Jain heritage in Orissa

There are some indications that the 23rd Tirthankar, Parsvanath Swami, preached Jainism in Kalinga in the 7th century BC and king Karakanda was converted by him. The king built Karkanda Vihar for the propagation of Jainism and installed in it the image of the 2nd Tirthakar, Ajitnath.

The jain preacher Mahavir Swami visited Kalinga to propagate the reformed version of Jainism and installed the Vijay Chakra on the Kumari (Udaygiri) hill, which became a famous pilgrimage center along with Pithunda Nagar where the image of Rishavnath was installed after consecration. Jainism seems to have reached its zenith in the state during the reign of Emperor Kharvela who made it the state religion.