Thousand Pillar Jain Temple at Moodbidri

This town, otherwise known as Jain Kashi is fully prepared for the new tourist season, though the entire town is a tourist attraction one of the heritage sites -1000 pillar Basadi also known originally as Chandranatha Basadi or Tribhuvana Thilka Chudamani (crown of the three worlds) is now a centre of attraction of entire India as the Jain Pilgrims are flocking to Moodbidri in great numbers from all parts of the world.

The town is now bustling with tourists, one can see from the licence plates of the vehicles that they are from Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Goa, Mumbai, Gujarat and even Madhya Pradesh and some are from Orissa and West Bengal. The Swamiji of Moodbidri Jain Math HH Panditaharyavarya Charukirthi Bhattaraka told that "the Basadi has been the centre of Jain Pilgrimage centres and it is now fully ready for receiving the tourists. The society in Moodbidri led by the Jain Kings was a highly evolved one. They traded with countries in Asia and Africa and there are evidence of trade with China, Malaya, Africa and Java. There are figures of giraffes and dragons, influences that the traders brought from visiting those countries at the Thousand Pillar Basadi which was why the Basadi has become well known with the tourists" he adds.

"Among the 18 Basadis that adorn the Moodbidri town the Tribhuvana Tilaka Chudamani is the most magnificent one. Built in 1430 A.D. by the devotees of Moodbidri it is also called `Hosabasadi' (new Basadi). Since it consists of over a thousand pillars, the Basadi is like the crest jewel of the three worlds and hence the name Tribhuvana Tilaka Chudamani. The pillars come in all sizes and shapes with beautiful carvings that confirm the Jain merchants had connections with the Chinese and African countries. No two pillars are identical and are massive. The minute details are gracefully carved with care" the swamiji told

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 Bhagavan Chandranath found in Khadgasana posture is the deity found here and is dazzling even today as it is made of an alloy of Pancha Loha.

Fortunately Tribhuvana Tilaka Choodamani has been adapted by the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) for conservation. "The conservation is complete and we have restored the temple to its prestine glory says one of the associates of the INTACH and the Archealogical Survey of India who had come to visit the Basadi recently. The roof has been covered with oxidised bronze which is the traditional roofing for all temples in Dakshina Kannada. The bronze covering has been given a fresh coat of wax to prevent ageing and corrosion the official said. 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 says the official who wished anonymity.

"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".

As a new initiative the local committee of tourism headed by the Deputy Commissioner and the MLA, there will be light and sound programme during the new season.

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.

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