Among the thousands of Jaina images found throughout India, those from Mathura produced during the Kuṣāṇa period are unique, for they alone contain representations of unclothed Jaina ascetics holding a single small piece of cloth in such a way as to cover their nudity. These curious figures cannot be identified with monks of the present-day Jaina sects of the Digambaras, who practise total nudity, or of the Śvetāmbaras, who wear two long pieces of unstitched white cloth wrapped around their bodies and occasionally a white blanket over their left shoulders. The veteran art-historian, the late Dr. U. P. Shah, in Aspects of Jaina art and architecture briefly mentions these figures, noting that ‘nowhere in the above references from Śvetāmbara as well as Digambara texts do we come across a reference to those figures on the siṃhāsanaof a Jina which we find in a number of sculptures of the Kuṣāṇa period from the Kaṅkāli Tīlā.’ Subsequently, in Jaina-Rūpa-Maṇḍano, he calls these figures ardhaphālakas (monks with partial covering) and speculates that these figures might be Yāpanīya monks, another Jaina sect that is now extinct, and states that these figures need further investigation. In addition to Shah, N. P. Joshi has also discussed these ardhaphālaka images. He states that ‘all the monks seen in the bas-reliefs, except one known to me, seem to belong to the Ardhaphālaka sect. … Besides the monks seen in the bas-reliefs, those hovering in the air (vidyā cāraṇas) or seen on some of the śilāpaṭṭāsare all Ardhaphālakas. This suggests that during the pre-Christian and early Christian centuries a large number of Jainas at Mathura followed this sect’.