– Article , Photos, Design & Concept: Nitin H P, Bengaluru (HPN@JHC)
people visiting the ancient Jain Heritage Centre Hombuja/Humcha (Hosanagara Taluk, Shivamogga District, Karnataka), the land of Santharas wouldn’t have visited Bogara basadi and people who have visited Bogara basadi might not have noticed the ancient “Sallekhana Memorial inscription – Nishadi” found in front of it. The inscription has two parts – the upper portion with carvings and the lower portion with space for inscriptional text. One cannot find any inscriptional text in the lower portion. However, carvings in the upper portion clearly indicate that this is a Sallekhana memorial/Nishadi of a Jain queen.
The upper portion has three panels. The bottom-most panel has the carving of the queen in the centre with two Jain Munis seated on either side with pinchi in their hands preaching her the Sallekhana ritual. Three chowri bearers are seen on either side of the queen.
The middle panel has the Jain queen seated with folded hands in a mantapa, four chowri bearers are seen flanking her. To her right is seen a person blowing the trumpet and another person beating mridanga. To her left is seen a person holding a dolak in his hand.
The topmost panel has a Tirthankar inside a mantapa in Padmasana with the queen seated with folded hands to the right of Tirthankar and to the Tirthankar’s left is seen a Jain Muni standing with pinchi in his hand. The mantapa is flanked by chowri bearers.
The attractive carving of the women with ornaments, the attractively carved mantapas, chowri bearers, Jain Munis and Tirthankar help us conclude that this is a Sallekhana Memorial stone of a Jain queen.
Had the inscriptional text remained intact we would have explored more details.