Unknown1500 AD - 1600 AD

National Museum - New Delhi

National Museum - New Delhi
New Delhi , India

Tirthankaras are revered by the Jains and are worshipped as single images as well as in groups.Some of the popular Tirthankaras include Rishabhanatha, Shantinatha, Neminatha, Parshvanatha and Mahavira. Each of these has their specific cognizance by which they are identified and are depicted on or below their seats. The Brihat-Samhita of Varahamihira is the earliest datable text formulating injunctions on the creation of the Tirthankara images.

This altarpiece, probably from a home shrine, is known as chaturvimshati patta (twenty- four figure plaque) or chaubisi, attributed to Ajitnatha who is seen with other twenty- three Tirthankaras arranged symmetrically. Two Tirthankaras flanking Ajitanatha are in kayotsara-mudra while the rest are seated in dhyana-mudra. The central figure of Ajitanatha, the second Jina is seated on lion-throne in dhyana-mudra under an umbrella. His gaja (elephant) is represented frontally in between the lions. Depicted above the seated Tirthankaras in the arch are two elephants. The rest of the twenty-three Tirthankaras are portrayed in a symmetrical and linear fashion. Carved elaborately on the right and left extremes of the sculpture is a vertical row depicting makaras, leogryphs, musicians, and chauri-bearers. The back of the image bears an inscription in Devanagari.

Below the lion-throne, there is a dharma chakra flanked by two deers and on either side a row of navagrahas or jyotishka (nine planets) can be seen, viz. ravi, soma, mangala, budha, brihaspati, shukra, shani, rahu and ketu. The eighth planet, i.e. rahu, is depicted only as a human head. At the centre of the faceted base, there is a seated female divinity while on the either end; there are standing figures of yaksha and yakshi with their palms joined together in respectfulsalutation.


  • Title: Chaubisi
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1500 AD - 1600 AD
  • Location: Western India, India
  • Physical Dimensions: w240 x h357 x d110 cm (without cover)
  • Type: Statue
  • Rights: National Museum, Janpath, New Delhi
  • Style: Chaubisi Art
  • Place Part Of: India

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