Kanakagiri, situated about 53 Kms away from Mysore, bears a very ancient history in the map of India in general and Karnataka in particular. It is described in the ancient works as Hemanga Desha and to where Bhagawan Sri Mahavira visited the place in his sojourn or Sri Vihara in South India. The samavasarana is said to have been held here! This place of pilgrimage with a Jain temple atop the widely spread hillock with tides of rocks and bushes around. A sincere attempt has been made here to draw the history of Kanakagiri.
sampuujakaanaam pratipaala kaanaam yatiindra saamaanya tapoodanaanaam |
deeshasya raashtrasya purasya raajaha karootushaantim bhagawan Jitendra |
This message of peace and tranquility was purported by Sri Pujyapada and is well sung daily by the Jaina Shravak and Shravakis. This great hymn aspires for the welfare of the world it emphasizes self-purification and prays for the disintegration of the vices. It emphasizes the compassion for life and aim of fulfilling the worth of human birth. Sri Pujyapada the great composer sanctified the place Sri Kshetra Kanakagiri by his greater achievements and fulfillment. He prayed for the welfare and prosperity of the citizen, the kings, the country and mankind. This shloka emanated in this place spreading the torch of tranquility throughout the world.
Maleyuru – Maleyuru village is situated in Chamarajanagar district and is about 3 Kms away from Kanakagiri. However, it bears a very close and inseparable relationship with Kanakagiri. It was once one of the important Jain centres in the world. It was well known for its sandalwood and rich forestry around it. It is said that princess Jevandara attained sainthood at the behest of Lord Mahavira on his visit to the place. Many saints undertook deep penance and attained Kevala Jnana and salvation atop the hill. Supratishta Munivarya of Suryapura and Jnanachandra Munivarya preached here to the devotees and thus propagated the principles of Jaina religion. They were endowed with anantha jnana, anantha sukha and anantha veerya.
Kanakagiri: Siddakshetra – The inscriptions, engravings of footprints, samadhi mantapas and nishadi caves throw much light on the heritage of the place. These stand as an edifice to the antiquity of the place and also the gamut of Jaina saints who lived here. Furthermore these also reflect the extent and depth of religious importance in an impressive manner.
Pujyapadacharya was an unique personality among the Jaina ascetics and whose achievements were unbounded. His name is personified with Kanakagiri. The main temple situated atop the hill belongs to Bhagawan Sri Parshwanatha who constitutes the main deity of the temple in Kayotsarga. He is also described as Vijaya Parshwanatha.
Atishayakshetra – Lord Parshwanatha was worshiped by Hoysala kings. Goddess Sri Padmavathidevi has blessed the place.
Jainism flourished well in this place for centuries and a big temple belonging to Sri Adinatha is found as a testimony in the heart of Maleyuru. The main principle of non violence is practiced immensely by the people living here.
Acharya Pujyapada – It was the abode of Acharya Pujyapada as already cited above and who had a celestial power of contemplating with Sri Srimandaraswamy of Videhakshetra. He inspired Nagarjuna to install the sacred footprints of twenty four prophets and finally attained nirvana. Pujyapada has written Sarvartha Siddhi, Dashabakthi, Samadhi Shataka, Ishtopadesha and Jainendra Vyakarana. He was a great exponent in Ayurvedic Medicine and has remained immortal in this context. He lived in the 5th century and consecrated the place with sanctity.
Royal Heritage – The Ganga dynasty was founded under the gudiance of Munivarya Simhananda Acharya in 2nd century the Kings of this dynasty built temple on the top of the hill in the 5-6th century. Chavundaraya defeated Madurachaya in 10th century and hence he was adorned with the title Chaladankamalla.Later Hoysalas, Vijayanagara kings also Mysore kings constructed many Jain temples and forts with amenities. They donated many lands and villages to the temples.
The Hoysala King worshipped Bhagawan Parshwanatha before proceeding to war. As a result he had won the war against odds and thus described Sri Parshwanatha Swamy as Sri Vijaya Parshwanatha Swamy.
Architect of Resurrection of Kanakagiri – Pujya Sri Chandrasagara Muni had chosen Kanakagiri for his penance and worship is the last century. He resurrected the place with 24 Jinakutas and also construed the steps to the hill. He awakened the people for charity and developed the place with modern facilities.
Jain Mutt – The names of Jain saints namely Ajitakeerthi, Chandrasenacharya, Chandrakeerthi Muni, Vajra Nandi, Siddantha Deva, Vidyanandi Muni and Vadebasimha Muni are incarnated, as they regarded the place as abode of achievements and pursuance. The Jain Muth came to existence in the light of these Jain saints. Besides the names of Sri Maddamanandi Bhattarakha, Vadiraja Muni, Munichandradeva, and Prabendu Prabhacharya are well-knitted with the history of the place.
