Western Rajasthan was a big center of Jainism activities in medieval period. So a grand chain of beautiful and historical Jain temples also flourished in marwar. There are eleven well known Jain temples in Jodhpur city for Shantinath, Gaudi Parasnath, Muni Suvrata Swami, Kunthunath Koladi, Sambbavanath, Mahavir Swami, Kesariyanath, Parsavanath (Muthaji ka mandir) and Bheru Bag Parsvanath; there is also Digambar Jain Mandir. Of these, the first is the oldest. The present idol of Shantinath, however, is dated V.S. 1617 (1560 A.D.).
Nakoda Parshvanath Jain Temple
The temple of Nakoda Parshvanath is about 10 kilometers South of Balotra and is surrounded by bare hills which form its natural background. Nakoda is an ancient place. In the 3rd century A.D., there existed two cities- Virampur and Nakoda each 20 miles apart, founded by Virsen and Nakorsen respectively. In both the places, there were big Jain temples of 52 cells and their consecration ceremonies, were performed, at the hands of renowned Acharya Sthulibhadra but those temples were destroyed by Alam Shah. The consecration ceremony took place in V.S. 62 at Nakoda, at the hands of Acharya Mantung suri. In V.S. 909 (852 A.D.),there are said to be 2700 houses of Jains in Virampur and the idol which was kept hidden in Naghrida (Kalidrah), was installed in V.S. 1429 (1372 A.D.) at Virampur or Nakoda. This main idol at Nakoda is of Lord Parshvanath. It is 23 inches in height and black in colour. It is very attractive with its tutelary deity Bhairava. The people from far and near, visit the shrine and make offerings to Nakoda Bhairava, on ful¬filment of their desires. Besides this main temple, there are the temples of Rikhabdev (Lachi Bai's temple) and Shantinath, besides 35 idols in the underground celt. There are few extensive Dharmashalas, in the compound of the temples, for the pilgrims to stay in. Every year, a grand fair is held on Pash Badi 10, the birthday of Lord Parshvanath.
Ranakpur Chaumukha Jain Temple
Ranakpur is 22 kilometers from Falna Junction on the Delhi-Ahmedabad line of the western railway. Jain temples of Ranakpur are located in a complex. The central temple in the complex is called Chaumukha and is an interesting example of the richness of carving and sculptural art in medieval Rajasthan. The temple covers an area of 40,000 square feet, has 29 halls and contains 1,444 pillars; no one pillar is like another in the detail and wealth of the delicate carvings that adorn all of them. The massive and extensive 'Chaumukha' temple at Ranakpur (l438 A.D.) is a most remarkable monument. The Jain shrines at Ranakpur were strongly influenced by the Circular lotus motif style of the ceilings and pillars of Abu temples. The four faced shrine is dedicated to Rishabhadeva the Jain Tirthankara and there are subsidiary shrines around the main temple. The entire structure is erected on a lofty basement surrounded by a high wall. There are sixty six small cells, inside the boundary wall, adorned with sculptures. Each cell or shrine has got a spire over it. The ceilings, of the structure of the temples, are intricately decorated with Carvings. The Parshvanath temple has got some erotic scenes carved on its exterior.
Narlai Jain Temple
Narlai is only 3 miles from Ghanerav. There are 11 temples among them, the Adishvar temple is said to be about 1000 years old. The eldest temple is of Suparshvanath (the seventh Jain Tirthankar) having sculptural art. The Neminalh temple on the hill is also famous. It is said that one of the hill temples was brought by a Yati, with his magical power. Round about SuparshvanathTpmple, there were existing once, 2700 houses but now they are all lying in ruins.
Nadol Jain Temple
About 7 miles from Narlai, there is an ancient place called Nadol where once resounded every evening 999 bells indicating 999 temples. There are 10 Jam temples, the famous being that of Lord Padma Prabhu(the sixth Tirthankar), the idol being consecrated in V.S. 1681, (1624 A.D.), by Jaimal, the minister of Maharaja Gaj Singh of Jodhpur. The temple is architecturally beautiful. The popular Jain verses of Laghu Shanti Stavan, were composed here in V.S. 300 (243 A.D.) by Acharya Manadev Suri. Col. Tod, the famous historian of Rajasthan, found ample material from this place including hand-written scriptures (which he took away with him), and the family trees of the popular kings Shrenik and Samprati.
Varkana Jain Temple
From Nadol, at a distance of about 5 miles, famous Jain temple of Varkana is situated. The temple is of Lord Parshvanath having 52 shrines. It was built in V.S. 1211 (1154 A.D.), with hand-some designs of carvings. The place is calm and quiet. There is a Jain Dharmashala for for the pilgrims to stay in. From Rani, this place is only 4 miles. Every year on Posh Badi 10, a fair is held within the precincts of the temple.
Chandrawati Jain Temple
The monumental site is five miles South of Abu Road station on the western railway line in Sirohi district. Prior to the possession of the Parmar rulers in 10-11th Century Chauhans ruled over the territory of Cliandrawali. Dharawarsh was a very brave and glorious ruler of the Parmar dynasty in 12th century. The old name of the place was "Chadaul" where there were about eighteen hundred Jain and Saivite shrines. Adinath temple may have been the best of all others. The temples were built time to time over a period of five hundred years from 5th Century to 10th century, by the Parmar and the Chauhan rulers. The famous historian Col. Tod for the first time in l9th Century, made a Survey of the area and found ruins of 18 marble temple. Even now there exists a village in the name of "Chandoli," which is a variegated term of old chandrawati, in Sirohi district. Several images of Gods and Goddesses hava been found from the monument and a few have been put in the Government Museum, in the premises of the Governor house at Abu. Many other pieces of scuptures have been collected and stored at the site, by the Stale Archaeological department.Chandrawati is now all in ruins along the banks of the river of the Same name, and its past glory is found only in the broken pieces of Kinnaras, Yakshas and Yakshnis, Gandharvas, domes, columns and bracekets.
