Karnataka: Jain Circuit

December 2005
Karnataka circuit- 14 Days, 2250 Kms by car

Places covered
Hampi Circuit
Sharvanbelgaon circuit
Karnataka Jain Circuit
Costal Karnataka

This was perfect Jain trail!

December 10, 2005, Saturday: Dharmsthal-Karkala-Mudbidri-Vennur-Udupi  (180 Kms)Stayed a decent hotel, can’t remember the name. The city itself is pilgrim city and famous for Lord Manjunath-Shiva temple. Dharamsthala, renowned as Kuduma eight centuries ago, is a famous pilgrim location of Jains. Dharmasthal is famous for 39 feet high Gomateshwara (Lord Bahubali) (175 tons) statue. We visited the statue in

KarkalaFrom Dharmsthal we proceeded to Karkala, should be around 65 Kms.

Karkala is well known for its massive 42 feet monolithic statue of Gomateshwara (Lord Bahubali), the son of the first Jain Tirthankar, believed to have been built around 1432 AD. The first name of this town was Pandya Nagari, named during the Jain regime, but afterwards it was changed to Karikallu because of black stones. It is located atop a hill, called the Bahubali hill. It is a towering monolithic granite structure and one among the five main Gomateshwaras in the state. From the base of the hill, a slightly curving set of steps, quite steep in places, leads visitors to the top and a tar road also leads for vechiles. The top provides panoramic views of the surrounding areas including the famous Ramasamudra lake.

Apart from Karkala Gomateshwara the other Jain monuments worthy of a visit in Karkala are the Chaturmukha Basadi, which is so called because it has four entrances, and is believed to have been built in the mid 16th century by King Bhairasa the Second. It has beautiful high ceilings and has shrines dedicated to three Jain Tirthankaras Sri Arhat, Malli and Suvrate apart from smaller images of 24 Tirthankaras.

Moodabidri ( Mudabdri)
We proceeded to our next destination- Mudbidri which should have been around 20 Kms from Karkala. Moodabidri (also called Mudabidri), an ancient center of Jain learning, is a small town situated at a beautiful spot in the midst of hills.

Moodabidri was a center of Jain religion, culture, art and architecture during 14th - 16th centuries. It is famous as the "Jaina Kashi" of the South.

Amongst the 18 Basadi, the most famous are Ammanavara Basadi, Guru Basadi and Tribhuvan Tilak Chudamani Basadi. While the magnificent stucco images in Leppada Basadi are a must see, do not miss the Parshawanatha stone idol in the Guru Basadi. The rare Jain palm leaf manuscripts, also famous as 'Dhavala texts' are preserved in this Basadi.
Tribhuvan Tilak Chudamani Basadi or the Thousand Pillar Temple is ornately carved in the Vijayanagar style and is the largest amongst all. This was built around 1430 AD, and is a spectacular piece of architecture. The basadi’s pillars are each constructed in a different style, depicting the architectural techniques of various eras. The pillars and the roof this open hall are decorated with beautiful and minute carvings typical of Vijayanagara style. The 15-meter tall freestanding single stone pillar called manasthambha in front of the basadi, is indeed a beautiful art. 

There were small stautes of tirthankaras made of gems - daimonds, ruby, neelmani etc.

Vennur (Venoor)
From Mudbidri we went to Vennur which is 20 kms approx.

Venur or Venoor is a small village on the banks of the Phalguni river in the South Kanara of Karnataka, India. It was once the main center of Jainism. It was the capital of the Ajila Dynasty and one of the most prominent Kings of them. Thimmanna Ajila built a colossus of Gommateshwara 35 feet high in 1604 A.D. He was a direct descendant of Chamundaraya, who built one at Shravanbelgola.

The statue stands facing westward on a high platform on the banks of the river Phalguni. The statue is supposed to have been sculptured by Amarashilpi Jakanachari.