Next come the mercantile castes, mostly belonging to the Jain sect; these are followed by the powerful cultivating tribes, such as the Jats and Gujars, and then come the so-called aboriginal tribes, chief of whom are the Minas, Bhils and Meos.
The Lat Masjid, or Pillar Mosque, was built by Dilawar Khan in 1405 out of the remains of Jain temples.
The consequence of all these changes of dynasty was that Ahmedabad became the meeting-place of Hindu, Mahommedan and Jain architecture.
One of the finest buildings is the modern Jain temple of Hathi Singh outside the Delhi gate, which was built only in 1848, and is a standing monument to the endurance of Jain architectural art The external porch, between two circular towers, is of great magnificence, most elaborately ornamented, and leads to an outer court, with sixteen cells on either side.
The old town has a threefold interest: first as a very ancient seat of Jain worship; secondly for its example of palace architecture of the best Hindu period (1486-1516); and thirdly as an historic fortress.
An older Jain temple has been used as a mosque.
The most striking part of the Jain remains at Gwalior is a series of caves or rock-cut sculptures, excavated in the rock on all sides, and numbering nearly a hundred, great and small.
An ancient Jain temple, now converted into a Mahommedan mosque, is situated on the lower slope of the Taragarh hill.
At the western extremity, Mount Abu, famous for its exquisite Jain temples, rises, as a solitary outpost of the AravalIi hills 5650 ft.
On the extreme east, Mount Parasnath - like Mount Abu on the extreme west, sacred to Jain rites - rises to 4400 ft.
Mahommedan (62,458,077), Buddhist (9,476,759), Sikh R (2,195,339), Jain (1,334,148), Christian (2,923,241), Parsee (94,190), and Animist (8,584,148).
In Bengal many of the upper castes of Sudras have devoted themselves to general trade; but there again the Jain Marwaris from Rajputana occupy the front rank.
The Jain portion of this community is very wealthy.
They are built of white marble, and are pre-eminent alike for their beauty and as typical specimens of Jain architecture in India.
It is one of the oldest as well as one of the most complete examples of Jain architecture known.
Of these the old Jain temple, situated in a hamlet some 2 m.
Out of the large sections of its population, Hindu, Mahommedan, Parsee, Jain and Christian, the Parsees are one of the smallest and yet the most influential.
Parswa is said, in the Jain chronology, to have been born two hundred years before Maha-vira (that is, about 760 B.C.); but the only conclusion that it is safe to draw from this statement is that Parswa was considerably earlier in point of time than Mahavira.
Very little reliance can be placed upon the details reported in the Jain books concerning the previous Jinas in the list of the twenty-four Tirthankaras.
The curious will find in them many reminiscences of Hindu and Buddhist legend; and the antiquary must notice the distinctive symbols assigned to each, in order to recognize the statues of the different Jinas, otherwise identical, in the different Jain temples.
The latter have only as yet been traced, and that doubtfully, as far back as the 5th century after Christ; the former are almost certainly the same as the Niganthas, who are referred to in numerous passages of the Buddhist Pali Pitakas, and must therefore be at least as old as the 6th century B.C. In many of these passages the Niganthas are mentioned as contemporaneous with the Buddha; and details enough are given concerning their leader Nigantha Nata-putta (that is, the Nigantha of the Jnatrika clan) to enable us to identify him, without any doubt, as the same person as the Vaddhamana Maha-vira of the Jain books.
This remarkable confirmation, from the scriptures of a rival religion, of the Jain tradition is conclusive as to the date of Maha-vira.
The Jain scriptures themselves, though based on earlier traditions, are not older in their present form than the 5th century of our era.
Like the Buddhist scriptures, the earlier Jain books are written in a dialect of their own, the so-called Jaina Prakrit; and it was not till between A.D.
Professor Jacobi has edited and translated the Kalpa Sutra, containing a life of the founder of the Jain order; but this can scarcely be older than the 5th century of our era.
The first part of it, about 50 pages, is a very old document on the Jain views as to conduct, and the remainder consists of appendices, added at different times, on the same subject.
The older part may go back as early as the 3rd century B.C., and it sets out more especially the Jain doctrine of tapas or self-mortification, in contradistinction to the Buddhist view, which condemned asceticism.
The statues of the Jinas in the Jain temples, some of which are of enormous size, are still always quite naked; but the Jains themselves have abandoned the practice, the Digambaras being sky-clad at meal-time only, and the Svetambaras being always completely clothed.
The Jain laity - the Sravakas, or disciples - do not adopt it.
The Jain views of life were, in the most important and essential respects, the exact reverse of the Buddhist views.
The two orders, Buddhist and Jain, were not only, and from the first, independent, but directly opposed the one to the other.
It was by suppressing, through such self-torture, the influence on his soul of all sensations that the Jain could obtain salvation.
Burgess has an exhaustive account of the Jain Cave Temples (none older than the 7th century) in Fergusson and Burgess's Cave Temples in India (London, 1880).
It has an ancient fortress, dating apparently from 1519, covering about loo acres, and surrounded by a ditch; within it are two interesting Jain temples.