Relief from Kalasarpa Dosha – Kanakagiri is the only place among the Jain centres providing relief to the ill effects of Rahu & Ketu as described in the Jaina heritage i.e. Kalasarpadosha. It is also mentioned in the Jaina classics. It is interesting to note that the idols of Sri Amra Kushmandini, Sri Nagadevate and Sri Padmavathi Goddesses are placed opposite to each other. These bring peace and tranquility amongst the devotees. The Jains and also non Jains visit the place seeking relief from Rahu Ketu dosha. Queen Deverammanni of Mysore royal family once suffered with Kalasarpadosha and found relief on worshipping the Goddesses here. Hence she bestowed the place with the idol of hood of snake bearing Dharanendra and Padmavathi figures. This idol is found only here and nowhere else in any part of the world.
His Holiness Swastisri Bhuvanakeerthi Bhattarakh Swamiji
His Holiness Swastisri Bhuvanakeerthi Bhattarakh Swamiji is the present pontiff heading Sri Kshetra Kanakagiri Peetha which is known as the unique ‘siddakshetra’ of South India. He was born in Heruru village, Sagar taluk, Shimoga district in Karnataka. His original name was Vasupujya and born to the religious couple Sri Nemiraja Shetty and Smt Marudevamma. He possesses a great patronage for the religion and erudition of knowledge. He has studied immensely the path of Jaina religion. His sphere of knowledge in Sanskrit, Hindi and religious studies are of high order. He is an erudite scholar and a studied Sanskrit, Prakrit and Hindi literature in Jainism [M.A. (Sanskrit), Mysore University; Acharya (Prakrit & Jain Agama), Varanasi]. He obtained the Shastri graduation in Sri Varni Digambar Jain Gurukula, Jabalpur, M.P., run under the guidance of Acharya Sri Vidyasagarji Maharaj. Further, he also possesses vast knowledge in Astrology. He is an eloquent speaker in various languages. His sense of devotion, spirit preaching, depth of knowledge and veritable sacrifice are well known throughout the land. His lectures on various religious deliberations are much appreciated by the men of letters and the common folk alike. He is well known for various social welfare activities.
Simplicity is his nature and thereby he has conquered the heart of the people. His academic activities blended with admirable religious schemes for the propagation of the religion have drawn considerable attention from the people. He has evinced keen interest in developing the Sri Kshetra Kanakagiri in leaps and bounds and thus establishing the place as centre of Jaina pilgrimage, study, and scholarship. He has undertaken many constructive measures in the Sri Kshetra to facilitate the abounding number of pilgrims visiting the centre. The Muth is always found in the forefront for the welfare of humanity. He has created awareness amongst the people regarding the glory of Jainism. The Muth is known for providing religious and social education in the Pujyapada Vidyapeetha installed by the Swamiji. He has traveled far and wide and acquired veritable knowledge of Jaina relics of the past. His message of Jina has pervaded the thoughts, moods and memories of the devotees and paved the way for leading a useful life. Sri Kshetra has found a remarkable improvement after the advent of Swamiji in the place. It is worth to note that Pujyapada Ayurveda Hospital, the brain child of Swamiji has helped the poor and needy. He is a great dreamer with visionary outlook. He has intended to establish a research centre of Ayurveda in memory of Acharya. Furthermore, he has decided to incorporate a botanical garden with medicinal plants and herbs in order to promote Ayurvedic Medical Science.
‘Pujyapada Award’ has been installed at Sri Kshetra to identify and encourage the people who have attained stature in the field of Ayurvedic medicine and rendered yeomen service to the people. At present, the Muth is running the educational institutions in Mysore and Chamarajanagar imparting education to the poor and downtrodden children. Home for the deserted children at Mysore is unique in its character as it is the only institution of that kind initiated by the Jain Community.
The Swamiji is beacon limelight for the philanthropic upliftment of the people at large.
How to Reach – Kanakagiri is at a distance of 52 Kms from Mysore, 27 Kms from Nanjanagudu, 18 Kms from Chamarajanagar, 128 Kms from Shravanabelagola and 75 Kms from Gommatagiri. Direct busses are available to Maleyuru from Mysore every day at 7.00 am and 6.00 pm. On reaching Maleyuru one will have to wall till Kanakagiri a distance of 2 Kms or can request the Jain Mutt to send the vehicles to pick them up. Private busses are also available to Maleyuru from Mysore and Nanjangudu.
Accommodation Facilities – Good Accommodation facilities are available at Kanakagiri, it is always advisable to make their bookings well in advance.
Contacts – Ph – 91 08226 210786/211786