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Yakshi Ambika of Ankai-Tankai

         

Jaina goddess Ambika situated at cave of Ankai tankai about 80 kms from Ellora in west direction. This ankai tankai caves are situated in modern nasik district of Maharashtra state.In this image Ambika is painted and disfigured by local villagers.This Jain Ambika is worshiped as "Bhawani " by local people. On observation of this sculpture we find all adjectives attributed to Jain Ambika. She is riding on lion with one leg is bent and other is touching ground in a curved fashion. Lion's tail is bent in one knot and touching ground.one infant which is obliterated is in her left arm and right arm contains mango bud or Amra lumbi.Two jina icons are also clearly visible in this picture as one is in meditation posture over the head of goddess Ambika. Generally in jaina tradition Jina is carved over the head of yaksh and yakshini as yaksh Yakshini are considered as secondary or subordinate deities in Jainism. some attendant deities are clearly visible and painted beside goddess Ambika.One Jina teerthankar is depicted on top left side of goddess who is in mediation posture.Some great scholar like Burgess and Fergusson also visited these Jaina caves about 140 years ago. Earliest account of Ankai tankai was recorded by Dr. gibson which was published in 1850 AD. According to Burgess and Fergusson there are seven jaina caves but modern scholar counted them as ten in numbers. These caves have construction time span of about 3 centuries from 10 century to 13 century AD. Jina Shantinatha and Parshwanatha are also carved on a wall of cave 3. Moreover, some triteerthi and panchteerthi sculptures from this place were carried out to Prince of wales museum, Mumbai. These sculptures are preserved in this museum, today. @www.jainglory.com

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