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Umta

Umta is a village in the Veesnagar taluk of Mehsana District in Gujrat.

Jain Temples – There are 2 Jain temples at Umta alsong with an archaeological site called as Rajgadhi Timbo.

Rajgadhi Timbo & Archaeological Excavations – This was the site of a huge Jain temple. It is believed that it might have been attacked by Alauddin Khilji’s generals Ulugh Khan and Nusrat Khan in 1298 A.D. during the invasion of Gujarat during the rule of the Solanki-Vaghela dynasties. Archaeologist, M.V.Joshi opines that “after repulsing the first attack, in which the upper portion of the temple was destroyed, the caretakers must have buried it in a layer of lime”.
After 250 years, Darbar Ummatsinh Rana said to have built the Rajgadhi (royal house) on the mound. In 1726 A.D., the Rajgadhi was destroyed in a fire when the Marathas led by Kuntaji Bande burned down the village. In 1890, Sayajirao Gaekwad of Baroda State built a school on the mound. In 1903, three Jain idols were discovered near Rajgadhi Timba. A farmer again discovered two more idols in 1963 which are now in Kunthunath Jain temple in the village.
In 1985, the back portion of the temple was discovered while demolishing the dilapidated school building for new construction. Looking at this the Gujarat State Archeology Department (GSAD) conducted preliminary excavation in 1984-85. Later on, GSAD resumed excavation in 1988-89. This excavation revealed structural remains of the temple, a bastion of bricks, and few brick walls. GSAD collected some artifacts and stopped the excavation a few days later due to lack of funds. Since the excavation work was stopped with the permission of the Mehsana district collector, the Digambar and Swetambara Jains of Umta united and resumed the excavation in 1993. This was stopped as a dispute arose regarding the ownership of the idols. The dispute was resolved in 1999 due to the intervention of Digambar Jain Muni 108 Sri Nirbhayasagrji Maharaj, village heads, and excavation was restarted in 2001. About 74 Jain idols were unearthed during the excavations. Based on the mutual agreement the Digambar and Swethambar Jains took custody of 37 Jain idols each.

Period – The exact date of construction of this temple is non-conclusive. However, as per inscriptions in Prakrit language found at the bottom of some of the idols say they were carved on the orders of King Jayasinh Umat and his consorts Shia and Sundari in Vikram Samvat 1240 of the Hindu calendar, which corresponds to the period between 1200 A.D. and 1300 A.D.

Adinath Digambar Jain Temple – Sri Adinath Digambar Jain temple at Umta is under the administration of Digambar Jains and was constructed under the guidance of Muni Sri Nirbhayasagarji Maharaj and has also been called Nirbhayadhama. This temple has a brown coloured newly carved idol of Tirthankar Adinath in Padmasana as the main deity. Along with these the ancient Jain idols recovered during the excavation at Rajgadhi Timbo are also seen in the temple.

New idols at the temple – Newly carved idols of Tirthankar Munisuvrata, Parshwanath, Chakreshwari Yakshi, Padmavati Yakshi, and Saraswati are also installed in different vedhis of the Adinath Jain temple temple.

Location – Umta is located at a distance of 8 km from Veesnagar and 35 km from the district centre Mehsana.