Monday, January 25, 2010
Moodbidri : Thousand pillers temple
Thousand Pillars temple this is a large granite temple built in 1430 A.D. which one a marvelous magnificent place of worship of the Jains. The main entrance of the thousand pillar temple, which faces the east, opens onto a wonderful 15 meter tall monolithic pillar called Mahastamba in front of the doorway.
The temple boasts of a valuable collection of jewel-encrusted metallic images of Jain tirthankaras, and superb monolithic columns in the Jain tradition, each with a different carving. The pillars of this basadi are decorated with carvings typical of Vijayanagara style.
There is inscriptional evidence of the 3 stages of construction on the walls of the Main Building. The Main Building, which houses the idol of the deity, is the most beautiful part of the temple. The Bhairadevi Mantapa is the most ornate part, which has 48 pillars with beautiful carvings on them.
The Manasthambha, is a sacred pillar of the Jains, and thus is found only in Jain temples. After the 3 stages of construction got complete, the local people attributed the construction of the Mantapa also to the wife of King Bhairava (Nagala Devi), and thus the Mantapa came to be known as Bhairadevi Mantapa.
The idol of Chandranatha Swamy is a 9 feet solid Panchaloha idol, which is one of the biggest Panchaloha idols in South India. The Manasthambha, is a solid structure of over 50 feet, which happens to be one of the tallest sacred pillar of Jains in South India.
The temple has 3 stories-the ground floor, 1st floor and the 2nd floor. The ground floor has the 3 main parts of the temple on it, i.e., the Main Building, the Bhairadevi Mantapa and the Manasthambha. On the 1st storey of the temple, there are statues of 2 main Theertankaras,Parshvanatha and Suparushuva.
What is fascinating though is that all the 24 Theertankaras have been carved on one panel on this storey. The 2nd storey has more than 300 miniature crystal statues of Theertankara Stone slabs and copper sheets have been used for the roofing of the temple.
An astonishing fact of the temple is that, if one takes a close look at the pillars, one will notice that the pillars are adorned with the carvings of Hindu Gods and Hindu mythological characters. The outer base of the outer wall of the Bhairadevi Mantapa has a running panel of carved miniature unusual figures, like those of Camel and Dragon.
History has it that the merchants of Moodbidri had trade relations with China and the Middle East. As such, they were quiet fascinated by the Chinese and Middle Eastern traditional symbols like Camels and Dragons. That is the reason why they are found etched on the running panel of a Jain temple.