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History of Baba Pyara cave


Jaina ascetics performed penance aloofly as it is inevitable action according to Jaina creed. Therefore, In ancient time most Jaina ascetics meditated in natural or man-made caverns situated at nearby cities so that they can easily popularize their creed in laity as well as to attain supreme position "Nirvana". Such type of structural caves are found at various places in India like Tamilnadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat,Orissa, Andhra and so on. In initial phase of first millennium cave type structure were very popular in different parts of country. As time passed these caves were refined in cave temples.

Baba pyara cave :-Baba pyara cave is also an example of above said type caverns. these caves are situated in eastern part of Junagadh city of modern Gujarat state.Initially Baba pyara caves were visited by Burgess and he concluded to affiliation with Buddhism and Jainism both. According to him these cave were initially built for Buddhist bhikshus and in later period these were occupied by Jain ascetics.He was not sure about time of these ancient cave.One fragmentary inscription was found from Baba Pyara cave which affirm it's affiliation to Jainism as one Term in that inscription is exclusively used by Jains only. The inscription was read as "केवलज्ञान संप्राप्तानां जीतजरामरणानां " The term kevalgyan exclusively used by Jains only. Scholar H.D. sankalia seems more positive in attributing these cave to Jainism because there are some auspicious symbols were also depicted above the doors frame affiliated to Jainism. About eleven auspicious symbols as "Nandhyavarta", "Swastika", "Darpan" , "Bhadrasana" , "Meen Yugal" and "Purna Ghata" were recorded by H.D. Sanklia.Such type of Symbols were also found on Ayagpattas found from Kankali Teela Mathura.

About five such symbols are also found in an another cave of Baba pyara Caves. These symbols are in bad state and not recorded. Although they were identified as 1.) Darpan 2.) Meen Yugal 3.) Purna Ghat 4.) Meen Yugal 5.) Darpan. On a small entrance of one of the caves in second row at south end there are two symbols of "Vyala" figures depicted . Burgess and H.D. Sanklia failed to notice them. According to Dhakay on the basis of "Vyala" figure Baba pyara cave should be hailed from 2-3 century AD. Scholar H.D. Sanklia has different opinion about dating of these caves. According to him Chaityagrah containing cave should be at least 2 century BC old and caves with symbols carving should be hailed from 2-3 century AD. Burgess did not mention anything about dating of these caves in his report "Report on the antiquities of Kathiawad and Kucch" published in 1876 at London.


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