About Nagarparkar Jain Temples
Located in Pakistan’s southern Sindh province, the Nagarparkar Jain Temples are a collection of abandoned temples as well as a mosque, dating back to the 12th to the 15th centuries. During this period, the ancient Indian religion of Jainism was at its zenith, and the temples at Nagarparkar boast some of the oldest and most beautiful of Jain frescoes in the region.
Nagarparkar Jain Temples history
Nagarparkar was the centre of Jainism for several centuries and the local wealthy Jain community built many extravagant temples in the area. As a result, Nagarparkar became a place of pilgrimage known as Sardhara, soon gaining a reputation as “the most glorious of all regions of India”.
Yet as silt from the Indus River pushed the Arabian Sea further away, Jain influence in the region declined. Many Jain communities also left the area following the Partition of British India in 1947, although several Hindu communities maintained the temples.
Nagarparkar Jain Temples today
Today, the remaining Jain temples are popular tourist attractions and heritage sites in the region. As there are no local roads, the area is also in relatively good condition. Approximately 14 Jain temples are scattered throughout the region, including the Gori Temple. Built in 1375, the Gori Temple features 52 Islamic style domes and is made of marble. It also homes the oldest existing Jain fresco in the world.
The Nagarparkar Bazaar Temple is also a remarkable site, with intricately carved sculptures and paintings, that was in use until Pakistani independence in 1947.
Getting to the Nagarparkar Jain Temples
A remote location, your best way of reaching the temples is by car. Follow the road from Islamkot south towards the Indian border.