Jain Temples in Karnataka
Jain Temples in karnatakaClick thumbnail to view full-size
Jain Temples in Karnataka
Karnataka- Treasure of temples
Karnataka , A southern state in India , Is the craddle of Indian Temple architecture. Presently a state with six crore population , Karnataka has a rich heritage of art and architecture.This state has been the fertile ground for the development of jainism, a prominent religion in India.This relegion entered this state before third century B.C.and flourished strongly till the begining of 12th century. Later, it diminished in its numerical strength.Presently there are about six lakhs of jains in this state. Mahaveera-the last tirthankara of this relegen, lived in 6th century B.C.History of Jainism should atleast start from there.Mahaveera is revered as Bhagwan and Swami, by his followers. Main principle of jainism is non -violence.
There are about one thousand temples of jains in karnataka presently. Atleast equal numbered temples are destroyed.These are scottered in different places in the state. Contributions of Jainism to Indian culture are manyfold-litereture, art and architecture, etc.Jain temples in Karnataka and other parts in India are worth visiting and study.
Temples in the north and south.
Temples in the north India are , to a great extent , constructed either in marble, or red stone or both.Exceptionally, jain temples in cities like Jaisalmer( Rajasthan state) are constructed with yellow sand stone. They are very good places of interest for those interested in tours and travels
But temples in south India are constrructed with black stone . the locally available material.For eg. you can observe the temple at Heggere village at chiradurga dist . in karnataka.There are some other temples around this place,but they are related to other relegions.
Temple at Heggere
This temple of 11th century, is in Hoysala style.Usually, the exterior of jain temples is plain or less decorated.(there are some expections.For eg: two temples at Shravanabelagola are highly decorated on their exteriors)This temple has lotuses on its exterior walls. Inside, lathe worked pillers are there.They are very nice.
Ground plan of jain temples.
It is as in other Hindu temples.It may or may not have a porch in front.Then , there will be a hall called 'Navaranga" after the main enterence.Here sit the mass to observe worshippings.After that, there will be a 'Antarala' which is used as a buffer zone. In olden days, VIPs used to stand in this place to observe worships.
After this part, 'garbhagriha' or 'sanctum sanctorum' is present. Only those who are just bathed, can enter here to offer poojas. On the top of this, lies the gopuram or , tower.At the apex of that , will be 'kalash ' or a metallic vessel.
Temple at Sanganer.
As examples for north Indian Jain temples, sanganer and Padampur temples are taken here.These temples are near famous Jaipur, capital of Rajasthan.These are marble temples. Sanganer temple has red stone on its exterior, but inside , there is fully marble work.
Temple at Padampur
It is a modern temple. Eventhough the temple is round in shape , there is no idol in the ground floor i.e. round portion.Idols are there on the top floor , which is almost a single hall.The piller seen infront of jain temples is called 'Manasthambha'which is ment to curb the ego of the viewers.
Temple at Ladnu
Ladnu is a middle sized town about 225 k.ms north of Jaipur and about 200k.ms south of Bikaner.It is a desert town, as Jaisalmer.A very beautiful and spacious temple in marble is constructed here by a single jain family.The construction started about 80 years ago, and completed about 50 years ago.Two photographs of this temple are appended to this article.
Whether north or south, all jain temples will have a tall stone (or ,concrete ,now a days) piller infront of them. The idea is , ego of the visiter should vanish before entering the shrine.
Marble is not locally available in south India.So, Temples in south India are constructed in hard stones as is the case with Heggere jain temple.
Certain ancient temples are now constructed in modern style-using concrete and marbles. Goddess Padmavathi temple at Jombuja(Shimoga dist) and Jain temple at Valagere( Same district) are the examples for this. The reason for such -Archeology -neglected constuructions is-either it is too costly to reconstruct in old fashion, or, it is not possible to do so.