So far as the mosques are concerned the earliest is at Amber, with a dated epigraph lodgd in it. All without any exception, whether big or small have big or small minarets, a hall, big or small for offering prayers and a pond for washing hands and feet before the visitors go in for offering prayers. About 1314 A.D., Ala-ud-din Khilzi, after a lengthy siege, captured Jalore fort from Kanhaddeo Chauhan, and a three-domed mosque, said to have been built by him, is still in good repair and daily use. There are many historical mosques in whole Marwar area. In 1294 A.D. Jalaluddin Firoz Khilji conquered Mandore. He built a mosque here in which an inscription of that time is still available. In 1544 A.D.
Shershah Suri came to Jodhpur, after conquering Ajmer. He razed the temples at Jodhpur fort to ground and made a mosque there. Maldeo was succeeded by his son Chandrasen who was a brave and self respecting king, but could not win the support of his brothers and other Rajputs. Thus, the ruler became weak and Jodhpur was conquered by Akbar. Akbar's military general Hasan Kuli Khan immediately built a mosque on Jodhpur fort and deployed military on the boundaries.
Ek Meenar Masjid, Gol Takia Masjid, Sodagaran Mohalla Masjid, Jama Masjid, Iqra Masjid, Eidgah Masjid, Jalorigate Masjid, Mohalla Nagauri Silawatan Masjid, Raza Masjid, Madina Masjid, Kayamkhani Masjid and Cheerghar Masjid are prominent mosques of Jodhpur city. In Chhodawat village of Bhopalgarh block of Jodhpur district, there is a 400 year old mosque. It is known as Kawaskhan's mosque. Peer Baba's mosques is situated in Basarli village of Balesar block.
In 13th and 14th century, Nagaur was a prominent seat of Muslim rulers for a long time and many Mosques were built in Nagaur, Deedwana, Ladnu, Makrana and other sorrounding towns. In 1725 A.D., Takhat Singh, prince of Jodhpur became an independent ruler of Nagaur. He dismantled a lot of mosques and made Hindu buildings there. Colonel Todd wrote that he had declared death sentence for anybody who gave 'Ajaan' for Namaaj. The town wall of Nagaur is more than 4 miles in length, between 2 and 5 feet thick, and on the average 17 feet high. The battlements bear many Arabic and Persian inscriptions, obtained from mosques demolished by Maharaja Bakht Singh in order to repair breaches caused in warfare. Of the numerous religious edifices, two Hindu temples and a five-domed mosque are specially noteworthy.
Churches, the religious edifices of the Chritians for offering prayers on Sundays and other religious occasions have a set pattern of architecture. They give place to a conical flat structure in the front with a cross outside and a big hall inside for the congregation to offer prayers.Though these Churches are for Catholic and others and are named after prominent Christian Saints, they conform to a certain style of architecture, which is typically western. Those, which are Catholic are decorated from inside while others are not.
The population of cristian community in Jodhpur state was 207 in 1881, 210 in 1891 and 224 in 1901 A.D. In 1901, 111 cristians were native, 58 Europians and 55 Eurassiana. Out of 111 native cristians, 44 were Presbyterians, 28 Roman Catholics and 27 belonged to the Church of England. The United Free Church of Scotland Missan has had a branch at Jodhpur city since 1885. The State is included in the Anglican see of the Bishop of Nagpur and the Roman Catholic Prefecture of Rajputana; the latter was established in 1891-92; is administered by the Capuchin Fathers of Paris, the Prefect Apostolic having his head quarters at Agra. With the increasing numbers of cristian population, many churches came in to existance. Sumer well Memorial church, Saint Theresa's Church, St. Patricks Church, St. Theresa's Catholic Church, 7th Day Adventist Church, St. Andrews hall and D road church are main church in Jodhpur. Many more churches also exist in Jalore and Nagaur districts.
Sumer well Memorial Church
Sumer well Memorial church Jodhpur was the first church opened in Marwar. It was open on 11 January 1927. It was the first church of Jodhpur. Maharaja Ummed Singh the then ruler of Jodhpur was the chief guest on this occassion. The building of Church is made of Chheetar stone and is a good example of rich architect. The whole Church is constructed in cross shape. Jodhpur Maharaja gave 2500 Pound sterlings. Maharani Badan Kunwari also gave 200 Pound sterlings for construction work. The build work was done under the supervision of Railway engineer E.E.V. Temperl. Dr. Theodor Arm dedicated this church to Doctor Sumer well.
Saint Theresa's Church Jodhpur
Saint Theresos Church was founded in 1934 A.D. It is a Catholic church. Its plan was prepared by famous architect G.A. Goldstra. The whole building of church is made of Chheetar stone. The cruce of church is standing in the left side of its entry gate, it was built in the memory of James Walston, the then prime minister of Jodhpur state. Father Zentilius was the first Padari of church. Maharaja Ummed Singh and Maharani Badan Kunwari donated a handsome amount to the church for its construction work.