Humcha or Hombuja or Hunchadakatte is the well known Padmavathi shrine in Karnataka. In fact it can be rated as the most popular of all the Padmavathi shrines in the world.
Jain Temples and places of Interest at Humcha
We can classify the Jain temples and places of Interest at Humcha as follows:
Main Temple Complex – The main temple complex begins with a series of 15 steps spread over an area of around 200 feet. In the midst of the steps is found an ancient Manasthambha and on moving ahead we come across a huge open hall similar to a Mukha mantapa in ancient temples. On moving ahead of the open hall in the centre is found the Parshwanatha temple, to its right are placed a series of ancient Jain idols recovered from different parts of Karnataka some of which are in its ruins. On moving further ahead of the Jain idols is found the Kshetrapala Brahma Yaksha temple. To the left of the Parshwanatha temple is found the Parshwa Padmavathi Basadi.
Parshwanatha Temple – This is an ancient structure and is in the form of a typical ancient temple with the Navaranga, Sukanasi and Garbagriha. In the navaranga are placed the peetha/seat and the paduka of the Bhattaraka. On the right side of Navaranga are found two black coloured stone idols of Lord Parshwanatha, one of these idols is in kayotsarga and is very ancient and the other is a new idol in padmasana. To the left of the Navaranga is found an ancient black coloured idol of Lord Parshwanatha in Kayotsarga. This idol is considered as the only one of its kind in the world as it has the figures of two humans troubling Lord Parshwnanatha while in meditation and the same humans have bowed down to Lord Parshwanatha on either sides of the feet. The main deity of the temple is the 4 feet high idol of Lord Parshwanatha in Padmasana. This idol is flanked by Chamaradharis on either side. We can also find an ancient idol of Goddess Ambika in this temple.
Parshwa Padmavathi Basadi – This is a brick and concrete structure that has undergone constant renovations. It has the idol of Goddess Padmavathi and a white coloured marble idol of Lord Parshwanatha in padmasana as the main deities. This is the idol that is looked upon with high degree of devotion and reverence across the world. Behind the temple is found the Lakki tree that is related to the story of Goddess Padmavathi. The tree is protected by a concrete structure with stone idols of nagashilpa, Goddess Padmavathi and Jinadattaraya.
Jain Mutt and Temple – the Jain Mutt is attached to the Main temple complex to its right. Free food facilities are provided to devotees at the Jain Mutt. The entrance of the Jain Mutt is flanked by Dwarapalakas. A 12 inches high idol of Lord Neminatha and Goddess Kushmandini Yakshi are found in the sanctum sanctorum of this temple.
Panchakuta Basadi – An inscriptional reference mentions that the Panchakuta Basadi at Humcha was built in the year A.D. 1077 by Chattala Devi who had married the prince of Pallavas. This temple has five Garbagrihas and hence the name Panchakuta Basadi. It has an ancient Manasthambha and many other ruined Jain idols are preserved in the premises of the temple by the Archeological Survey of India (ASI). We can find the idols of Lord Adinath, Shanthinath, Aranatha, Chandranatha and Parshwanatha in the Panchakutas.
Muttina Kere – This is a pond situated at a distance of around 200 mts from the main temple complex. This is the pond that is related with the story of the pearls created by Goddess Padmavathi to test the devotion of King Jinadattaraya.
Origin of river Kumudvati – This is found in between the forests of Humcha and is the place of origin of river Kumudvati which is also related to the story of Goddess Padmavathi and Jinadattaraya.
Parshwanatha Idol – Just besides the main temple complex a road leads to a small hillock that is located behind the temple. On this hillock is found a marble idol of Lord Parshwanatha in Kayotsarga installed in the midst of a wide open space. People visiting the hillock can go through a four wheeler till certain distance and will have to climb up the hillock latter on by foot. In the surroundings of the open space can be found innumerable Jaina ruins. Having a look at the ruins we can conclude that they are the remains of a demolished stone temple built a few centuries ago.
