Karnataka

A pilgrimage centre in Mandya district is crying for attention

The 18-ft Lord Bahubali statue, believed to be installed by the Hoysala king Vishnuvardhana in the year 1147, at Basti Hosakote village in K.R. Pet taluk of Mandya district.

The 18-ft Lord Bahubali statue, believed to be installed by the Hoysala king Vishnuvardhana in the year 1147, at Basti Hosakote village in K.R. Pet taluk of Mandya district.  

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Statues of Jain Tirthankaras, ornamentally carved panels, and extensively delicate carvings on pillars near the ‘Bahubali’ lie scattered today

The historical Basti Hosakote village, one of the many popular Jain pilgrimage centres in South India, which attracts Jain enthusiasts and devotees from across the country, is crying for attention.

The village, situated close to the backwaters of the Krishnaraja Sagar (KRS), near Bookanakere of K.R. Pet taluk in Mandya district, was once a popular Jain centre in the State. It has a century-old 18-ft Lord Bahubali statue, believed to be installed by the Hoysala king Vishnuvardhana in 1147.

Statues of Jain Tirthankaras, ornamentally carved panels, and extensively delicate carvings on pillars near the ‘Bahubali’ lie scattered today. The land, belonging to the Jain centre, has been allegedly encroached upon by some people, while archaeologically significant monuments and sculptures have been vandalised.

With the annual anointing ceremony of Lord Bahubali in the village scheduled for February 2, the issue of establishing permanent facilities for the Jain centre has yet again come to the fore.

Members of the Basti Hosakote Sri Bhagwan Bahubali Digambar Jain Trust and Jain community leaders have urged the State government to provide basic facilities at the place, besides initiating measures for popularising the centre.

Huge statues of Lord Bahubali have been installed at only a few places in South Indian states, especially Karnataka. The anointing ceremony (Mahamastakabhisheka) and other religious activities are being performed there the places regularly, said H.S. Lalithanga Kumar, president of the anointing ceremony committee. According to him, there were five ‘Basadis’ and a good number of statues. However, they were vandalised a long time ago.

Several hundreds of Jain devotees and history enthusiasts often visit the place to worship and study the monuments. Moreover, the tourists visiting the backwaters of the reservoir too visit the Jain temple, said another leader of the community.

Improvement

When The Hindu contacted MLA for K.R. Pet K.C. Narayana Gowda on Sunday, he said, “I have decided to develop the place by providing/improving infrastructure at Basti Hosakote.”

A good number of Jain devotees and members and chiefs of Digambar Jain Mutt are expected to attend the ‘Mahamastakabhisheka’ ceremony. The Jain community has requested establishing a hospital near the Bahubali statue, the MLA added.

Emphasising the need for popularising the Jain centre in the tourist map of Karnataka, he said the State government would initiate measures to develop Basti Hosakote as a tourist centre by providing drinking water, electricity, proper roads, transport and other facilities.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 9:13:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/a-pilgrimage-centre-in-mandya-district-is-crying-for-attention/article30552318.ece

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