Gwalior

The Rock-cut Jain monuments of Gwalior – Siddhanchal (Urvai Group)

The Urvai group of rock-cut Jain monuments, also known as Siddhanchal, are the most famous of the carvings to be found at Gwalior. Their location right next to the western approach road up to the fort makes them an easy stop-off as you head up to the top of the hill and the car park for Gwalior fort.

There are in fact two separate clusters of carvings that make up the Urvai Group. The first set are on your left as you head up the hill, and shortly afterwards and a little more concealed is another set on your right.

There are 22 principal figures carved here, accompanied by six separate inscriptions dated 1440 and 1453 AD, during the reign of Tomar King Dungar Singh.

The largest figure, not only of this group, but of all the Gwalior rock sculptures, is a standing colossus estimated by Barber to be 20 gaz (40ft) in height. It is in fact 57ft high, and from the roadside is the only visible carving on the right side of the road.

Be sure to climb down from the road and explore the carvings below, although many of them have been eroded by rainwater coming down the hillside, the more sheltered sculptures are still very well preserved.

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.


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