbols like moon, lion, etc. on the pedestals, indicating Chandraprabha and Mahavira, although the Tirthankaras are plain with their pratiharyas. Among these most important are the standing Tirthankaras in separate rectangular penels.
Dating : It looks as though after the Kushan period, there was no attempt to portray Jain sculptures, mainly because of the stress given to Hinduism during the time of Guptas. However, there seemed to be a revival after the Hun invasion, who showed some interest in Jain traditions.
In this context, it has to be stated that the evidence of Toramana, the Hun King was recorded in an inscription found at Eran. Another inscription of Mihiragula and his son was obtained from Gwalior itself. From other accounts, it could be stated that Huns had the status of maharajadhiraja.
More concrete evidence of the association of Huns with Jainism comes from Jain text Kuvalayamala dated to Saka 700 of Toramana (778 A.D.). According to the text, Toramana lived at Pawaya.
Considering the above accounts, the sculptures of Suhania (B) may be dated to 8th centurayA.D. (Hi.) PANIHAR
This structure could be identified as Chaubasl. inside Chaubasl towards the north-east, an underground passage leads the visitors an underground cell. It contains the sealed images of all the 24 Tirthankars worked out in makrana marble.
The above sculptures, were evidently preserved underground mainly because of the threat of Muslim invasion during the time of Babar. Babarnama gives some account of the naked figures he found during his visit.
The Tirthankara panels of chaubasl are not very old. However, they must have been sculptured earlier to Babar who became the first Moghul monarch after 1526 A.D. Thus, they could be dated to early 16th century A.D.
Barai lying towards south-west of Panihar was the most ancient place with which most of the antiquarian remains are associated. The ancient mound of Panihar was of a later composition. It might have come into existance around 13th century A.D. when there was scarcity of water at Barai.
It was found that about 3 to 4 km. away, at Panihar, water was available in plenty. So the people had migrated to the nearby village of Panihar.
The context of the antiquity of Barai was from tradition, and this was disclosed when it was found that there were some from antiquarian remains in the area, while the narrow-guage-railway line, between Guna and Gwalior, was laid via Shivpuri. At present, the railway line and Bombay-Agra Highway runs across the two ancient villages.
This village lies not far from the railway track connecting Sivapuri and Gwalior. It is situated about 7 km. away south-west of Panihar on the eastern side of road via Sivapuri. The entire village is strewn with dilapidated structures with ancient remains, going back to the early Historical period. i u uiitaop Barai went dry because of drought and The story goes that long long back, the viilag non
The front walls of these sanctuaries appear to be original. Possibly, all the four temples formed one unit of a Jain sanctuary. Towards the western end, there is a huge mandapa in front Possibly, it had a closed mukhamandapa with the four shrines at the back. Pieces of pillars are seen here and there and whole structure faces east.
The superstructures of the individual shrines were added later and alignation as we see today is not perfect. Evidently, they were rebuilt without paying attention to chityavastu.
As we see in the Jain sancturaries of the later period, they were originally equal squarish units of side 4 m with a balcony at the top. They would have been at least 10 m. high with provision of images on the walls, towards north and south.
The back wall of each unit contained standing images of Tirthankaras. They remain in-situeven today. The lower portion of the image upto the navel, is covered upto the ceiling of the lower storey, while the upper storey has the remaining upper portion of the body shoulders, and the head of the image, inserted in a niche on the back wall.
The other particulars of the images are not clearly seen. However, they contain man and a woman as attendants on either side. The srivatsa mark on the chest, the long drawn ear lobes and hair in curls showing the mahapurushalakshanas are clearly seen. As per the iconographic standards, the stretched hands are slightly away from the body. The original pedestals are no more seen .
the fuff view of the image, the upper balconies were provided with steps on
The dvarasakhas decorated with creeper designs, and the sculptural flourish ol the lalatabimba are typical features of the Gupta period. They resemble and ancient group of – temples ol Rajim attributed to Sarabhapura kings, who ruled the region around 5th century A.D. Moreover, the sculptural work- manship of the Gupta templesol Devagadh of Dasarna bhukti, could be easily identified.
The above evidences show that in the region around Gwalior, Barai temples are the earliest of the Jain sturctures that drew inspiration to promote Jain sculptural tradition in the region.
There are other images like Bhairava yaksha showing a demonic features, a flame with dog behind. It speaks of the iconography of – Kalabhairava. Evidently, he is the associate yaksha of the 11th Tirthankara, Sreyamsanatha.
A beautiful sculpture of four handed Ganesh, in tribhanga is shown in the niche of the temple outside.
Both the sculptures have a hoary antiquity, but the facial expressions and the ornamentation speak of the same period around 5th or 6th century A.D.
This village lies about 50 km. away from Gwalior on the Gwalior-Jhansi road. It could also be located towards the north-east of Padmavati (Pawaya) at the confluence of the riveres Para and Sindhu, the tributaries that join the Chambal river.
Kutwar village is now nestled inaforestareathroughwhich the river Asanflows before il ioins the Chambal. A dam is being built very near the village across t e river. e am area and the village, are strewn with ancient cultural remains. Coins of Nagavasis, that ruled over Pawaya in early Christian period, were picked up in the area.
It has to be stated in this context, a stone inscription belonging to a Tomar King initiated the Tomar dynasty that ruled over Gwalior from 1375-1516 A.D. Accoring to the inscription he was the king Virasimhadeva, the son of Deva Varman who was well versed in Vedas Jyotisa and Ayurveda. He was said to have written the book Virasimhavalokan.
The place according to Jain tradition is called ‘Kanakawada’ which had its origin to the Jaina yakshi Kanaka Durga (Ambika), the yakshi of Neminatha. Outside the village, a dilapidated Jain temple is seen. It is under the protection of the Archaelogical survey of India, (plate 45).
The name Kutwar is shown as the birth place of Kunti, the mother of Kama and the aunt of Pandavas, of the epic of Mahabharata. The place was ruled by Suraj Sen, the uncle of Kunti and the daughter of Kunti Bhoj.
Exploration in and around the village, has yielded several ceramic traditions black and red, red ware, grey wares, and other early Historical wares, indicating some reality in the local tradintion.