Unique Jain temple awaits tourist footfall - The New Indian Express

Unique Jain temple awaits tourist footfall

Published: 04th December 2012 09:27 AM

Last Updated: 04th December 2012 09:27 AM

The Chandranatha Swami Jain Temple at Hosangadi here is the only ‘Chathurmukha’ Jain temple in the state. The temple, with four entrances, has four Thirthankaras, a rare sight in Jain temples.

Jains follow the teachings of 24 special jinas who are known as Thirthankaras. Those who preach dharma are called Thirthankaras.

Another attraction nearby is a small Jain temple known as Sri Parswanatha Swami Temple, just metres away from Chandranatha Swami Jain Temple. The temple has the prathishta of Parswanatha, the 23rd Thirthankara.

According to Parswanatha temple priest Dharma Rajendra, both temples are maintained by a small community of jains. “Though these ancient temples have found place in tourism guide books and on sign boards, only a few tourists come here,” he said.

The panchayat authorities had asked the government to recognise the shrine as one of the places of interest in the district, following which officials had visited the place and assessed the antiquity of the temple.

Thirthankaras are not regarded as deities in the pantheistic or polytheistic sense, but rather as pure souls which have divine spiritual qualities hidden in each person. The Thirthankaras installed here are Adinatha Tirthankara (1st Thirthankara), Chandranatha Thirthankara (8th Thirthankara), Shanthinatha Thirthankara (16th Thirthankara) and Mahaveera Thirthankara (24th Thirthankara).

The temple, which is situated on top of a small hill, is more than 800 years old. It is believed that Bangara Arasu (Bangara King) built the temple. The myth says that Bangara Arasu found this place during a voyage in the sea. It is also believed that there was a lighthouse here which helped in the navigation of ships.

The temple is situated at Bangara Manjeshwar, which is One km from Hosangadi. The temple is surrounded by a wall and has four doors on four sides which lead to the sanctum sanctorum. The sanctum sanctorum also has four entrances, each leading to a Thirthankara.

In the past, four priests used to separately offer poojas to the four Thirthankaras and each priest used to enter through a separate door. But as time passed, most of the Jain families moved out from here. At present there are only three families, with a total of 27 people, in this locality.

Other than the four Thirthankaras, there is a Devi Padmavathi’s idol and Naaga (serpent) prathishta in the temple. Another attraction of the temple is the mural paintings of ‘Dwarapalakas’ which are said to be 800 years old and have not undergone any change.

The daily poojas are offered between 7.30 and 9 am, while special poojas are performed on Tuesdays.

The famous thousand pillar Jain Temple, Saavira Kambada Basadi, also known as Jain Kashi, is situated in the neighbouring Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka. It is also the Guru Basadi, which houses the treasured Dhavala text and is one of the most famous shrines of Jains.

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