It's a Jain cultural hub

It's a Jain cultural hub

Moodabidri, near Mangalore, is an ancient centre of Jain learning and has been considered one of the main tourist destinations in Dakshina Kannada.

It enchants its visitors with its cultural charm and diverse attractions and events.

Between the 14th and 16th centuries, Moodabidri witnessed an unprecedented growth as a centre of Jain religion, culture, art and architecture. Resultantly, the 18 Jain temples that are famous as basadis, today, were constructed during this period.

The ‘Tribhuvana Tilaka Chudamani Basadi’, popularly known as ‘Thousand Pillar Basadi’ is the most ornate of the Jain temples and largest of its kind in coastal Karnataka.

With its ornate exterior and interior, and huge pillars that run around the temple complex, it is considered one of the the finest works of architecture among Jain basadis in the State.

This shrine has a 60 feet tall monolithic pillar known as Maanastambha. There’s also
an eight feet idol of Tirthankara Chandraprabha, inside the basadi, which is worshipped with reverence.

Other main Jain temples of Moodabidri are ‘Guru Basadi’, ‘Ammanavara Basadi’, ‘Badaga Basadi’, and ‘Shettara Basadi’.

Guru Basadi, formally called ‘Parshwanatha Basadi’ is a very sacred place for the Jains, as it houses the holy texts of their religion, such as the ‘Dhavala’, ‘Jayadhavala’ and ‘Mahadhavala’.

Badaga Basadi is in the north of Moodabidri town, where Chandranatha Swamy is the presiding deity and the statue is carved out of marble.

Other than this, there are 24 statues of several Thirthankaras.

An annual Rathotsava is held in this basadi during the month of February, attracting several pilgrims from across the State.

Ammanavara Basadi, also known as ‘Hire Basadi’ is renowned for its life-size statues of Saraswati and Padmavathi.

Needless to say, Moodabidri town, with its strong Jain cultural influences, is a unique place.

Naturally, it also happened to be a centre of Jain literature. Ratna-karavarni, the doyen of medieval Kannada literature and the author of Bharatesha Vaibhava, is said to be born and brought up in this place.

Some other pilgrim places in Moodabidri are Anjaneya Temple, Mahalingeswara Temple, Somanateswara Temple, and Gurumat.

Other places of interest are Kadalakere Nisargadhama, Chowta’s Palace, Shobhavana, and Butterfly Park.

For trekkers, Konaje Kallu, which is 3 km away from Moodabidri, is the best destination; it offers stunning views of Moodabidri, Mangalore, Western Ghats and Arabian Sea.

In the past 11 years, Moodabidri has been famous for its annual event
‘Nudisiri’ organised by Alva’s Educational Foundation.

Conceived by Dr Mohan Alva, a social activist, the event showcases Kannada art and culture.

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