Sheth Sri Bholabhai Dalai and Sheth Sri Premchand K. Kotawala, the Trustees of Sri Poonamchand K.Kotawala Trust kindly decided to donate, from the above Trust , an annual grant of Rupees Two Thousand to the Jaina Cultural Research Society, Banaras. This sum is being utilised in inviting different scholars to deliver lectures, in the Banaras Hindu University, on any aspect of Jainology (Jaina Studies) and publishing such lectures. Accordingly, I invited Dr. Umakant Shah, who had submitted his Doctorate Thesis on Jaina Iconography, to deliver lectures on Jaina Art.
He was generous in accepting the invitation and kindly co-operated by agreeing to deliver three lectures on Jaina Art. These lectures were delivered in the College of Indology, Banaras Hindu University, under the Chairmanship of Dr. Vaiudeva Saran Agrawala, on 11th 12th, and 15th March, 1954. They are printed here with slight changes as "Studies in Jaina Art".
In his first lecture, Dr. Shah has attempted a critical survey of the Jaina Art in North India, i.e., in the regions North of the Vindhyas, such as Punjab, Sindh, Kachchha, Saurashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Bharat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Bengal, Orissa etc., and even parts of the Deccan in the Bombay State. In his survey he has referred to all important known cave-temples, shrines, sculptures, paintings, etc. He has surveyed antiquities dating from earliest times to about the fifteenth century A.D. Here he has discussed specimens of both the Svetambara and the Digambara sects of the Jainas.
Dr. Umakant's predecessors in the field of Jaina Art Studies, namely, Cunnigham, Fergusson, Burgess, Buhler, Smith, Vogel, D.R. Bhandarkar, Coomaraswamy, Motichandra, V.S. Agrawala, Ramachanciran, W. Norman Brown, Sankalia, B.C. Bhattacharya and others have written on several different aspects of Jaina Art, but Dr. Shah has for the first time attempted here to give a comprehensive review of the whole field in an admirably brief and critical way. From this attempt we obtain a consolidated view of Arts as patronised by the Jainas in North India.
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