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Saavira Kambada Basadi

Saavira Kambada Basadi or 1000 pillar Jain Temple is a Jain temple in Karnataka. It is well known across the world not only because it was built in 1430 A D , but because of the remarkable pillars that are an integral part of the temple. The temple is also known as the Tribhuvana Tilaka Chudamani Basadi or the crest jewel of the three worlds.

The local Chieftain Devaraya Wodeyar initiated the construction of the temple in 1430, but the temple as it stands today includes additions made in 1962. The temple was constructed over a painstaking period of 31 years. An equivalent amount of 9 crores was spent in the construction of the fascinating temple.

The construction of the temple took place in phases. The first phase saw the construction of the sanctum sanctorum with the eight foot idol of Chandranath. The idol is the reason the temple is also known as the Chandranath Basadi.

The second phase oversaw the construction of the magnificent prayer hall with its innumerable pillars. The last phase of construction was the erection of the manasthamba, commissioned by Queen Nagala Devi. The 60 foot monolith is in many ways the centre piece in a temple that is awe-inspiring around every turn.

Although the temple complex features three separate stories, devotees are only allowed on the upper floors once in a year. Despite being one of the oldest and biggest Jain temples in Asia, the upper floors are in many ways a well-kept secret.

The stories of the pillars

Standing in the courtyard, every visitor experiences the grandeur and vigour that has come to stand as the hallmark of an era long lost in the sands of time. The temple boasts of many mantapas, each one supported by pillars. The pillars carved from granite have stories carved on each one. Every pillar is unique and the figures carved on them are unique. With so much beauty to behold, some visitors are intrigued while the plebeians will simply look at a few and move on to the next sight to behold.

Even as the pillars and the carvings attract your attention, there is a fascinating hush of silence and peace that envelops the temple. The intricate carvings and geometrically accurate lines speak of craftsmen whose skills can dumbfound today’s machines in the blink of an eye.

Stone chandeliers that seemingly defy gravity and other such architectural marvels form a part of the landscape of the temple and never fail to boggle the modern man’s mind. The inherent patience of the craftsmen evident in the intricacy of the carvings is an anti-thesis to the constant hustle and bustle in the city. They might just inspire you to slow down and savour the art, as it were.

Tales of history, exchanges of culture and the interaction between man and nature is all carved in plain sight for everyone to see. Mythical tales of animals mingle with carvings of African giraffes and Chinese carvings harking back to a time of prosperous commercial trade routes between continents.

The special cover sponsored by Alva’s Education Foundation (R), Moodbidri on the occasion of National Level Literary and cultural convention “Alva’s Nudisiri 2016” features a colour image of the inner view of the temple with the pillars and the statue of Chandranath, over a background featuring the external view of the temple. The Special Pictorial Cancellation is a line graphic sketch of the facade of the temple.


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