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An ayagapata or Jain homage tablet, with small figure of a tirthankara in the centre, from Mathura

An ayagapata or Jain homage tablet, with small figure of a tirthankara in the centre, from Mathura

Photographer: Smith, Edmund William

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1890

Shelfmark: Photo 1003/(851)

Item number: 1003851

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of a Jain homage tablet, donor unknown, found in the Jain stupa at Kankali Tila, taken by Edmund William Smith in 1880s-90s. Mathura has extensive archaeological remains as it was a large and important city from the middle of the first millennium onwards. It rose to particular prominence under the Kushans as the town was their southern capital. The Buddhist, Brahmanical and Jain faiths all thrived at Mathura, and we find deities and motifs from all three represented in sculpture. In reference to this photograph in the list of photographic negatives, Bloch wrote that, "The technical name of such a panel was ayagapata [homage panel]." It appears from the inscription that the tablet in this photograph is Jain. The piece is now in the Lucknow Museum.

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