Karnataka ►Varanga ►Jain Temples

Posted: 14.12.2010
Updated on: 16.08.2012



Jain Temples at Varanga

Varanga is a small village located in the Udupi district of Karnataka at a distance of 25 km from Karkala and 43 km from Moodabidri, on the way from Karkala to Agumbe. It is an ancient seat of a Jain mutt and is a branch of the Humcha Jain monastery.

An inscription belonging to the 13th century, found in the premises of the Neminatha Basadi, mentions about the existence of a Jain mutt here even before the installation of that inscription. The Jain mutt is said to have belonged to the Mula Kundakundanvaya Kranurgana’s Mesha Pashana Gachha tradition. Further references in the inscription give us enough proof that this Jain mutt belonged to a period of around 8th and 9th century CE.

There are three Jain temples at Varanga, viz. Chandranath Basadi (or Matada Basadi), Neminatha Basadi and Kere Basadi (or Chaturmukh Basadi).

Chandranath Basadi

The temple, also known as Matada basadi, is dedicated to Lord Chandraprabha, the image within is made of chandrashila. This is the temple that is said to have housed the Jain Mutt.


Candranath basadi


Neminath basadi (left) and entrance-building

Neminath Basadi

This temple of 70x70 feet is about 1000 years old. A bronze depiction of 24 tirthanakaras in kayotsarga posture with a black colored image of Lord Neminath in padmasana as the main deity is found in the sanctum. Many sources that prove the antiquity of Varanga and its Jain mutt are found in and around this temple.


Neminath basadi


Small shrine in the surrounding of Neminath basadi

An inscription of 1424 CE mentions that King Devaraya of Vijayanagar had left the Varanga village as a "datti", which means the grant of a certain land or a village to run a temple or a monastery from the income generated. Further, another inscription mentions that Immadi Byrarasa (or Byrarasa II) had left Byravapura as a datti.


Neminatha basadi


Neminatha basadi

Kere Basadi

The temple is popular known as Kere Basadi as it is located in the midst of a big pond. It is a Chaturmukha Basadi, i.e. the bulding has four different entrances and Jain images installed in four directions. These images of Parshvanath, Shanthinath, Ananthanath and Neminath are depicted in kayotsarga.


Kere basadi

Devotees will have to travel through a boat to reach the temple and is very often driven by the priest of the temple. At that unique Shrine in the middle of the lake, situated on this tiny islet, one can feel the aura which is so typical of many holy places of the Jains. In the year 1711 of Vikram era (1654 CE), Muni Shilvijaya came here on a pilgrimage.


View over the Varanga Lake to Kere basadi

We can find an image of goddess Padmavathi being installed in front of the Parshvanath idol at Kere Basadi. This image is very miraculous and has a huge followership across the Jains and Hindus. Special pooja is performed to the goddess on every friday and sunday where people bow down to the goddess to fulfill many of their materialistic comforts and personal desires.


Image of goddess Padmavati in front of the Parshvanath idol of Kere basadi


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