Ancient Jain monastery left to crumble in Odisha

The monastery has five small temples and one of them houses the image of Rishabhanath surrounded by Tirthankars.

Published: 14th December 2019 10:54 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th December 2019 10:54 AM   |  A+A-

Temples in the Subai Jain monastery.

Temples in the Subai Jain monastery.

By Express News Service

JEYPORE:  A thick layer of moss covers the temples in the 4th century Jain monastery in Subai village. Located 34 km away from Koraput town, the neglected monastery that houses some rare images of Tirthankaras is also dotted with unwanted vegetation.

Considered an important Jain site in undivided Koraput district, the monastery todays stands as a mute spectator to the neglect by Koraput administration and Tourism and Culture Department.  

Temples in the Subai Jain monastery. 

The monastery has five small temples and one of them houses the image of Rishabhanath surrounded by Tirthankars.

There is also an image of four-armed Tara adorning bangles in one temple while another temple on the monastery campus has been partially damaged. 

Locals said with no security at the site, many relics from the monastery have been stolen in the past by miscreants. And in the absence of maintenance, the site resembles a forest now. While the monastery is not being cleaned, the temples are not treated chemically to keep the walls safe from moss and other vagaries of nature. 

According to historians, Jain traders who came to undivided Koraput region to collect and trade gemstones set up the monastery and worshipped Mahavir, Parshwanath, Rishabhanath and other Tirthankars. In the 80s, the Tourism and Culture Department took note of the site and began promoting it as a spot of religious significance.

In fact, the monastery and Jain culture was highlighted in every Parab festival organised by the district administration for a certain period.

Till 2010, the Jain site drew tourists from within the State and neighbouring Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

However, the Koraput administration failed to maintain it later on. In the last five years, no conservation has been done in the monastery. District Culture Office AK Sethi said he would look into development of the site which was earlier inspected by the Archaeological Survey of India.

In Koraput, Jain sites are also present at Nandapur, Bhairab-Singhpur, Kotpad, Jamunda, Kamta,  Jeypore, Borrigumma and Remula. 

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