Moodbidri is a place known by the alias Jaina Kashi. This place is located 32 km northeast of Mangalore. It was the last capital of the Ullal kingdom ruled by the Chauta dynasty. Jain culture flourished here under the Chauta kings who were also Jains. In Moodbidri, which was once a Jain majority, things are not like that today, but the Jain culture is imprinted on all the streets here.
There are eighteen Jain Basadis in Moodbidri town alone. Apart from that, there is a Jain Math and a school here. There are eighteen Jain Basadis in Moodbidri town alone. Apart from that, there is a Jain Math and a school here. Daily worshiping is going on there. chandra natha basadi aka savirakamba basadi is the most popular one.
The Kannada word Savira means thousand. Kamba also means foot. Savira Kamba Basadi means Thousand Foot Temple
On both sides of the road to the temple, there are magnificent and ancient buildings of the Jains. The temple tower is visible from a distance in the middle of the huge temple wall made of cut stone similar to the fort wall. In front of the old tower, there is another tower built later. The old tower has beautiful sculptures of scenes from Jain mythology and Hindu mythology. At one time these regions were under the dominion of the Vijayanagara Empire. It was during this period that Hindu iconography entered the Jain temples here. One such sculpture is the family of Shiva seen at the gopuram door of the temple.
To enter, one has to pass through this majestic Rajagopuram on the eastern side of Basadi. When you pass the tower, the first thing you see is a huge granite flagpole. The 50 feet tall pole is known as ‘Manastambha’. Behind the granite, the flagpole is another metal flagpole. Behind the flagpole, a staircase with sculptures of elephants on either side leads to the thousand-pillared mandapam. The temple has three floors. The pillars of all these floors are said to be a thousand pillars. No access to the upper floors. Each pillar in the mandapam is in a pattern. All done in black stone. The style of construction of the mandapam and pillars is similar to that of the mandapams and pillars of the temples of Hampi.
The Mudhabidri Sasana of 1430 CE records that the temple was built by Devaraya Wodeyar, the provincial governor of Vijayanagara. “The Tribhuvana Chudamani Mahachaitya was built by Abhinava Charukirthi Pandita with the help of the people of Shalike Nadu, under the supervision of the Chauta king and Aruvaru Ballalugalu, and with the money given by Devaraya Wodeyar, the governor of the Vijayanagara emperor.” Chandraprabha, the 8th Tirthankara, is the main deity at Savirakamba Basadi. It is an eight feet long panchaloha idol standing inside the Garbhagriha. The roofs of the upper two floors of the three-storied Garbhagriha are made of chempola( A kind of Leaf) and the lower floor is made of granite.
The Mandapam has two floors. Here too the roofs are made of copper on the upper floor and granite on the lower floor. The upper two floors of the temple have wooden constructions and carvings. The ground floor is entirely made of granite. A lot of granite pillars can also be seen on the walkway around the temple. The small tower on the south side is a beautiful structure. Nagas are enshrined in the southwest corner. There is a deity shrine on the north side.
The Savirakamba Basadi at Moodbidri was a pilgrimage center considered sacred by the Jain kingdoms of Tulunadu. In 1430 CE, King Bhairava of the Nagire kingdom covered the third floor of the temple with copper. An inscription reveals that in 1461 CE he came to Savirakamba Basadi after falling ill and stayed here praying to Chandraprabha Tirthankara. The Manastambha, a granite pillar in front of the temple, was built by Rani Nagala Devi of the Bairarasa Wodeyar dynasty of the Karkala kingdom.
In many places that were once great centers of Jainism, what remains today are uninhabited Jain basadis, remnants of the culture that time has taken away from them. The Savirakamba Basadi at Moodbidri, contributed by the Jain culture, holds a great place among the astonishing marvels of Indian architecture.