Mythological Story Related to Humcha Padmavathi
Humcha has a mythological story attached to it. It starts with Jinadatta, the prince of Mathura. He had fled to south India leaving his home town due to family reasons. He meets the Jain monk Muni Siddhantakeerthi and according to his guidance he carried the idol of Godess Padmavathi along with him on the horse back and toured the southern parts of India. When he reached Humcha he decided to stay over night at this place under the shelter of a Lakki tree. In his dream he got an inspiration from Goddess Padmavathi to install the idol over here and that he will get all the support from the localities and the Goddess mentioned to him that she will be staying over there. She further instructed him that when iron is touched to the feet of the Padmavathi idol it will be converted into gold and by the wealth gained through this means he can make this place as his capital. The next day he decided to construct a temple dedicated to Goddess Padmavathi and Lord Parshwanatha. He further moved ahead with establishing his capital at Humcha. His Guru Siddanthakeerthi and his mother setteled at Humcha along with him. Further he married princess Manoradhini of the Kingdom of South Mathura.
After this he continued ruling the kingdom happily without any hassles. After a few years Goddess Padmavathi wanted to test Jinadatta’s devotion and hence created two pearls (called as Muttu in Kannada) at a pond located a few meters away from the temple. Since then this pond is called as Muttina Kere (Kere means tank in Kannada). Of the two pearls one of them was pure and the other was stained a bit. One of persons in the kingdom who found the pearls handed them over to the king. The King got two nose rings done from them. He gave the ring with the pure pearl to his wife and offered the other ring with the stained pearl to the Goddess.
But when he visited the temple, to his astonishment he found the ring with the pure pearl on the Goddess. At this point he heard a divine voice of Goddess Padmavathi, saying that the idol will loose its divine power of converting the iron into gold and will fall into the well besides the temple. At this juncture Jinadattaraya realized his mistake and pleaded the Goddess for forgiveness. In response to this the divine voice mentioned that he should install another idol at that place and promised with the following things/incidents so that the existence of Goddess Padmavathi was felt:
The Lakki Tree will never dry
The muttina kere will never dry
The water will be constantly oozing out from the point of origin of river Kumudvati
Whenever a devote asks for blessings from Goddess Padmavathi, the flowers will fall from the right side of the idol.
History of Humcha
It was the capital of the Santha dynasty founded by Jinadattaraya. They ruled over the region for a considerable period with Humcha as their capital. Jinadattaraya originated from the city of Mathura in northern India. He defeated the Simharattas, Andakasuras and Kanakasuras and other Asuras (demons) and established his kingdom at Kanakasura (Humcha) in 7th century A.D. Many other kings and queens ruled over the place and contributed towards its development.
Inscriptional References about Temples and Other Structures at Humcha
Tola Purusha Vikramaditya Santa built a Basadi made of stone at Humcha in A.D. 898 and dedicated it to Kondakondanvaya’s Moni Siddantha Bhattarakha.
In A.D. 850 Paliyakka built the Paliakka Basadi in memory of her mother. This was called as Paliyakka Basadi.
An inscription of A.D. 1064 mentions that Samyaktava Rashi’s Nokaiah had built a Jain temple at Humcha. Further it mentions that Trailokya Malla Veera hanthadeva had built many Jain temples at Humcha, the Padmavathi shrine is the most important among them.
We also get references about the construction of Bhujabala Santha’s temple by Trailokya Malla Bhujabala Santarasa in A.D. 1065.
Another inscriptional reference mentions that the Panchakuta Basadi at Humcha was built in the year A.D. 1077 by Chattala Devi who had married the prince of Pallavas. This temple was called as Urv?tilaka Basadi. After the death of her husband Chattaladevi settled at Humcha and constructed many temples, choultries, water tanks and ponds. Like wise the Bahubali Basadi, Parshwanatha Basadi and other structures were built at Humcha.
Jain Ascetics at Humcha
Among the ascetics Siddanthakeerthi, Hemasena, Pushapsena, Ajithasena, Dayapala, Vadividyananda and other ascetics played a major role in building Humcha. Vadividyananda is considered as the foremost among the Jain ascetics to propogate Jainism around the region. He visited the Vijayanagar Kingdom, Sangeethapura (current Haduvalli in Bhatkala Taluk of Karwar District in Karnataka), Bilagi and other places for the propagation of Jainism.
History of Humcha Jain Mutt
The Jain Mutt at Humcha might have been established during the period of Jinadattaraya and there are references about the relation of the Humcha Jain Mutt with Varanga. You can read more about this under Varanga article. The pontiff of the Humcha Jain Mutt is called as Swasti Sri Devendrakeerthi Bhattraka Swamiji. The Bhattaraka at Humcha is said to belong to the Kundakundanvaya Saraswathi Gachha tradition.