Apr 7, 2008

Jains in Ratnagiri District

From Gazetteer of Ratnagiri

The Jains make frequent mention of this part of the Konkan. Their mythical king Shripala is said to have married Tilakasundari, a daughter of king Maheshana, whose seat of Government was Soparaba. This part was a great seat of their activities, right from Rishabhadev, the first Tirthankar [Bhagavatpuran speaks of Rishabha's wanderings in this part and connects him with the establishment of that religion, here.]. There are traces of a time when Jain was the ruling form of faith [ Chitgupi, Western Chalukyas of Vatapi, 23.], though the village temples are now dedicated to Brahman gods and there are many of them the broken remains of Jain images. Most of the temple grants seem to date from a time when Jainism was the State religion in the Ratnagiri district. Jains are believed to have come from Karnatak and a king of Savantvadi is mentioned in an old Belgaum legend. A local chronicle or bakhar states that in the 11th century, Dabhol was the seat of a powerful Jain ruler and a stone inscription has been found bearing the date 1156 A. D. [Crawford's MS. Bom. Gaz. X, 327.].

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