TEMPLES AT SHRAVANABELAGOLA
SHRAVANABELAGOLA > TEMPLES AT
occupies a unique and prominent place as an abode of innumerable Jain
temples of Digambara sect in south India since 5th century. In addition
to its archeological and religious importance the artistic and
antiquarian richness of the place has merited it immensly. It has
derived its name Belagola from two Kannada words bel means
white and Kola means pond. The name Belagola
is been found in an inscription of A.D. 650 and also A.D. 800. Hence the
word Shravanabelagola means the place of white pond where in Shravanas
or Jain ascetics live. It is a picturesque place lying between two rocky
hills Indragiri and Chandragiri. It is situated about 13 Kms from
Channarayapatna taluk of Hassan district. Shravanabelagola abounds in
inscriptions denoting Ganga, Rashtrakuta, Hoysala, Vijayanagar and
Mysore Wodeyars reign of the place. The shrines,
canopies, monuments, tanks, Nishadi stones, manasthambhas and other
relics of the past have incessantly carved the message of Jainism through
out the land from time to time. It has enjoyed both the royal patronage
and the common-folk alike. These have been maintained in good state and
preserving heritage. Hence it is reckoned as one of the flourishing
centre of Jain pilgrimage. Further more the historians, art lovers and
research sacholars are see thronging at the place very frequently. The
near by places such as Kambadahalli Jinanathapura and Halebelagola also
bear the testimony as the satellite centers of the religion. The temples
are beckoned with cultural niche in terms of tradition of sculpture and
architecture. The temples situated on the top of Indragiri and
Chandragiri Hills, in the township and around Shravanabelagola narrate
the history of the place in a lucid way. These are built mainly out of
granite stone available in the place. Where as the temples constructed
during the Hoysala period are mainly soap stone.
Akkana Basadi - Akkana Basadi in the town, Shanthishwara
temple in Jinanathapura built in 12th-13th century are the good pieces
of Hoysala sculpture and architecture. These are built in soap stone.
These have the Adishtana of similar nature. Garbagriha the sanctum
sanctorum, sukanasi and sabha mantapa. The intricately carved Yaksha
Dharanendra and Yakshi Padmavathi are see in Akkana Basadi. The main
deity of Akkana Basadi is Parshwanatha (5 feet). The shanthinatha temple of
Jiannathapura resembles the temples of Belur and Halebid. Akkana Basadi
was built by Achiakka in A.D. 1121. She was the wife of the Brahmin minister Chandramouli in the court of Ballala II the Hoysala King. It is called
Akkana Basadi as it was built by Achiakka. A village called
Bommaiahanahalli was granted for its maintenance. Shanthinatha Basadi
was built by Rechanna Dandanayaka according to the inscription found in
Adhishtana. Rechanna was the commander in chief of Ballala II. It was
constructed in the later part of 12th century.
Majjiganna Basadi - It is a temple
of simple architecture constructed in the medival part of 12th century.
Its Mandapam in the front is attractive. There is an idol of
Ananthanatha Tirthankara in the sanctum sanctorum. One can see the
carvings of the row of diamond shaped lotus flowers on the outer surface
of the walls.
Bhandari Basadi - It is the largest
temple seen in the town at Shravanabelagola and is built at different
stages in different times. It measures 266 feet X 78 Feet. It bears Garbagriha, Antarala, Sabhamantapa
and Mukha Mantapa constructed in simple architectural style. There is a
long row of 24 prophets of 3 feet height in Kadgasana filling the Garbhagriha
and the images are installed on the ornamental pedestal. It has
three splendid doorways with carvings of human and animal figures and
foliage. The idols of Yakshi Padmavathi and Brahma are found in
Antarala, the entrance door bears a fine carving of dancing Indra with
12 arms and a plate of conglomeration of musicians. It was built in A.D.
1159 by Hulla, the treasurer (Bhandari) of the Hoysala King Narasimha I
Hence it is named after him as Bhandari Basadi. The other huge
constructions in front and around the temple were built during the
Vijayanagara period. A fine manasthambha was erected in front of the main
entrance. The temple has gained its importance because of the fact that
it has housed the famous Bukkaraya inscription of Vijayanagara period
mentioning the conflict that existed between Jaina and Sri Vaishnavas
and finally resolved with compromise. Hulla was conferred the title of 'Samyaktva-Chudamani'.
A village called Sovaneru was granted for the maintenance of the temple.
Devappa of Nanjarayapattana the son of chieftain Bukkaraya built a
portion of the temple in A.D. 1527 and called it Saraswati Mantap.
Nagara Jinalaya - Nagara Jinalaya
bears a simple architecture with Devakoshtas. There is Adinatha
Tirthankara statue in the Garbhagriha. It was built by Nagadeva in A.D.
1195. He was the minister and chieftain of Ballala II (A.D. 1173-1220). It is called Nagara Jinayala as it was looked after by the merchants of the place.
It is also called Sri Nilaya.
Mangai Basadi - Mangai Basadi has
Shanthinatha idol in the garbhagriha. It was built by Mangai a court
dancer and also a disciple of Abinava Charukeerthi Panditacharya in the year
A.D. 1325. It is also called as Tribhuvana Chudamani. The
Shanthinatha idol was installed by Bhimadevi the queen of Devaraya I/II
the Vijayanagara King. She was the disciple of Charukeerthi Panditacharya.
