There are indications that
the 23rd Tirthankar, Parsvanath Swami, preached Jainism in
Kalinga during the 7th century BC & King Karakanda was
converted by him. The king built Karakanda Vihar for the propagation
of Jainism and installed the image of second Tirthankar, Ajitnath
The Jain preacher, Mahavira
Swami, visited Kalinga to propagate the reformed version of
Jainism & installed Vijay Chakra on the Kumari (Udayagiri)
Hill, which became a famous pilgrimage centre along with Pithunda
Nagar, where the image of Rishabhanath was installed after
Jainism seems to have reached
its pinnacle during the reign of Emperor Kharvela who made
it his state religion. he, after his conquest of Magadha,
brought back the Kalinga Jinasana that had been carried away
by Mahapadma after his conquest of Orissa three hundred years
of prior to his rule.
The Ancient Jain Monasteries:
Kharvela'a patronage of Jainism is seen from the beautiful
caves that he craved out from the rocks on the Udayagiri were
used as places of worship while hose on Udayagiri were used
for the accommodation of saints, monks & ascetics. The
Hati Gumpha inscription bears testimony to this royal patronage
as also to the liberalism of the emperor who, though himself
of the Svetambara sect, showed due honour & respect to
The influence of Jainism on
culture can be well imagined from the stress on such virtues
as kindness & compassion, charity & service to humanity.
This stress enlarged the humane aspects of religion in Kalinga.
Jainism declined after the reign of Kharvela. However, there
was a short spell of importance during the reign of Murunda
rulers in Kalinga, especially under Dharmadamodar.
The historical cum
archeological evidence that is available from different parts
of the State like Anandpur, Chhatia, Ratnagiri, Lalitgiri,
Choudwar, Athagarh, Tigiria, Badamba, Banki, & Jajpur,
Khiching & its environs Kupari, & Charmpa, Chumsur
and Nawrangpur shows that Jainism had a wide influence in
such areas. As a result of this interaction, the throne of
Jagannatha is probably the one was been taken away by Mahapadmananda
& later, restored by Kharvela.