Thursday, November 24, 2011

Mathada Basti...ShravanBelagola

This Jain Basti is known for it’s exquisite sculptures and frescoes. Its located in the town next to the Bhandara Basti. In this Muth the walls, of the Verandah which surrounds a central courtyard, are decorated with mural paintings.
The Jain religion is contemporary of Buddhism, believes in cycle of rebirths and consequently regards life as painful, longing for liberation. It came to Karnataka four centuries before the Christian era. The Gangas, Kadamba, Chalukyas and Hoysala kings had encouraged the Jainism. They have left innumerable shrines, Bastis , Gomata statues and Stambhas (pillars). The Matha or the Mathada Basadi appears to have been built or renovated during the 18th century. But Chavundraya founded the Matha and installed his guru Namichandra Sidhantadeva here.
There is open space in the middle of the Math and of late it is covered by a ceiling and a store was added in 1930. The Matha has three donors engraved on them are worshiped here. Its walls have fone murals : One depioting the durbar of Krishnaraja Wodeyar III and also paintings of Panchparameshthis, Neminanatha , Parshwanatha's Samavasarana, Yakshas and Yakshis, forests where munis lived etc.
The panels on left depict the life of Parshvanatha who underwent many rebirths. In his firs birth he was known as Marubhuta born to a minister to king Aravinda. He had an evil brother called Kamatha. When elder brother was on a mission with the king, Kamatha declare himself the emperor and tricked his brother's wife to have sex with him. After the king's return he was severely punished.
He was given a head shave while boys urinated on his head; He was parade on a donkey's back while the boys threw stones at him. All these events could be recognized in different panels. Other wall paintings depict episodes from King Bharata and Prince Nagakumar an annual fair has been painted in detail.


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