|Regions with significant populations|
|Marathi and Kannada|
|Part of a series on|
Jainism has been present in Maharashtra since ancient times. The famous Ellora Caves demonstrate that Jainism was part of a thriving religious culture in Maharashtra in premodern times.
Jainism in Maharashtra has a long history. The oldest inscription in Maharashtra is a 2nd-century BC Jain inscription in a cave near Pale village in the Pune District. It was written in the Jain Prakrit and includes the Navkar Mantra. The first Marathi inscription known is at Shravanabelagola, Karnataka near the left foot of the statue of Bahubali, dated 981 CE.
Maharashtra was ruled many Jain rulers such as the Rashtrakuta dynasty and the Shilaharas. Many of forts were built by kings from these dynasties and thus Jain temples or their remains are found in them. Texts such as the Shankardigvijaya and Shivlilamruta suggest that a large number of Marathi people followed jainism in the ancient period.
There are many native jain communities in present day Maharashtra. The communities tend to be endogamous, and generally do not intermarry with the Jains who have arrived from North India.They belong to the Digambar sect.The four largest communities by numbers are:
Each of the above communities are affiliated to their own Matha and led by the Matha leader called Bhattaraka. In addition to the above four, there are several smaller native Maharashtrian Jain communities.
Jains from other regions have a large population in Maharashtra. Majority of them are from Rajasthan and Gujarat. Some of them are from Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. Some of these communities have been in Maharashtra for centuries, and are now indistinguishable from the native residents of Maharashtra. They are divided in following large groups:
Main article: Dakshin Bharat Jain Sabha
The Dakshin Bharat Jain Sabha is a religious and social service organization of the Jains of South India. The organization is headquartered at Kolhapur, Maharashtra, India. The association is credited with being one of the first Jain associations to start reform movements among the Jains in modern India. The organization mainly seeks to represent the interests of the native Jains of Maharashtra (Marathi Jains) and Karnataka (Kannada Jains).
Main article: Jainism in Mumbai
Mumbai has one of the largest populations of Jains amongst all the cities in India. Mumbai also has numerous Jain temples.
((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)