There are 5 ancient temples within the Kumbhariya temple complex. They are thought to have been created between 1050AD to 1250AD. Kumbhariya was an important Jain pilgrim center during the Chaulukya period. Ancient name of this place is believed to be Arasana as there were many marble (આરસ in Gujarati, Aras) mines in the vicinity. It was named Kumbhariya after the Mewad King Kumbha Rajputa. It is very close to the Ambaji tirth.
Researchers suggest that 360 temples existed in the region during the 4th century, but most were destroyed by natural calamities and only five remain as follows:
- Mahavira temple was built in 1062AD. This is the earliest Jain temple.
- Shantinath temple was built in 1082AD. In one of ceilings the figure of Cakresvari is labeled as Vaisnavi.
- Parshvanath temple was built in 1094AD by the Chalukyan king Jayasimha Siddharaja.
- Neminath temple was built a little later in 1136AD during the reign of Jayasimha Siddharaja.
- Sambhavanatha temple was built in 1232AD.
In the 14th century during the onslaught of Alauddin Khalji the idols were removed and hidden for safety which to this day have not been located. In the 17th century under the inspiration of Pujya Acharya Vijaydevasuriji the temples were renovated and now the temples are managed by the Anandji Kalyanji Pedhi.
The temples outwardly appear very simplistic but as soon as you enter them, they are exquisite with ornate decorations on the pillars and the ceilings. Lives of Tirthankaras are intricately scultpured on the ceilings. The architecture is commensurate to the famous Delwara temples in Mount Abu. It is no wonder that many believe that Shri Vimal Shah who built a temple at Delawara in Abu also built a temple here. Click this link for a detailed book on the Kumbharia temples.