– Article & Photos by: Nitin H.P., Bengaluru
An article about the Jain ruins at Manne an ancient Jain Heritage Centre that served as a capital of Gangas for a considerable period.
Ganga’s have always contributed enormously to art, culture and religions. Their contribution to Jainism is worth noting, this is evident through the remarkable literary works that were composed during this period, the Jain temples built by them and the richness of these temples in terms of grandeur, art and architecture. Further, the monolithic statue of Lord Bahubali at Shravanabelagola is the most astounding amongst all their contributions.
Manyapura, the present ‘Manne’, a small village in the Bangalore rural district of Karnataka served as their capital for a considerable period. During their regime at Manyapura the Ganga’s constructed many Hindu and Jain temples in the region.
Sri Vijaya Basadi – We can find a ruined Jain basadi with 17 pillars in the middle of this village. Its structure is very different from many other temples. It has an elevated roof which is not less than 20 feet high. The incomplete/fallen roof structure indicates that there existed a much bigger structure.
Carving of Dharanendra & Padmavati Yakshi on the roof – Further, except the carving of Dharanendra Yaksha and Padmavati Yakshi on its roof we cannot find any thing else. It is rare to find such carvings of Dharanendra and Padmavati Yakshi together on the roofs of a temple.
Jain Tirthankar’s Head – In addition to the above structures we can find the head of a Jain Tirthankar that was found around the Sri Vijaya Basadi during an excavation few years back. This head is been cemeted to the floor and exhibited in the premises of Government High School, Manne.
Inscriptions at Manne – A copper plate inscription that was found at Manne states that a Jain temple here was constructed by Srivijaya the general of the Ganga King Marasimha at Manyapura the current Manne where the copper plate was obtained at the Ganga royal residence under Sripurusha. It further states that Srivijaya granted the Kru-Vekkur village, (current Kuruvelluru village at a distance of 3 Kms from Manne) for maintaining this temple. The inscription states that priest of the temple was apparently Prabhachandra a disciple of Pushpanandi, the learned head of his gana, who was the disciple of Toranacharyya of Kundakundanvaya Gachha, described as the wisest man of this country, who lived in the Salmali village. The plates were engraved by Visvakarmmacharyya, the usual designation of the court engraver. The period of the copper plate inscription is 797 AD.
Temple on its Ruins – It is sad to see such a uniquely built Sri Vijaya basadi on its ruins. The temple has been converted into a cow shed to store dried grass and a dumping yard to store fire wood.
The temple is in its ruins and there is no one to look after this ruined Jain temple from the Jain community. Very soon the temple might fall down and we are on the verge of loosing another Jain Heritage Centre.
1. Epigraphia Carnatica – Vol. IX (1905), Page No. 3, Nelamangala, Copper Plate Inscription No. 60.