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Rare Jain sculpture found near Shimoga

    Yelavatti - Thirthankara Idol

    Shimoga (Karnataka), September 23, 2013: A Jain sculpture belonging to the 12th Century was found while removing silt from a tank in Yalavatti village near here recently.

    Balakrishna Hegde, a history lecturer at Kamala Nehru National College for Women from Shimoga, told that the sculpture had idols of five Teerthankaras carved on a panel. It is made of blue soap stone and is 32-cm tall and 21-cm wide.

    Significance – “A sculpture having idols of five Teerthankaras is rare. The idol seated in the middle is bigger than the rest. The sculpture is rich in aesthetic elements. The Teerthankaras are seated in Paryankasana style on simhapeetha (pedestal with images of lions engraved on it). The Teerthankaras are engaged in meditation and are in a serene mood. The umbrella, popularly known as mukkode, on the head of the main idol and the creepers on its either side are intricately carved. This style of carving was widely practiced in the Hoysala period,” he said.

    Dr. Hegde said it was a votive sculpture. The back of the sculpture was plain.

    Nishidhi pillars erected to commemorate Jain ascetics who performed Sallekhana vrata were also found in Yalavatti, Purale, Hasudi and surrounding villages. The relics found here prove that there was a strong influence of Jainism on this region, he said.

    The head of the Teerthankara seated on the right side has been partially damaged during dredging.

    Nayana, a resident of the village who completed her B.A. from Kamala Nehru College last year informed Dr. Hegde about the sculpture. – News & Image Courtesy: The Hindu

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