Babanagar is a village in the Vijayapura/Bijapur district of Karnataka. Its history dates back to the period of Kalachuri ruler Bijjala i.e. 12th century AD.
Main Deity – About 45 cms high green coloured stone idol of Tirthankar Parshwanath in Kayotsarga.
Parshwanath Basadi – The Digambar Jain temple at Babanagar is called 1008 Sri Chintamani Parshwanath Swamy Basadi. It is located in the midst of a narrow lane and has been renovated. It has a two storied building. The ground floor houses the 45 cms high green-black coloured stone idol of Tirthankar Parshwanath in Kayotsarga as the main deity. Many other small idols are also seen in the Garbhagriha (sanctum sanctorum). The entrance leading to the Garbagriha is flanked by Yaksha and Yakshi idols on either side. The 1st floor has a newly built Manastambha and a pinnacle/shikhara. The Shikhara house the Chaturmukha idol and a black coloured idol of Tirthankar Parshwanath in Padmasana.
Jain inscription at Babanagar – A damaged inscription found in the ruined Siva temple at Babanagar discloses the existence of a Jaina temple at the place in the 12th century A.D. It registers a gift of land into the hands of the preceptor Manikya Bhattaraka of Manga lived for the benefit of the temple in A.D. 1161 during the reign of the Kalachuri ruler Bijjala. The preceptor belonged to the Mula Sangha and Desi Gana. Mangaliveda where-from he hailed is identical with modern Mangalavedhe near Pandharpur. This place had the privilege of being the home and the ancestral headquarters of the princes of the Kalachuri house throughout their regime. Mention is made in the epigraph, of the Kalachuri prince Mailugi who may be identified as a younger son of Bijjala. Kannadige, wherein the Jaina temple was situated, must be the ancient name of Babanagar.
Legend Related to Tirthankar Parshwanath Idol – As per a legend, it is believed that the idol of Parsvanath was in the possession of the Muslim queen of an Adilshahi ruler. She kept this idol as a priced possession among her valuables. Once, she was suffering from severe pain and every other treatment given to her did not work. A layman from the village dreamt about the Jina and visited the Adilshahi Sultan and offered to treat the queen. The sultan agreed to it. The man applied water to her affected part, and she recovered. The sultān with this asked what the man wanted as a reward to this. The man said, “I want the Jina idol in the queen’s collection”. The Sultan agreed and let the man take the Jina idol. On his way back to his village he rested at a place. An old man from Gundwad in Raybag taluk, also a traveler, saw the Parswanath idol and performed abhisheka to the idol with the water he was carrying. Evne to this day the tradition continues, on every Ugadi Amavasya people from Gundawad village get water from River Krishna in small pots, and perform abhisheka to the idol. The Adilshahi Sultan also granted about 30 acres of land to the Parshwanath basadi at Babanagar.
How to Reach – Babanagar is located at a distance of 32 Kms from the district centre Vijayapura/Bijapur.