By Team Mangalorean
39 kilometers from Mangalore this Jain Kashi is an uncrowned world heritage site. It might not have the tag but the entire town is filled with sites that could easily become India’s heritage showcase. Fortunately one of the sites, the well known Tribhuvana Tilaka Choodamani also known as 1000 pillar Basadi or Chandranatha Basadi has been adapted by the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) for conservation.
The two story structure built in granite in 1430 by Vijayanagar empire in typical Vijayanagar style of architecture had been taken up by the INTACH for re-setting and re-laying of the roof at a cost of Rs. 5,00,000/-. The Vijayanagar architecture marvels that could be seen everywhere in Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Uttara Kannada districts has a typical feature of roofs covered with bronze plates. The intricate work of teak wood girders covered by either jack or teak wood plates and further covered by the treated bronze plates. These plates protect the woodwork.
The use of local materials and traditional technologies must invariably be preferred. Their choice must be based on the availability of traditional knowledge systems. Modern substitutes should be considered only after their use is proven efficient and judicious, and must not compromise the integrity and continuity of local building traditions.
It is necessary to recognise that the use of certain traditional building materials may be inadvisable on account of the damage this can cause to the natural ecological systems. Thus the use of shell lime in coastal areas and wood generally may need to be judicially substituted with alternate materials says the Charter of the INTACH.
The local committee of the Dakshina Kannada chapter of INTACH headed by the Deputy Commissioner has visited the site and has expressed satisfaction over the work. Swamiji of the Jaina Math of Moodbidri Panditacharyavarya Charukirti Bhattaraka Swamiji has also expressed satisfaction over the work. Workers from Kerala and Dakshina Kannada have worked on this marvel of a structure.
According to the MLA of Moodbidri Abhayachandra Jain the state government had released earlier Rs. 5 lakhs for fixing lights for the structure and the INTACH work has been fully sponsored by the Central Government he added. Efforts are also on to have a light and sound programme on the site.