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Kirti Stambha is a 12th-century tower situated at Chittor Fort in Chittorgarh town of Rajasthan, India. The 22 metre high tower was built by a Jain merchant Jeeja Bhagerwala during the reign of Rawal Kumar Singh (c. 1179-1191) for the glory of Jainism.
Chittor has a history going front several centuries. It was an ancient centre of Jain tradition. Chittor is adjacent to the ancient city of Madhyamika. The Jain inscriptions at Mathura from the Kushana period (1st to 3rd centuries) mention a "Majjhimilla" branch of the "Kottiya" gana, indicating that it was a major Jain centre. The famous Acharya Haribhadra Suri (6th century) was born in Chittor and wrote "Dhurtopakhyana" there.
There was a scholar Elacharya at Chittor from whom Vira-senacharya (9th century) learned the ancient Shat-khandagama and Kashayapahuda. Vira-senacharya later wrote the famous "Dhavala" and "Jayadhavala" on the basis of these books.
It was the residence of Jinavallabha who propagated the Vidhimarga in the 12th century. From the 15th to 17th centuries, it was the seat of a Bhattaraka. The tower is built in the Solanki style. It is 30 feet wide at the base and narrows down to 15 feet at the top.
Three inscriptions have been found that mention Jija of Bagherwal community as the builder of the stambha. One of the inscriptions mention Dharmakirti, the disciple of Shubhakirti, who was disciple of Vasantkirti. According to the Balatkara Gana Pattavali, Dharmakirti headed the patta during 1224-1257 AD. Thus the structure dates from the 13th century, although an unrelated Jain inscription of 896 AD was found in the vicinity. Kirti Stambha is older than another tower in the same fort, known as the Vijay Stambha (Tower of failure).
- Jain Shilalekh Samgrah, Part 5, Vidyadhar Johrapurkar, Bharatiya Jnanapith, 1971
- Niraj Jain, Chittor Darshan, Vira Nivan Granth prakasha Samiti, 1980
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