The Lohanipur torso is a damaged statue of polished sandstone, dated to the 3rd century BCE ~ 2nd century CE, found in Lohanipur village, a central Division of Patna, ancient Pataliputra, Bihar, India.[1] There are some claims however for a later date (not earlier than the Kushana period), as well as of Graeco-Roman influence in the sculpting.[2]

Lohanipur torso
Lohanipur torso.jpg
Lohanipur torso, Patna Museum.
MaterialPolished sandstone
Period/culture3rd century BCE ~ 2nd century CE
Discovered25°36′23″N 85°09′16″E / 25.606366°N 85.154401°E / 25.606366; 85.154401Coordinates: 25°36′23″N 85°09′16″E / 25.606366°N 85.154401°E / 25.606366; 85.154401
PlaceLohanipur, Patna, Bihar, India.
Present locationPatna Museum, India
Lohanipur is located in India

K. P. Jayaswal and M. A. Dhaky have regarded this to be the earliest Jain sculpture found.[3]


The 2-foot torso is one of the two found in 1937 in a subarb of Patna. The smaller torso is one foot tall.[4]. Historian K.P. Jayaswal reported that the excavation of the site revealed a Mauryan coin and a number of Mauryan bricks from a square shaped temple, suggesting the torso is from the Mauryan period.


The Lohanipur torso is thought to represent a Jaina Tirthankara.[5] The statue is an outstanding example of Mauryan polish, an advanced polishing technique essentially characteristic of the Mauryan Empire, which almost fell out of use after that period, although, if it is of a later date, it might suggest that polishing techniques survived the Mauryan era.[6]

Comparison with harappa TorsoEdit

The Lohanipur torso bears a striking resemblance with the Harappan jasper torso excavated in the 1928/29 season by Madho Sarup Vats, to the south of the "Great Granary" at Harappa. This ought to belong to the Mature Harappan period based on the dating of the site strata, but its date is questioned or disputed by scholars such as the British archaeologists Mortimer Wheeler or John Marshall, who suggested a historical period, probably Gupta (circa 500 CE).[7][8] In 2002, the anthropologist Gregory Possehl commented that "it seems reasonable" that the piece belongs to the Mature Harappan period, exhibiting "the heights to which Indus artists could reach".[9] In that case, the Harappa torso would date to 2300–1750 BCE.[10]

Harappa male torso from various angles.
The Lohanipur torse from various angles

See alsoEdit




  • Honour, Hugh; Fleming, John (2005). A World History of Art. Laurence King Publishing. ISBN 9781856694513.
  • Possehl, Gregory L. (2002). The Indus Civilization: A Contemporary Perspective. Rowman Altamira. ISBN 9780759101722.
  • McIntosh, Jane (2008). The Ancient Indus Valley: New Perspectives. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 9781576079072.
  • Pereira, Jose (2001). Monolithic Jinas. Motilal Banarsidass. ISBN 9788120823976.
  • Shah, Umakant Premanand (1995). Studies in Jaina Art and Iconography and Allied Subjects in Honour of Dr. U.P. Shah. Abhinav Publications. ISBN 9788170173168.
  • Olivelle, Patrick (2006). Between the Empires: Society in India 300 BCE to 400 CE. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199775071.