Saavira Kambada Basadi: Moodbidri's ancient wonder
India is home to a wide variety of ancient monuments and architectural wonders dating back thousands of years, owing to its rich cultural and religious diversity.
Moodbidri, in Dakshina Kannada, is the pilgrim centre for Jains, therefore the town's alternate moniker, "Jainkashi".
The Hosa Basadi (Basadi meaning "temple"), also known as the Thousand Pillar Basadi or the Saavira Kambada Basadi or the Chandranatha Basadi, is considered to be the finest Jain Temples in the area. One of eighteen huge Basadis in Moodbidri, the Thousand Pillar Basadi is the largest of them. Shri Bhattaraka Charukeerthi Pandithacharyavarya Mahaswami is the head priest of the Basadi.
At this 600-year-old temple, there is a nine foot idol of Bhagwan Shri Chandranatha Swami, which is worshiped by the thousands of devotees that visit the temple each year. This idol was been fashioned out of the gold ornaments that were donated by the women devotees.
The Thousand Pillar Basadi was built buy the ruler of Vijayanagar, Devaraya Wodeyar between the years 1430 ad 1450, after which additions were made to it in the year 1962.
As you enter the Basadi's main entrance, you are welcomed by the 60 feet tall manasthambha which was erected by Karkala Bhairava Queen Nagala Devi. Images have been carves into the manasthambha. The monolith is adorned by images of giraffes, the horses of the Arabs, and the dragon of China. Other images depicted on the structure are those of various South Indian dance forms, war scenes, various animals and birds, hunting, agriculture, camels ploughing, snake charmers etc.
As you pass by the monolith, it feels like you have entered into a completely different world.
Each of the famous thousand pillars of the Basadi have a story to tell. Each of the pillars have stories inscribed on them along with carvings of images. This makes each of the pillars unique and unlike the other.
The beauty and majesty of the Basadi is what still draws tourists from near and far, year after year.