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Posts Tagged ‘Jainism’

1000-year old inscription stone bears earliest reference to Bengaluru

Posted by Admin on December 4, 2012

By , TNN | Dec 2, 2012, 02.11 AM IST

BANGALORE: Begur, a village off the Bangalore-Hosur highway, has seen rapid growth in the past few years thanks to its proximity to IT companies in Electronics City. Property values have multiplied, with residential layouts, high-rise apartments and malls coming up near the once-sparsely populated village. The proposed Metro connectivity heralds further prospects for the region.

Amid all this development lies neglected in theheart of the village a precious inscription stone, said to over 1,000 years old. It bears the earliest reference to the name ‘Bengaluru’.

The stone, dating back to around 890 AD, was found at the Parvathi Nageshwara temple. Written in Halegannada (ancient Kannada), it mentions ‘Bengaluru Kadana’ (battle of Bengaluru) that took place between the Gangas (Jains) and the Nolambas (Shaivites).

When the Nolamba army attacked Begur, the Ganga administrator Nagattara was killed in the battle. It was a significant turning point in the history of Bangalore, as it led to the eventual decline of Jain kings and the rise of the Shaivites. Thereafter, Shaiva settlements and temples came up in Bangalore, including the famous Someshawara temple in Ulsoor, according to SK Aruni, deputy director, Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR), Bangalore Regional Centre.

The inscription seems to refute the popular ‘Benda Kalooru’ theory behind the origin of the name ‘Bengaluru.’ While the boiled beans anecdote relates to Hoysala king Veera Ballala’s regime in 1120 AD, and modern Bangalore was built by Kempegowda I in the 1530s. But the Begur inscription indicates that a settlement called ‘Bengaluru’ existed much before that, as early as 890 AD.

This has been recorded in the ‘Epigraphia of Carnatica,’ compiled by the Mysore archaeological department. Even though the Begur stone was identified and recorded in 1915 itself, no efforts have been made to preserve it. It lies against a compound wall in the Parvathi Nageshwara temple. Several other stones (veeragallus) are lying along beside, cracked in two pieces, echoing the tales of battles bygone.

“Some pillars inside the ancient temple are gradually sliding and caving in. The government should take immediate steps to preserve the temple and the monuments,” said Venkatesh, a villager who is also a member of the Rajagopura Construction Committee. The committee, formed by locals, raises funds from devotees and is building four Rajagopuras (high towers) around the temple. The construction in the premises poses further threat to the inscription. There should be care taken that the new concrete cement towers don’t ruin the beauty of the temple.


Posted in Ancient Architecture, Bengaluru, Hindu Empire, India Forgotten, Rated R, Truthout Articles | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 1000-year old inscription stone bears earliest reference to Bengaluru

Shravanabelagola – where faith and grace converge

Posted by Admin on June 2, 2012;_ylt=Ai4khjKo5ZvA_H7mBC4JjnMY9Ol_;_ylu=X3oDMTM3ZzI2ZWhhBG1pdAMEcGtnAzZiYmNmZDA2LWVjYWItMzVjNS1hZWE1LWI3OGFkNDcyYmQxMwRwb3MDNARzZWMDZW5kX3NzBHZlcgM0YzY5NTY2Mi1hYjBhLTExZTEtYmEzNi0yZDA4MjY2OTIzNGI-;_ylv=3

Shravanabelagola – where faith and grace converge

Nestled amidst two hills, Vindhyagiri and Chandragiri, is the picturesque town of Shravanabelagola. It has been one of the prime pilgrimage destinations in Jainism for more than 2,000 years. The statue of Gomateshwara or Bahubali is the main attraction. Carved elegantly, it is one of the architectural marvels of the world and happens to be the world’s largest monolithic sculpture. Shravanabelagola also enshrines a number of Jain temples (called Bastis or Basadis). This destination is situated about 50 km south-east of Channarayapatna in Hassan district of Karnataka State. Text and photos by ANANTH V RAO

ANANTH V RAO is an engineer by profession and a hobbyist photographer with a passion for picturing architectural grandeur as well as nature and wildlife. He was born and brought up in Hassan, Karnataka, a place known for its culture and heritage. He lives in Bangalore.


Shravanabelagola got its name from the pond in the image. This pond is located between the hills Vindhyagiri and Chandragiri. Belagola translates to a white pond in Kannada and Shravana translates to Jain monk or ascetic.


A view of Vindhyagiri, the larger of the two hills.


The statue of Lord Bahubali on Vindhyagiri hill overlooks Vadegal Basadi in the foreground.


The shrine of Vadegal Basadi got its name from the stone props placed against the basement. This is the only ‘Trikoota’ (triple-shrine) temple at Shravanabelagola. The three sanctums house the idols of Thirthankaras (Jain renunciates) carved in schist. This temple dates back to the 14th century and is known as Trikoota Basadi in literary works.


Tyagada Kamba. ‘Tyaga’ in Kannada translates to sacrifice and ‘kamba” translates to pillar. This pillar was erected probably in the tenth century by the then minister Chavundaraya. He distributed gifts to the poor and needy near this pillar and hence the pillar got the name ‘Tyagada Kamba’. It is also said that Chavundaraya renounced his worldly possessions and his life near this pillar. The floral scrolls in bold lines on the pillar bring out the best of the Ganga dynasty’s workmanship.


Gullakayajji or ‘the granny holding the eggplant’ is a five-feet-tall statue that stands opposite to the statue of Gomateshwara. The story goes that when Chavundaraya arranged for the Mahamastakabhisheka – a festival held every 12 years when, among other rituals, the gigantic idol is consecrated with milk — the milk did not descend lower than the thighs of the statue. Upon the order of his guru, Chavundaraya used the milk brought by Gullakayajji in the eggplant and performed the abhisheka.


Entrance to the Gomateshwara statue enclosure.



The index finger of the statue’s left hand is slightly shorter in length. Some say it was deliberately done to show that the statue was actually man-made, and not a divine creation. Another speculation is that the sculptor might have done it to show that nobody is perfect.


A Jain sadhvi meditates at the lotus feet of Gomateshwara.


A scenic view of Chandragiri Hill, which got its name from the Mauryan emperor Chandragupta Maurya, who stayed here, served and followed the path of his spiritual guru, Acharya Bhadrabahu, the eighth in the lineage of the 24 Thirthankaras.


Entrance to the temple complex at Chandragiri.


View of the temple complex at Chandragiri. There are a total of 14 Basadis on Chandragiri and a cave where Bhadrabahu stayed and meditated.


The over 800 inscriptions on Vindhyagiri and Chandragiri hills are carefully protected. The first inscriptions on Chandragiri are the signatures of Chavundaraya and of the Kannada poet Ranna.


Regular worship services are held at the Gomateshwara statue in Shravanabelagola.

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