Jain Communities

This article covers Jain Communities around the world.

The Jains in India are the last direct representatives of the ancient Śramaṇa tradition. They follow Jainism, the religion taught by the twenty-four propagators of faith called tirthankaras. The total Jain population is estimated to be 4+ million people worldwide.


See also: Sangha

Jainism has a fourfold order of muni (male monastics), aryika (female monastics), Śrāvaka (layman) and sravika (laywoman). This order is known as a sangha.

Cultural influence

The Jains have the highest literacy rate in India, 94.1.% compared with the national average of 65.38%. They have the highest female literacy rate, 90.6.% compared with the national average of 54.16%.

It is also believed that the Jains have the highest per capita income in India.

The sex ratio in the 0-6 age group is the second lowest for Jains (870 females per 1000 males).

Ranakpur Jain Temple Rajasthan India Heritage

Ranakpur Jain Temple Rajasthan


There are about 110 different Jain communities in India. They can be divided into six groups based on historical and current residence.

  • Oswal
  • Khandelwal
  • Varaiya
  • Agarwal
  • Porwad
  • Bagherwal
  • Humad
  • Barar
  • Gupta
  • Jaiswal Jain
  • Mahatma Jain
  • Palliwal
  • Veerwal

Major Jain communities:

  • Jain Bunt are a Jain community from Karnataka, India.
  • Jain Komati is a small community scattered all over South and Central India and patrons of many Jain Institutions.
  • Saraks is a community in Jharkhand, Bihar, Bengal, and Orissa. They have been followers of Jainism since ancient time.
  • Porwal community that originated in southern Rajasthan, India.
  • Parwar is a major Jain community from the Bundelkhand region, which is largely in Madhya Pradesh and Lalitpur District, Jhansi.
  • Agrawal Jain of Hisar, Haryana.
  • Bhabra of Punjab is an ancient merchant community from Punjab region which mainly follows Jainism.
  • Sarawagi or Khandelwali originated from Khandela, a historical town in northern Rajasthan.
  • Bagherwal from Baghera (currently known as Ajmer district) a princely state in Rajasthan, a community of Digambar sect.
  • Shrimal, originally from Rajasthan, Shrimal town in southern Rajasthan. The Shrimal (Srimal) Jain are part of the Oswal merchant and minister caste that is found primarily in the north of India.
  • Oswal are a Jain community with origins in the Marwar region of Rajasthan and Tharparkar district in Sindh.
  • Jaiswal are mainly located in the Gwalior and Agra region.
  • Navnat emerged as a result of blending of several smaller Jain communities in East Africa as well as in Gujarat itself in early 20th century.
  • Veerwal is a Jain community in the Mewar region in Rajasthan, India.
  • Humad is the name of an ancient Jain community originally from Gujarat and Rajasthan, India.
  • Varaiya is a Jain community with origins in the Madhya Pradesh, India.

Central India

  • Jainism in Bundelkhand
  • Jainism in Madhya Pradesh

Western India

  • Jainism in Gujarat (Gujarati Jain)
  • Jainism in Maharashtra (Marathi Jain)
    • Jainism in Mumbai

Northern India

  • Jainism in Delhi
  • Jainism in Uttar Pradesh
  • Jainism in Rajasthan (Marwari Jain)

Southern India

  • Jainism in Karnataka
  • Jainism in Kerala
  • Jainism in North Karnataka
  • Jainism in Tamil Nadu (Tamil Jain)

Eastern India

  • Jainism in Bengal
  • Jainism in Nagaland
Jain Center of Greater Phoenix (JCGP), Phoenix, Arizona

Jain Center of Greater Phoenix (JCGP), Phoenix, Arizona


Virchand Gandhi made a presentation of Jainism at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago in 1893, marking one of the earliest appearances of Jainism outside India. The World Jain Congress was held in Leicester in 1988.

  • Jainism in Europe
  • Jainism in America
  • Jainism in Canada
  • Jainism in East Africa – One of the oldest Jain overseas diaspora. Their number was estimated at 45,000 at the independence of the East African countries in the early 1960s. Most members of the diaspora belonged to Gujarati speaking Halari Visa Oshwal Jain community originally from the Jamnagar area of Saurashtra.


The Jain population in India according to 2011 census is 0.37% i.e. 4,451,753 (Males 2,278,097; Females 2,173,656) out of the total population of India 1,210,854,977 (males 623,270,258; females 587,584,719). The tabular representation of Jain population in the major states of India as per 2011 Census data released by the government is:

S. No. State Persons (total) Persons (rural) Persons (urban) Male (total) Male (rural) Male (urban) Female (total) Female (rural) Female (urban)
1 India 4,451,753 904,809 3,546,944 2,278,097 467,577 1,810,520 2,173,656 437,232 1,736,424
2 Maharashtra 1,400,349 269,959 1,130,390 713,157 140,476 572,681 687,192 129,483 557,709
3 Rajasthan 622,023 166,322 455,701 317,614 84,649 232,965 304,409 81,673 222,736
4 Gujarat 579,654 44,118 535,536 294,911 22,357 272,554 284,743 21,761 262,982
5 Madhya Pradesh 567,028 109,699 457,329 291,937 57,431 234,506 275,091 52,268 222,823
6 Karnataka 440,280 220,362 219,918 225,544 113,598 111,946 214,736 106,764 107,972
7 Uttar Pradesh 213,267 30,144 183,123 110,994 15,852 95,142 102,273 14,292 87,981
8 Delhi 166,231 192 166,039 85,605 94 85,511 80,626 98 80,528
9 Tamil Nadu 89,265 10,084 79,181 45,605 5,044 40,561 43,660 5,040 38,620

It is likely that the actual population of Jains may be significantly higher than the census numbers.

The Jain population in United States is estimated to be about 150,000 to 200,000.

In Japan,there are more than 5,000 families who have converted to Jainism and is growing faster there.

See also

Adapted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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