Saavira Kambada Basadi
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Saavira Kambada Basadi   |   Dakshina Kannada

Moodabidre, known as the ‘Jaina Kashi’ or the ‘Jaina Varanasi’ of the South, houses 18 Jain temples or basadis located close to each other in the town. The most famous and artistic among them is the Saavira Kambada Basadi or the ‘thousand pillar temple’, located at the heart of the city. Traditionally called as the ‘Tribhuvana Tilaka Chudamani’, this Jain temple was built by the ruler of vijayanagar, Devaraya Wodeyar in 1430 with additions made in 1962. The temple is also popularly recognised as ‘Chandranatha temple’, as the Jaint Teerthankara ‘Chandraprabha’ is worshipped there. The temple houses an 8 feet tall Chandraprabha statue, and a 60 feet tall ‘Maanasthama’, a monolithic pillar at the entrance. This temple is exclusively known for its ‘thousand pillar’ architecture, but it is said that it is impossible to count the thousand pillars. However, most pillars are situated inside other pillars, and hence not all thousand pillars are located in plain sight. The Moodabidre Jain Mutt, one amongst the many Jain Mutts in Karnataka, is led by a saint of the community is responsible for the maintenance of all the basadis in Moodabidre, including the thousand pillar temple.

Guru Basadi is also a Jain temple located in the area, and is of equal historic importance. Being one of the oldest Jain monuments in India, it houses the manuscripts of the holy ‘Dhavala Texts’ from the 12th century. This temple had lately been in news in 2013 when 15 golden antique idols were stolen, but were later retrieved. Mainly, Guru basadi houses a 3.5 metres tall Parshwanatha idol in its sanctum.

Other major Jain temples located in the area include:
Vikram Shetty Basadi
Mahadeva Shetty Basadi
Chola Shetty Basadi
Koti Shetty Basadi
Derma Shetty Basadi
Ammanavara Basadi

Photography: [Sharath Mahadevarahalli]

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