- Jainism believes in the existence of 24 tirthankaras.
- Rishabhdeva (1st Tirthankara): born in Ayodhya.
- Neminath or Arishtanemi (22nd Tirthankara): On his wedding day, he heard cries of animals being sacrificed for feast, upon this he left his marriage, freed the animals and renounced the world to become a monk. He had dark-bluish skin complexion like Krishna. Attained moksha on Girnar Hills near Junagadh.
- Parsvanath (23rd Tirthankara): Son of King Ashvasena of Varanasi.
- Yajurveda mentions three tirthankaras: Rishabha, Ajitanatha, Arishtanemi.
- Mahavir is the 24th and last tirthankara and the founder of Jainism. Mahavira is referred as Nigantha Nataputta in Buddhist texts. Niganthas means free from bonds. He was born in Kundagrama, Vaishali and passed away in Pavapuri. He was related to Magadhan king Bimbasara by means of matrimonial alliances. He gave his first sermon from Vipulachal hill near Rajgriha.
Contemporary Kings Who Followed Mahavir
|Bimbisara, Ajatshatru||Magadha king|
Later Rulers Who Adopted Jainism
|Kalinga king Kharvela||Hathigumpha inscription|
|Rashtrakuta king Amoghvarsha||Wrote Ratnamalika|
- Chandana daughter of Champa king became the first woman to be admitted to Jain sangha.