Chennana Basadi - This was built in
the year A.D. 1667 by Chennanna and his brother Chickkanna. The human
figures found in this temple are said to represent Chennanna, Chikkanna
and their parents Puttaswamy Shetty and Deviramma. One can also find the
idol of Adinatha on the rock near Garbhagriha. There is a Manasthambha
in front of the temple.
Siddantha Basadi - It is so called
as the sacred books of the Jaina Siddantha were secured in a darkroom of
this temple. It is said that the Dhavala philosophical works were
carried from this temple to Moodabidri. The village called
Bammeyanahalli was granted by the royal patronage for its maintenance.
Dhanashale Basadi - One can find a
Panchaparameshti image of about 3 feet height in this temple. It is
interesting to note that the village Madaneya was granted by Doddadevaraja
Wodeyar (A.D. 1659-1672), the king of Mysore at the instance of prince
Chikkadevaraja Wodeyar, according to Munivamshabyudaya of
Chidanandakavi. Chikkadevaraja Wodeyar had visited
Jain Mutt (Monastery)- It is the residence of
Charukeerthi Bhattarakha Swamiji, its one storied fine structure was built in
1912 A.D. Later an upper storey was added to the building. The shrine of
the place has three cells. There are seen metal and stone idols in the
cells said to be donated by the people of Tamil Nadu during 1850 to 1858
A.D. The chief image in the sanctum sanctorum is Chandranatha. another
cell on the left side of the Jain Mutt temple shows the image of Yakshi
Kushmandinidevi the main deity of Shravanabelagola. Regular and festival
poojas are offered to Kushmandinidevi and thousands of devotees throng
at the place to have a darshan of the Goddess. One of the interesting
images of the Mutt is the Navadevata Bimba or the image of nine deities.
There is are also an image of Panchaparameshtis. A metallic idol of
about 2 feet including its pedestal draws the attention of the pilgrims.
This was discovered while digging up the ground of a coffee plantation
belonging to Mr.Crawford in the Manjarabad near Sakaleshpur in Hassan
district. Mr.Crawford donated the same to the Jain Mutt. The wall paintings of the mutt temple depict the scenes from the
life of some Tirthankara, samavasarana of Parshwanatha, life of Bharatha
and also Jaina King Nagakumara. It has got a beautiful picture of the
garden scene illustrating the six Leshyas of Jaina philosophy. The mural paintings are described by the
poet Ananthakavi in his classic (A.D. 1780) Bahubali Charita (Bhujabali
Charita). It is interesting to see
the images of Jina made out of precious stones like ruby, saphire, coral
and emerald. A special darshan Siddantha Darshan is refered to
viewing these idols and shown to the devotees selectively. The extension work of the mutt was undertaken in 1980. It
has assumed a two storied structure in modern style and is known as 'Bhattaraka
Chandranatha Basadi - It is found
atop the Jain Mutt temple and contains mainly the metal idols. Behind
this basadi is found an idol of Lord Neminatha that was installed
Jakki Katte Basadi - This is a
small tank to the south of Bhandari Basadi at Sanehalli was caused to be made by
Jakkimavve, she was the wife of the elder brother of Gangaraja
and the mother of general Boppadeva (A.D.
Kalamma Basadi - This is the only
ancient Hindu temple found at Shravanabelagola and is situated near
Akkanna Basadi. It is dedicated to Goddess Kali. For the offerings rice
is provided from the Jain Mutt.
Kalyani - This is a large beautiful
pond situated at the centre of the town. It has steps on all sides and
surrounded by a wall with gates surmounted by towers. It was built by
Annaiah the officer of Kammata (mint) but he died before its completion.
Later his grandson Krishnawodeyar-I completed the gopura, the tank and
corridor as mentioned in Anathakavi's Gommateshwara Charite.
In the course of years the construction was also taken over by Chikkadevarajendra Wodeyar, the king who ruled Mysore state
from A.D. 1672-1704 and was completed in A.D. 1723 in his memory as he
died during the period of its construction.
1. The Sacred Shravanabelagola (A
Socio-Religious) Study: Vilas A.Sangave (1981, Published by: Bharatiya
Kalyananda Haadi: Ed.Dr.Siddalinga
2. Shravanabelagola Ondhu Samikshe: Ed.
Dr.G.S.Shivarudrappa (Bangalore University Publication, 1983)
2. Shravanabelagola Srigalavara
Bashana Sangraha: Ed. A.Shantharaja Shastry (1932)
4. Gommateshvara Commemoration Volume:
Ed. Dr.T.G.Kalghatgi (Published by: S.D.J.M.I. Managing Committee Shravanabelagola,
5. Dhavala Teertha - 1995: Ed.Sri
Jeevandharkumar Hotapeti (Published by: S.D.J.M.I. Managing Committee Shravanabelagola,
5. Dhavala Teertha - 1996: Ed.Sri
Jeevandharkumar Hotapeti (Published by: S.D.J.M.I. Managing Committee Shravanabelagola,
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