Doorway to Jaina history

Print edition : April 29, 2016

The sculpture of a seated Rishabhanatha, the first Jaina tirthankara, in a basadi (Jaina temple) found on the eastern end of the Kanakagiri hillock. Photo: K. BHAGYA PRAKASH

A pilaster and a sculpture of Rishabhanatha. The pilaster has exquisite carvings of the tirthankaras Ajithanatha (with his lanchana, the elephant) and Sambhavanatha (with the horse) and of yakshis and yalis. Photo: K. Bhagya Prakash

Parsvanatha, the 23rd tirthankara, seated under the hood of a snake. Beside this sculpture is one of Kubera. Photo: K. BHAGYA PRAKASH

Rishabhanatha, also called Adinatha. The plainness of the sculpture is characteristic of the sculptures of the Ganga period. Photo: K. BHAGYA PRAKASH

A highly embellished sculpture of Parsvanatha of the Hoysala period under the canopy formed by the hood of a snake is shown standing on a simha throne flanked by a yaksha and yakshi. Photo: K. BHAGYA PRAKASH

Ornamented pilasters found during the scientific clearance at Kanakagiri being cleaned. They have carvings of tirthankaras Arahnatha (with the fish lanchana, or symbol), Shreyansanatha (with the rhinoceros symbol), Mallinatha (with a kumbha), Dharmanatha (with a dharma chakra) and Shanthinatha (with the deer symbol) and other celestial beings. Photo: K. BHAGYA PRAKASH

Karnataka : Bengaluru , 16/03/2016 . Stone faces found during the ongoing excavation by Archeological Survey of India (ASI) at Aratipura near Maddur in Mandya District of Karnataka state . Photo: K. BHAGYA PRAKASH

A terracotta figure found during the scientific clearance. Photo: K. BHAGYA PRAKASH

A terracotta figure found during the scientific clearance. Photo: K. BHAGYA PRAKASH

Bricks used by the Gangas to buttress the Jaina temples built by them in the ninth and 10th centuries atop Kanakagiri. Photo: K. BHAGYA PRAKASH

Ambika, who was the yakshi of Neminatha, one of the 24 Jaina tirthankaras. She is seated on a throne borne by a lion. Photo: K. BHAGYA PRAKASH

A Kubera sculpture. Several Kubera sculptures were found in Kanakagiri. Photo: K. BHAGYA PRAKASH

Inscription on a stone slab, got done by the poet Balachandradeva in memory of his parents, the poet Kandarpadeva and Sonnadevi. It is dated to 1220 C.E., during the reign of the Hoysala king Vira Ballaladeva. It talks about the existence of a Jaina complex built of bricks atop Kanakagiri and how the Hoysalas rebuilt it with stone. This led to the ASI taking up scientific clearance at the site. Photo: K. BHAGYA PRAKASH

A series of bas-relief sculptures of Jaina tirthankaras on the rock surface adjacent to the natural cavern in a depression on the Kanakagiri hillock. Photo: K. BHAGYA PRAKASH

An outline of a sculpture chiselled on the rock surface near the bas-reliefs. This gives an insight into how the sculptors made these carvings during the 10th or 11th century during Hoysala rule. Photo: K. BHAGYA PRAKASH

Bas-reliefs of tirthankaras on the rock surface adjacent to the cavern. Below them are faded inscriptions in the Kannada script and language of the ninth/tenth century. Photo: K. BHAGYA PRAKASH

Chakra Dharini. She holds a wheel, noose and a conch in three hands. The fourth hand is held in the abaya mudra. Photo: K. BHAGYA PRAKASH

Estampages of the Kannada inscriptions on the granite plinth of a Jaina temple. The inscriptions belong to the Hoysala period. Photo: K. BHAGYA PRAKASH

ASI officials near the sculpture of Adinatha found in a temple on the eastern side of the hillock. From left are T. Arun Raj, Superintending Archaeologist , Bangalore Circle; K. P. Poonacha, former Joint Director General; R.N. Kumaran and P. Aravazhi, both Assistant Archaeologists. Photo: K. BHAGYA PRAKASH

At Artipura in Karnataka the ASI unearths a Jaina centre that flourished during the time of the Gangas and the Hoysalas.

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