Tirthankar Statues on Gopachal Parwat

Gwalior Fort: Gopachal Parvat / Ek Patthar ki Baori

History and Architecture holds a spell-binding fascination for me.  When I visit Gwalior, I try and revisit the historical monuments to relive the countless moments I spent here as a child.  Yesterday, I visited Ek Patthar ki Baori (aka Gopachal Parwat) where artisans painstakingly carved twenty six giant statues of Jain Tirthankars in stone.

The ride on the motorcycle, a converted Yamaha RX100, was a great feeling, as usual, a slow ride with no helmet.  With the warm dusty breeze on my face as I rode along, I reached the rocky terrain at the slopes of Gwalior Fort.

The local Jain community has worked wonders around the monument, having cleaned and landscaped the whole area.  Gardens have sprung up around the base of the Fort, with walls built to harvest rainwater, to irrigate the trees that have been planted.  The area is very clean, quite a contrast to what I had seen before.   I also had to take off my shoes as the community deems it to be a religious holy place.  So, I walked up the small but arduous climb barefoot on the path, landscaped with rough cut stones and cement.  My feet were burning as I stepped on the stones but happily, I climbed to the monument, in anticipation of photographing the beautiful sculptures.

As I reached the monument, I was impressed.  The statues have been cleaned and well-maintained.  There are twenty six statues of Jain Tirthankars in various upright and seated positions.  There is a mention of the monuments being built around 1424 a.d. under the reign of Tomar King Dungar Singh in an inscription in one of the caves.  Built between 1398-1536 by kings of Tomar dynasty, these are quite a spectacle to behold.

Ek Patthar ki baori is in the first cave, a water reservoir carved out of a single stone.  Honey bees swarmed around as I peeked into the locked baori.  As I photographed the details of the statues, a group of pilgrims came up to pray.  I quickly took a couple of photos to show the scale of the statues.

Women in Prayer

The largest idol of Bhagwan Parshwanath seated on a Lotus is the largest single stone carved statue in the world.  It is 47 feet high and 30 feet wide and extremely difficult to photograph in its entirety.  More on this later…

Here is a photograph of the row of statues as seen from an opening in the rock…

Tirthankar Statues on Gopachal Parwat

6 thoughts on “Gwalior Fort: Gopachal Parvat / Ek Patthar ki Baori”

  1. Gopachal Parvat or the “Ek Patthar ki Bavadi” as it is popularly known, is situated on the slopes of the magnificent Gwalior Fort. One of Gwalior’s most spectacular tourist attractions, Gopachal Parvat is renowned for its unique & ancient statues of Jain Tirthankaras.

    An awe-inspiring & spectacular attraction of Gwalior, the
    Gopachal Parvat attracts thousands of tourists from across the world.What makes this Parvat such a sought after attraction, is the statues of 23 Jain Tirthankaras carved out of a single piece of rock. Besides, the carved idol of Lord Parshvanath towering to a height of 47 feet & a width of 30 feet is the largest of its types in the world.

    The Gopachal Parvat was built way back between the years 1398 to 1536 under the reigns of Tomar Kings, Raja Veermadev, Kirtisingh & Dungarsingh. Since Gwalior is considered to be a significant pilgrimage destination for the Jains, the Parvat is also referred to as “Jain Gadh” by many.

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