Sri Digambar Jain Naya Mandir of Old Delhi

April 19, 2024
Cashmire travellers in a street in Delhi
Photogravure Goupil & Co., D. Appleton & Co., New York.
42 x 32 cm

This rare original late 19th or early 20th century photogravure is from my personal collection. It shows a beautiful door and a balcony of a Jain mandir in Purani Dilli. Kashmiri travellers exploring the narrow lane of the Hindu/Jain locality of Delhi with their horses give the impression that a composite culture has prevailed in Delhi for centuries.

Sri Digambar Jain Naya Mandir’s beautiful main entrance is fascinating and considered a masterpiece of stone carvings and artistry.

However, very few of us know about the hidden truth behind this flawless, magnificent facade. The land on which the Jain Temple was built was donated by none other than the 6th Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. JP Losty’s book “Delhi: Red Fort to Raisina” says on page 105, ‘This piece of land in Delhi was given apparently to the Jain community by Emperor Aurangzeb for their services as bankers to the Mughal courts.’



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The Asr Foundation is an organization committed to collecting, securing, and digitizing rare photographs, archival documents, magazines, and books related to the history of the Indian subcontinent and Muslims. One of our long-term goals and objectives is to make these documents available for researchers and scholars.