Jain Temple in the Fortress of Komulmair
Engraver: Finden, Edward Francis (1791-1857)
Engraving of a Jain Temple in Kumbhalgarh, by Edward Francis Finden (1791-1857) and Patrick Young Waugh (1788-1829). Plate 15 from James Tod's: 'Annals and antiquities of Rajast'han or the Central and western Rajpoot States of India' published in London in 1829.
In 1818 Mewar and other princely states of Northern India signed a treaty with the British, and Colonel James Tod became the first Political Agent to the Western Rajput States. Along with his official duties, Tod became very interested in the genealogies of the Rajput Kingdoms as well as the art and architecture they produced. The spectacular Rajput hill fort of Kumbhalgarh is perched on top of the Aravalli Hills and reaches a height of over 3000 feet. Built in the 15th century by Maharana Kumbha (1419-63), the complex extends over 12 km and includes many palaces and gardens. The Fort has seven majestic gates and seven ramparts that are reinforced by rounded bastions and huge watchtowers. Inside the periphery wall there are over 360 temples, a large number of these being Jain and similar to the one depicted here. Of this temple, Tod wrote: 'The design of this temple is truly classic. It consists only of the sanctuary, which has a vaulted dome and colonnade portico all around. The architecture is undoubtedly Jain, which is as distinct in character from the Brahmanical as their religion...The proportion and forms of the columns are especially distinct from the other temples, being slight and tapering instead of massive, the general characteristic of Hindu architecture...'