Unique Jain temple in Vijayapura

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Unique Jain temple in Vijayapura

There are a couple of old Jain temples in Vijayapura. The oldest among them is Mahendragiri Jain Teertha, also known as Sahastra Fani Parshwanatha Digamber Jain Temple. The temple houses a 1500-year-old idol of Parshwanatha. The black idol carved imaginatively with perfection depicts Parshwanatha sitting cross-legged in a meditative posture.

Generally, a five-headed or seven-headed serpent covers the head of Parshwanatha, but here the serpent has 1008 hoods. Even more remarkable is that all the hoods are interconnected, and during abhisheka, the milk poured at the central hood spreads and all the 1008 hoods shower milk over Parshwanatha. The abhisheka is done at specific times on certain days.

The temple had fallen to ruins till a hundred years ago when it was discovered, but the main idol was found to be missing from the sanctum. According to the caretaker, the person supervising the excavation dreamt that the idol was nearby, and he saw a cobra at a particular spot three days in a row. The idol was then found at that spot about six feet below the ground, and that chamber is still preserved. The temple was renovated around whatever existed of the previous one, and rooms have been built for the pilgrims. Not many locals are aware of this temple and the unique idol it houses. It is located on Jail Road about six km from the Bijapur Railway Station.

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