Jainism in the United Kingdom

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British Jains
Total population
Indian Languages

Adherents of Jainism first arrived in the United Kingdom (UK) in the 19th century. The UK, mainly England, has since become a center of the Jain diaspora.


In 1873 Hermann Jacobi encountered Jain texts in London. He later visited India to further study and translate some of them. Later during 1891-1901, M.K. Gandhi in London corresponded with Shrimad Rajchandra regarding questions raised by missionaries.

Champat Rai Jain was in England during 1892-1897, to study law. He established the Rishabh Jain Lending library 1930. Later he translated several Jain texts into English.[2]

During 1906-1910, Jugmandar Lal Jaini was at Oxford as a law student. In 1909 he created the Jain Literature Society in London together with F. W. Thomas and H. Warren.[3]

In 1949 The World Jaina Mission was founded in London, by M. McKay, W. H. Talbot, F. Mansell, and Mrs. K. P. Jain.

After the independence of East African colonies from Britain in early 1960s, Jains of Gujarati origin who had been in the colonies for decades started moving to UK. This process accelerated after the 1972 Idi Amin expulsion of Asians from Uganda.

Jain Samaj Leicester[edit]

In 1973 the Jain Samaj Leicester was formed.[4] In 1979 an old church building on Oxford Street, in the heart of Leicester, was bought and named the Jain Centre. In 1980, the Jain Samaj was expanded as a European body.

In 1982, the Jain Samaj opened an office in London. The All India (Overseas) Jinalaya Samiti was created to complete the temple according to the plans drawn by the architects from Leicester, Bombay and Ahmedabad.

In 1983, on 10 November, Shilanyas ceremony (the laying of the foundation stones) for the first fully consecrated Jain temple in the western world, was performed. In 1984, on 14 December, the Anjanshalaka ceremony was carried at Pali for the images of Shantinath, Mahavir and Parswanath. In 1985, on 25 August, the above images were placed in the Jain Centre, Leicester. In 1988, on 8 July, the images were entered in the Garbagriha (permanent place of adobe) and the Pratistha ceremony was celebrated for 16 days from 8 July 1988 to 23 July 1988. MAHAVIR FOUNDATION Mahavir Foundation was registered as a Charity in England and Wales (no 296175). It operates a beautiful temple in Kenton, Middlesex (London). It has consecrated images of Mahavir Swami, Parshvanath, Aadinath, Simandhar Swami and Munisuvrat Swami. It also has Padmavati Mata and Gautam Swami. There ia aseparate shrine of Manibhadra Veer, Ghantakarna Veer and Nakoda Bhairavji

British Jain temples and institutes[edit]

  • Leicester Jain Centre[5]
  • Jain Samaj Leicester and Temple
  • Jain Samaj Wellingborough and temple
  • Jain Samaj Thornton Heath (Croydon)
  • Jain Samaj Potters Bar - Jain temple and community centre.
  • Kailash Giri Jain temple, London
  • Mahavir Foundation temple (Kenton derasar), 557 Kenton road,Kenton,Middlesex
  • Shri Mahavir Swami Jain Temple, Harrow, London
  • Oshwal Centre, Hertfordshire. First on virgin ground in Europe.
  • Institute of Jainology (IOJ) at Greenford, London.[6]

Photo gallery[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Religions - Jainism: Jainism at a glance". BBC. Retrieved 2013-09-14. 
  2. ^ "on www.jainsamaj.org ( Jainism, Ahimsa News, Religion, Non-Violence, Culture, Vegetarianism, Meditation, India. )". Jainsamaj.org. Retrieved 2013-09-14. 
  3. ^ "Microsoft Word - The Invention of Jainism _without photo_" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-04-21. 
  4. ^ "Jain Samaj Europe". Jaincentre.com. Retrieved 2012-04-21. 
  5. ^ The Jain Centre, Leicester. Retrieved 29 October 2008.
  6. ^ Kurt Titze, Klaus Bruhn, Jainism: a pictorial guide to the religion of non-violence, p. 264

Further reading[edit]

  • The Western Order of Jainism by Nathubhai Shah of London (Jain Journal Vol XXX1, No 1 July 1996)
  • Jainism A Way of Life by Vinod Kapashi
  • Jains and Their Religion in America: A Social Survey by Dr. Bhuvannendra Kumar (Jain Journal Vol XXX1, No 1 July 1996)
  • JAIN eLibrary attempts to provide an increasingly complete digitized collection of Jain Scriptures, dictionaries, encyclopedias, articles, commentaries, photographs, and other materials related to Jain life.