The prevalence of Jainism in the past in the Northeast region comprising seven states viz. Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura and Manipur is very scanty.
Jainism due to some unknown reason could not flourish in the vast stretch of the north east region. Till date large number of monuments/sites have been reported from northeast region belonging to Buddhist and Hindus vis-à-vis of tribal monument and artifacts but except the solitary example of rock cut figures of Tirthankars existing inside the natural caves at Suryapahar in the Goal Para District of Assam no other Jain remain is reported, so far .Even from lirerary sources no known single king is found to have learning towards Jainism though Pragjyotishpur played a commendable role as an important trade center on the bank of the Brahmaputra from remote past. The ancient site of Ambari when excavated has yielded varieties of antiquities and sculptures both on stone/Bronze and terracotta, but not a single object connected with Jainism was found there.
This apparently speaks that Jainism has not got any footing in the northeast region throughout its long history, as no Jain edifices or stray sculptures or art pieces are discovered, nor any ruling dynasties ever referred anything about the existence of Jain community or Jainism in the region. Reasons may be geographical location of the northeast, the prevalence of different tribal culture with various dialects and phonetics, dense forest, excessive rainfall, might have acted as barrier or hindrances for the spread of the religion in northeast.
Thanks to the following g of Rasbhanath who have left their foot print in the region in 9th-10th Century A.D. by way of carving three images of the said Trithankar in two separate caves on the southeast corner of the Suryapahar range of hills. On the foothill two sculptures, one smaller in low relief and one life size in bold relief carved depicting Adinatha or Rasbhanatha, the 3rd one on the upper region of the hill slope at about 2000mt. height from the 1st cave. In that shallow cave one more Trithankar is also carved but seated posture in meditation pose was discovered in 1994. The details of those sculptures are as follows:
On the extreme southeastern corner of the Suryapahar range of hills a natural cave exists, formed due to fall of huge boulders in the unknown past. The caveis the largest one having two compartments one at front facing east another at west side of the 1st one faces north with common passage. The entrance of the caves is about 2mts., east west alignment is 6mts. , and north south 8mts. Average height of the cave is 3mts approximately. The adjacent cave, on west is also having equal inner space but is devoid of any carving.
Towards the right side on the wall of the cave, two images of Jain Tirthankars are carved in bold relief. The eastern most one is smaller in size and shape Ht. I mt. and width 35cms. The Tirthankar is shown standing in usual samapada, pose, two arms hanging downward below knee level.
The face is badly eroded due to weathering effect. It is having elongated ears (Lamba karna) and shown in Kayotsarga posture and standing naked.
At the back of the image an oval Prabhavali is also carved. Above prabhavali some other carving was initiated but was left incomplete,possibly attempted to carve a Torana or canopy/chatra (Umbrella). At the bottom part below his feet a bull is carved in east west orientation with upward head and is in seated posture, indicates the Tirthankar to be Rasabhnatha. Just about 10cms. Further west to Rsabhnatha one life size image is also carved in standing pose with usual hand pose(Kayotsarga) hanging on either side of the body with fingers bending little upwards. The total height of the image including ashana is 1.95cm. width 75cm. At the back of head an oval hallow or Prabhavali is also carved. It is having Lambakarna and Usnisha on the top of the head with ringlets of hair suggest the Mahapurusalaksana.
Standing erect (Digmabara) without any cloth on body, the image is also eroded badly due to weathering effect. Both the images are facing towards south. The ashana is carved in the form of a square platform with bottom part extended on both the sides in a slanting form like that of a base, designed like that of a Bronze pedestal often we come across with metal images. In the central part of the pedestal one chakra is also carved having 13 spokes with central circular knob (Dharma chakra) as the symbol of Adinatha or Rsabhanatha.
Just to the further west of the bigger Tirthankar one unfinished figure of Ganesha is carved with right and left hands and a potbelly. The carving is left incomplete and its size in (63 cm * 58cm).