Jainism in Pakistan

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A Jain Temple at Sirkap, part of the Indo-Greek kingdom, near modern day Taxila, Punjab, Pakistan

Jainism in Pakistan has an extensive heritage and history, although Jains form a very small community in the country today. While many Jains have claimed there is evidence for the presence of Jainism in the Indus Valley Civilization which existed in Pakistan and northwestern India, there is no definitive evidence verified by archaeologists.


Memorial shrine of Vijayanandsuri in Gujranwala. Now used as a police station of Sabzi Mandi area.

Several ancient Jain shrines are scattered across the country.[1] Baba Dharam Dass was a holy man whose tomb is located near the bank of a creek called (Deoka or Deokay or Degh) near Chawinda Phatic, behind the agricultural main office in Pasrur, near the city of Sialkot in Punjab, Pakistan. Another prominent Jain monk of the region was Vijayanandsuri of Gujranwala, whose samadhi (memorial shrine) still stands in the city.[1]


Main article: Bhabra

Bhabra (or Bhabhra) is an ancient merchant community from Punjab which mainly follows Jainism.[2][3]

The original home region of the Bhabras is now in Pakistan. While practically all the Bhabras have left Pakistan, many cities still have sections named after Bhabras.

  • Sialkot: All the Jains here were Bhabra and mainly lived in Sialkot and Pasrur. The Serai Bhabrian and Bhabrian Wala localities are named after them. There were several Jain temples here before partition of India.[4]
  • Pasrur: Pasrur was developed by a Jain zamindar who was granted land by Raja Maan Singh. Baba Dharam Dass belonged to the zamindar family who was murdered on a trading visit.[5]
  • Gujranwala: Two old Jain libraries managed by Lala Karam Chand Bhabra were present here which were visited by Ramkrishna Gopal Bhandarkar.[6]
  • Lahore: There were Jain temples at localities still called Thari Bhabrian and Gali Bhabrian.[7]
  • Rawalpindi: Bhabra Bazar is named after them.
  • Mianwali: A well known cast still present in majority there nowadays.

Some also lived in Sindh.[8]

Jain temples[edit]

Ancient Jain temple located at the foot of Karoonjhar Mountains, Nagarparkar, Tharparkar, Sindh, Pakistan



See also: Nagarparkar
Ancient Jain temple located at the foot of Karoonjhar Mountains, Nagarparkar, Tharparkar, Sindh, Pakistan

Jain community[edit]

Prior to 1947, there were small communities of Jains in the Punjab and Sindh regions. Most of them migrated to India after the partition of India.[16]

Notable people[edit]

Prominent Jains from Pakistan (includes pre-partition Jains):


  1. ^ a b Khalid, Haroon (4 September 2016). "Sacred geography: Why Hindus, Buddhist, Jains, Sikhs should object to Pakistan being called hell". Dawn. Retrieved 4 September 2016. 
  2. ^ Final Report of Revised Settlement, Hoshiarpur District, 1879-84 By J. A. L. Montgomery, p. 35
  3. ^ Census of India, 1901 By India Census Commissioner, Sir Herbert Hope Risley, p. 137-140
  4. ^ Gazetteer of the Sialkot District, 1920 - Page 51
  5. ^ Baba Dharam Dass Tomb in Pasrur
  6. ^ The two Jain Libraries at Gujranwala by Ramkrishna Gopal Bhandarkar in A Catalogue of Sanskrit Manuscripts in the Library of the Deccan College, by Deccan College Library, Franz Kielhorn- 1884 -- Page 12
  7. ^ "jainrelicsinpakistan - abafna". Abafna.googlepages.com. Retrieved 2012-04-20. 
  8. ^ A gazetteer of the province of Sindh by Albert William Hughes - 1876, - Page 224
  9. ^ TEPA to remodel roads leading to Jain Mandir Chowk
  10. ^ Ghauri, Aamir (5 December 2002). "Demolishing history in Pakistan". BBC News. 
  11. ^ Wikimapia
  13. ^ A ravaged Jain temple corroding away with time, Daily Times (Pakistan)
  14. ^ Malaiya, Yashwant K (18 May 2012). "As Mumbai Jain temple wraps up celebrations, silence shrouds its predecessor in Pakistan". Express Tribune. Retrieved 19 May 2012. 
  15. ^ a b List of Jain temples in Pakistan, Jain World
  16. ^ Kaminsky, Arnold P.; Long, Roger D. (2011). India Today: An Encyclopedia of Life in the Republic. ABC-CLIO. p. 372. ISBN 978-0-31337-462-3. 

External links[edit]