Nakodaji Tirth is a major Jain tirth (pilgrimage site) in the Indian state of Rajasthan, located between the villages of Vikrampura and Nakoda in Barmer District. The temple houses the icon of Nakoda Bhairava, a popular Shvetambara guardian deity.

Shree Nakodaji
Shree Jain Shwetambar Nakoda Parshwanath Tirth
DeityParshvanath and Bhairava
FestivalsPosh Dashmi and Mahavir Janam Kalyanak
Governing bodyShri Jain Shwetambar Nakoda Parshwanath Tirth Trust
LocationMewa Nagar , Balotra, Rajasthan
Geographic coordinates25°47′17″N 72°09′09″E / 25.78806°N 72.15250°E / 25.78806; 72.15250
Date established3rd century

Main temple


The temple is an important pilgrimage center visited by both Jains and Hindus.[1][2][3] Devotees visit the shrine, especially after marriage.[4] The temple is currently administered by Tapa Gaccha (monastic order) of Murtipujaka Śvetāmbara.[5]



According to Jain legend, the Nakodaji temple was initially built by Jain acharya Sthulabhadra (3rd century BCE).[6] However, the current structure was constructed in 11th century CE by Solanki Dynasty . The temple has 246 inscriptions indicating multiple renovations and additions over the centuries.[4] The temple was invaded by Alam Shah. However, the central icon of Parshavanatha, along with 120 idols, was safely hidden in a nearby village. In 1449 CE, the central image, along with an icon of Bhairava, was later re-installed in the temple by Acharya Kirtisuri.[7][8] The renovation of the temple was commissioned by Kalija.[9] An image of Acharya Kirtisuri was installed opposite the Bhairava image by Hetha Shah.[10]

The first international seminar on the "yogic tradition of India with special reference to Jain yoga" was held at the India International Centre, and sponsored by Nakodaji Tirth and B. L. Institute of Indology.[11]



The temple is famous for its architecture.[12] It is a large structure with a highly decorated façade. The principal shrine is a large domical structure, with 52 domical sub-shrines along its axis.[13][6] The temple is constructed using makrana marble and Jaisalmer's sandstone. The elaborate shikhara of the temple is regarded as a rare example of architectural and sculptural elegance.[4] The temple has two life-sized elephant sculptures with riders on either side of its entrance.[14] The temple also has bhonyra (underground chamber) housing 35 idols.[6]

A goshala (protective shelter for stray cows) is managed by the temple.[15] The temple also has a dharamshala equipped with modern facilities, including a bhojanalaya (restaurant).[6]



The central icon, popularly known as Nakoda Parshvanath, is a 24 in (610 mm) black stone idol of Parshvanatha. According to Jain legend, the image was discovered in Nakoda village when a Jain layman had a dream about its presence. However, the icon was not found at the indicated place—the exact location was pointed out by Bhairava in the following dream.[16] Nakoda Parshvanath is one of the 108 Parshvanatha icons[17][note 1] and is considered one of the most devotionally revered of Parshvanatha. The icons and the images of the deity are installed in the temple and household shrines. According to Jain belief, worshipping replications of the idol is equivalent to worshipping the original icon.[19] A fair is organised here on the birth anniversary of Parshvanatha that draws numerous devotees.[4][6]

The temple is noted for the worship of the tutelary deity Nakoda Bhairava, who is popular among devotees.[20] The Bhairava icon is red in colour, four-armed and has a moustache with a dog as the vahana. He carries in the lower hands a kapala and a damaru and khadga and Trishula in his upper hands.[21] Nakoda Bhairava is an important guardian deity in the Śvetāmbara sect.[22][23][1] Nakoda Bhairava is believed to grant the wishes of devotees that make offering there; performing puja (praying) brings prosperity.[12][5][24] Devotees consider the deity a business partner and offer a share of their profits to him.[2] Nakoda Bhairava is also linked to tantra and is believed to free people from spirit possession.[25][26] The food offering (prasada) is an uncommon practice in Jainism. However, at Nakodaji, prasada is offered to Nakoda Bhairava.[note 2][28] The prasada is required to be consumed inside the temple and should not be taken outside.[29]

There is another sub-shrine near the main shrine housing an idol of Kal Bhairava, Nakoda Bhairava's brother.[30]

Other temples

Samosaran temple

Besides the main temple, there are two more: Lachi Bai temple (Rishabhdev temple), and Shantinath temple as well as one dādābadī in the village.[6]

Lachi Bai temple was constructed in 1511 CE by Chhalibai, sister of Acharya Jinchandra Suri. The temple is dedicated to Rishabhanatha.[9]

Shantinath Jain temple, constructed in the 19th century, is a large structure with a highly decorated façade. The temple features three Nagara style shikhara adorned by amalaka. The temple facade wall has carvings of Laskhmi and Saraswati within separate niches.[31]

Dādābadī, built outside the main shrine, is a shrine dedicated to the four Dādā Gurus revered by the Kharatara Gaccha. The shrine also houses an idol of Kal Bhairava.[30]

Samosaran temple, built near the main temple, is a depiction of Samavasarana (divine preaching hall of the Tirthankara).[32]

See also



  1. ^ In Shvetambara tradition, there are 108 prominent icons of Parshvanath; each derives its name from a geographical region.[18]
  2. ^ Prasada is only offered to deities such as Nakoda, and not Tirthankaras. This is because, unlike Tirthankaras, those deities are not liberated.[27]


  1. ^ a b Hiltebeitel 1989, p. 158.
  2. ^ a b Babb 1996, p. 80.
  3. ^ Reddy 2022, p. 304.
  4. ^ a b c d Department of Devasthan.
  5. ^ a b Babb 2013, p. 139.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Mehta 1970, p. 131.
  7. ^ RTDC.
  8. ^ Aukland 2010, p. 109.
  9. ^ a b Lodha 2013, p. 613.
  10. ^ Lodha 2013, p. 610.
  11. ^ Chapple 2015, p. 10.
  12. ^ a b Weisgrau & Henderson 2016, p. 178.
  13. ^ IGNCA, pp. 1–2.
  14. ^ IGNCA, p. 1.
  15. ^ Directorate Gopalan Rajasthan.
  16. ^ Carrithers & Humphrey 1991, p. 207.
  17. ^ Aukland 2010, p. 54.
  18. ^ Cort 2001, p. 234.
  19. ^ Cort 2010, pp. 186.
  20. ^ Cort 2010, p. 187.
  21. ^ Aukland 2010, pp. 77–79.
  22. ^ Wiley 2009, p. 152.
  23. ^ Hegewald 2015, p. 125.
  24. ^ Panikar 2010, p. 413.
  25. ^ White 2018, p. 417.
  26. ^ Aukland 2013, p. 125.
  27. ^ Babb 1996, pp. 95–96.
  28. ^ Kent & Kassam 2013, p. 314.
  29. ^ Babb 1996, p. 95.
  30. ^ a b Aukland 2010, p. 26.
  31. ^ IGNCA & Shantinath temple.
  32. ^ Aukland 2010, p. 45.





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