Situated high up on the cliff above Gujari Mahal and running south below the Jahangir Mahal, the NE group of rock-cut Jain monuments at Gwalior were unfortunately beyond my reach. On various days during my stay in Gwalior I attempted to see them, but on each occasion I was out of luck.
Access to them appears to be from the eastern entrance up to Gwalior fort. As you climb the hill you will reach a white painted Hindu temple on your right, marked on Google maps as Prachin Siddh Baba Mandir. A path runs south of this temple, up a flight of stairs to the entrance, but here I was faced with a locked gate. Nobody around seemed to know if or when the gates would be opened, and the whole area had the feeling of abandonment about it.
It would seem that the state of these excavations has hardly changed in 180 years, Alexander Cunningham in the 1860s records :
“These sculptures are all comparatively small, and, as they are un-accompanied by inscriptions, they are of no interest or importance. One or two of the caves are large, but, owing to the peeling away of the rock, they are now very difficult to access.”
From a distance, and with a zoom lens, you can see that at least one of the caves contains a carved statue – but that’s as close as I came.
This was one of five rock-cut Jain monument groups that can be found carved into the hillside at Gwalior. Here are links to the other sites I visited, and an introduction.
- The Rock-cut Jain Monuments of Gwalior – Introduction
- Group 1 – Gopachal Parvat (SE Group)
- Group 2 – SW Group
- Group 3 – Siddhanchal (Urvai Group)
- Group 4 – NW Group
- Group 5 – NE Group
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