Jain World

Sub-Categories of Passions - The Sacred Sravana - Belagola






The area on the Chandragiri hill can be divided into 2 sectors, viz. A) The temple sector, and B) The open sector.

A) The Temple Sector : In the Temple Sector there are in all 13 temples situated as follows :

i) West Side of the Temple Sector : ( 2 Temples )

1. Santinatha-Basti : It is once its walls and ceiling adorned with paintings, of which only few traces are now left. The image of Santinaha, the 16th Tirthankara, to whom the shrine is dedicated, is a standing figure, about 11 left high. It is not known when the temple was erected.

2. Suparsvantha-Basti : It is a small temple. It enshrines a seated Figure, about 3 feet high of Suparsvanatha, the 7th Tirthankara, canopied by a seven-hooded serpent. No information is available as to when and by whom this shrine was founded.

(ii) Middle of the Temple Sector ( 7 Temples )

3. Parsvantha Basti : It is large structure of architectural merit. The image of Parsvantha, the 23rd Tirthankara, about 15 feet high, canopied by a seven hooded serpent, is the tallest on the hill. The outer walls are decorated with pilasters and miniature turrets. A lofty and elegant � Manastambha�, stands in the front. Manastambhas are pillars which have a pavilion at the top containing four standing or seated Jina Brahmadeva pillars which have seated figure of Brahma at the top.

4. Kattale Basti : It is the largest temple on the hill. Adinatha, the 1st Tirthankara, to whom the temple is dedicated, is a fine seated figure about 6 feet high. It is known has no other opening for light than the single door in the front. It also seems to be called Padmavati-Basti, probably from the image of that goddess found in the veranda. The temple was erected by minister Ganga-Raja in the year 1118 A. D. for his mother Pochavve. The front hall of the temple is said to have been renovated by about 1850 A. D. by the ladies Devirammanni and Kempammanni of the Mysore Royal family.

5. Chandragupta Basti : The temple is so called because, according to tradition, it was caused to be erected by the Emperor Chandragupts Maurya. It is undoubtedly one of the oldest buildings on the hill. At the front of the temple there is an ornamental doorway with perforated stone screens at the side. The doorway is beautifully executed, each architrave consisting of five fascias of elegant workmanship. The screens are pierced with squire openings in ten regular rows and the interspecies, forty-five on each, are carved with minute sculptures representing scenes from the lives of the Srutakevali Bhadrabahu and the Maurya Emperor Chandragupta. The outer walls are decorated with pilasters and above them with two fine friezes, one of ornamental niches and the other of the heads and trunks of lions mostly pairs facing each other.

6. Chandraprabha Basti : It is also one of the oldest buildings on the hill. It is dedicated to Chandraprabha, the 8th Tirthankara. It also has got the figures of Syama and Jvalamalini, the Yaksha and Yakshi, of the Tirthankara.

7. Chamundaraya Basti : This temple, one of the largest, is the most handsome on the hill both in style and decorative features. It has also an upper storey and fine tower. The outer walls are decorated with pilasters and crowned with three fine friezes. The outer walls of the upper storey are ornamented with three similar friezes. It is dedicated to Neminatha, the 22nd Tirthankara. Since General and minister Chamunda-Raya erected this temple by about 982 A. D., the temple is called after him. The same Chamunda-Raya also set up the colossal image of Gomteesvara on the Vidhyagiri hill. It is also known as �Sruta-tirhta�, i.e. the sacred place of scriptures, because the famous saint Acharya Nemichandra, the preceptor of Chamunda- Raya, composed his well known philosophical treatise entitled � Gommatsara� in this temple.

8. Sasana Basti : The temple is so called from the � Sasana�, i.e., inscription set up conspicuously at its entrance. It is dedicated to Adinatha, the first Trithankara. The temple was caused to be erected by the General Ganga- Raja in the year 1117 A. D.

9. Majjiganna Basti : It is a small temple dedicated to Anantanatha, the 14th Tirthankara. It was founded by a man named Majjiganna, but there is nothing to show when it was built.

iii) East Side of the Temple Sector ( 4 temple )

10. Eradukatte-Basti : This temple is so called on account of the two stairs in the east and west of the approach to it is dedicated to Adinatha, the first Tirthankara. The temple was caused to be built by Lakshni-Devi, wife of the General Ganga-Raja in 1118 A. D.

11. Savatigandhavarana Basti : This temple dedicated to santinatha, the 16th Tirthankara, is no named after the epithet �Savati-gandhavarana,� i.e. a rutting elephant to co-wise, of Santala-Devi, the queen of king Vishnuvardhana. But it is usually known as Gandhavarana Basti it was caused to be built by Queen Santala-Devi in 1123 A. D.

12. Terina Basti : This temple is so called on account of �teru�, i.e. the car-like structure standing in front of it. It is also known as Bahubali-Basti because of the idol of Bahubali or Gommata enshrined in it. It was built in 1117 A. D. by two royal merchants of King Vishnu-Vardhana.

13. Santisvara Basti : It is dedicated to Santisvara or Santinatha, the 16th Trithankara. The temple stands on a high terrace and has an ornamental mortar tower. It is not known when or by whom the temple was founded.

(B) The open Sector :

In the open sector on the Chandragiri Hill there are some objects of interest :

1. Kuge Brahmandeva Pillar : This is lofty pillar with a small seated figure of Brahmadeve on the top facing east. It commemorates the death of the Ganga king, Marasimha II, by the Jaina rite of Sallekhana, in the yar 974 A. D.

2. Mahanavami-Mandapa : It consists of two fine four-pillared �Mandapa�, i.e., pillared halls, side by facing east. Both of them have inscribed pillars set up in the middle. There are likewise several other �mandapas� containing inscribed pillars of ordinary workmanship.

3. Bharatesvara Staue : It is statue, about 9 feet high, fecing west, representing Bharatesvara, brother of Bahubali or Gommata and son of Adinatha, the first Tirthankara. The image is in an unfinished condition, being complete only to the knees, from which point it rises from theface of the rock. It may have been carved out of a large upright boulder on the spot where it stands.

4. Bhandrabahu cave : This is the cave where Srutakevali Bhandrabahu lived and died. His footprints engraved on a stone slab in the cave are worshipped even now. The Maurya Emperor Chandragupta, after entering the Jaina ascetic order, remained on the hill and here worshipped these foot-prints until his death, some devotees believe that a took at these foot-prints every morning cures a person of any illness.

5. Chamunda-Raya�s Rock : An inscribed boulder near the foot of the hill is

known as Chamunda-Ray�s rock. Tradition has it that on Chamunda-Raya shooting an arrow from this rock in the direction of the larger hill, as he was directed to do in a dream, the image of Gommata, which had been concealed by stones, bushes, etc. became instantly visible. The rock bears figures of some Jaina saints with labels below giving their names.