(Last Updated on : 03/07/2012)
, the second Jain Tirthankara has been represented at Khajuraho Temples
by four images. All the images look stunning and have been beautifully carved. The images are made of buff-coloured sandstone. These vary approximately from 19"X 14" to 52"X 15" in dimensions. The images have been well preserved in an open Air Museum that is located adjacent to the Bhagwan Rishabh Dev
Temple. The figures date back to the period from the 11th to the 12th century A. D.
Lord Ajitnath has been represented beautifully in three cases in a cross legged posture. His hands are laid in the lap in dhyana mudra on an ornate cushion that is decorated in lozenge shape and floral design. In another instance he can be seen standing erect as sky clad in the kayatsarga mudra. The standing figure of the Lord is erected on a pedestal while in other case he is seen sitting on a lotus placed over an ornate cushion. In two examples the hair of the Jina is dressed in small ringlets. In one of the figures his head is not visible. In remaining one sculpture the hair of the Lord is arranged in two parallel rows of curls on the forehead. It is also combed back in jata fashion. The pedestal is made of round pilasters that have been carved at two extremities. The covering cloth that hangs in the front of the pedestal is adorned with kirtimukha. In one case it also shows beads and lozenge shaped decorations. A dharmachakra can be seen in the centre of the pedestal. It is flanked by worshippers kneeling down with folded hands. Images of two lions are also visible at two ends of the pedestal. They are carved either in standing or sitting posture with their backs and faces turned towards each other. In one of the images they are seen standing in front facing the observer. Except a single instance in all the other images the idol of Lord Ajitanath is flanked by a standing male flywhisk bearer on its either side. They are designed wearing rich jewellery. With the inner hand they hold a flywhisk above the shoulder and the outer hand rests on the thigh. A three folded chatra topped by a disembodied figure beating a drum are shown over the head of the Jina.
First image of Lord Ajitnath displays the elephant
emblem on left of the dharmachakra. It measures about 23-5 x l7. Many other images have been carved on the lower most part of the simhasana. The image of the Lord is flanked by two Jain figures. Other than this a standing Jina figure can be seen at each top corner. Seated Jina figures are carved at each recessed corner of the throne. The nimbus of the malanayaka is embellished with lotus blossom and beaded circle. The figure is of the 11th century A. D.
Second image of Lord Ajitnath measures 23" x 16" and belongs to the 11th century A.D. A Jina figure can be seen over the head of each camaradhara figure. The top parikara portrays the elephants with riders. It is the only image of Ajitnath at Khajuraho that is flanked by Yakshas and Yakshani figures. The Yakha figure on the left side is hidden under the plaster. On the right side of the main idol two armed Yaksi can be seen carrying a sword in their right hand.
Third image of Lord Ajitnath measures 27"x l5". It belongs to the I2th century A.D. A beautiful elephant has been carved below the dharmachakra. A pair of the standing Jinas headed by a seated Jina can be seen in the right corner of the throne. On top of this a Jina smaller in size than the main Jina has been carved. However, due to the destruction of the throne the figures on the left side cannot be seen. At the top parikara are also shown the figures of two seated Jinas. Another seated Jina figure is visible at the right top corner. The top parikara is embellished with an elephant with two riders at each end. One of those also bears a vase.
Fourth image of Lord Ajitnath measures 52"x l5" and belongs to the 12th century A. D. An elephant has been carved beneath the dharmachakra. Figures of male and female deities are carved below the feet of the Lord. Images of pairs of standing Jinas are carved on the left hand side of the main deity. They are seen one above the other. Five small figures are carved magnificently under the feet of the principal Jina. These are identifiable with the five grahas. However, the four grahas have not been represented. The first three figures depict the abhaya-mudra and the kalasa in two hands. The fourth figure is of Rahu
with human bust while the fifth figure is of Ketu. Its arms are folded and its lower portion resembles a snake. The top parikara exhibits two flying elephants with riders.
All the images, thus, look stunning and are spectacular to watch. They also boast about the creativity of the craftsmen.