||Moodabidri , sometimes described as the Jain
Varanasi, has 18 Jain basadis, although jains themselves are a minority
of the population. This place consists mainly of Digamber sect, has a large
number of Jain Basadi's (temples). The most famous among them is the 1000
pillared Chandranatha Basadi popularly known as "Saaveerakambha Basadi".
The uniqueness is that no two pillars are identical.
This has a powerful presence in the centre of the town. Three mandapas lead to the main sanctuary. These mandapas have a series of sloping tiered roofs, adapted to the heavy monsoon rainfall of the region. The main entrance which faces East, opens into a superb monolithic pillar (mana-stambha) in front of the main door-way. The temple has a valuable collection of metal, jewel carved images of Jain tirthankars. The columns in Moodabidri are extraordinary typical of the Chalukyan architecture. The 2 meter high panchaloha ( 5 metal) image of Chandranatha stands out among images. Once a year a grand Jain festival is celebrated where in thousands of Jains take part.
The Jain monastery near the main temple entrance, has a library with some beautiful 12th and 13th century palm leaf manuscripts. Booklets on Moodabidri are available in English, Hindi and Kannada. The 17th century Chowta Place, which is still occupied by descendants of the royal family, is also worth visiting for its beautifully carved wooden pillars, ceilings and screen.
Moodabidri is located about 34Kms from Mangalore and is easily accessible by buses and private taxis.
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