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Ancient 11th-12th Century’s Parshwanath Tirthanakar Idols found at Hupari

Hupari, (Hatkangale Taluk, Kolhapur District, Maharashtra), 6th July 2020: Two ancient Jain Tirthankar idols of Lord Parshwanath in Kayotsarga (standing posture) belonging 11th – 12th Century have been found at Hupari town. These were found while digging the foundation for a new Jain temple in the premises of Bhagawan 1008 Sri Chandraprabha Digambar Jain Temple.

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Speaking to Jain Heritage Centres (JHC) Prof. Hampana (Hamapa Nagarajaiah) a renowned Jain scholar said,  “At 3 1/2 feet below the ground level the 1st idol of Parshwanath Tirthankara was noticed. It was partly mutilated but sculptural details were clearly visible. In the absence of any inscriptional evidence it’s period, donor, donee etc. could not be decided. However, looking at the sculptural idiom it appeared to belong to the late medieval period. When the digging work still continued, a pleasant surprise was awaited. At 13.5 feet below the ground level another better preserved and less mutilated statue of  Parshwanatha Jina emerged. Luckily this idol has an inscription on its pedestal. The language is Kannada written in 11th-12th century characters”.

Inscriptional text of the 2nd Parshwanath idol in Kannada:

೧ @  ಶ್ರೀ [ಯಾಪನೀಯ]ಸಂಘದ ಪುನ್ನಾವೃಕ್ಷ ಮೂಲಗಣದ ರಾತ್ರಿಮತಿ ಕನ್ತಿಯರ ಶಿಷ್ಯೆಯರಪ್ಪ
೨ ತೇರಿವಾಡದ ಜಿನಮತಿ ಕನ್ತಿಯಗ್ಗೆರ್ಗ್ಗೆವರ ಗುಡ್ಡ   ಹಿಲರಯರ ಲಕುಮಗಾವುಂ
೩ ಣ್ಡನಾವುರಲ್ಮಾಡಿಸಿಕೊಟ್ಟ ಬಸದಿಗಿನ್ನೂಱಿಪ್ಪತ್ತಯ್ದ(ಯ್ದು) ಮ[ತ್ತರು] ಭೂಮಿ ಆಱುಗ
೪ ಯ್ಯ ಮನೆ  ಬಸ(೦)ತವಾಡಲು ಮಂಗಳ ಮಹಾ  ಶ್ರೀ  ಶ್ರೀ || @

Inscriptional text with English Transliteration:

1 @ Shri [Yapaniya]Sanghada Punnavruksha Muulaganada Raatrimathi Kanthiyara Shishyeyarappa
2 Terivadada Jinamathi Kanthiyaggerggevara Gudda Hilarayara Lakumagaavum
3 Ndanaavuralmaadisikotta BasadiginnUrippattayda(yda) ma[ttaru] bhUmi aruga
4 yya mane basa(m)tavaadalu mangala mahaa Shri Shri||@

Ancient 11th-12th Century’s Parshwanath Tirthanakar Idols found at Hupari

Post discussing the inscriptional content with Dr. Ravikumar K. Navilgund, Prof Hampana has released the summary of the inscription. It reads as follows:

“Hilarayara Lakuma Gavunda (village chief), a disciple of Jinmtiganti,  constructed a Basadi(Jianalaya) in Terivada for the Jaina nun Jinamati Kanti(nun). She was a Shishye, pupil of Ratrimatiganti who belonged to the monk lineage of Punnagavruksha mulagana of the Yapaniya samgha. Lakuma Gavunda (after constructing Basadi for his preceptor), also donated (for the maintenance) to the temple 250 mattar (a unit of measurement) land and a house of six arm’s length situated in Basantavada (modern Bastvada). Be it well”.

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Analysis of a few words used in the inscription: “The village Terawada (Shirola Taluka, Kolhapur Dt. Maharashtra) mentioned in the inscription is about 25 km from Hupari, and Bastavada is about 40 km from Hupari. It is evident that a dvikuta or trikuta Parshvanta Jinamandira once existed at the same site 800 years ago. If methodical excavation takes place, many more sculptures and relevant material will come to light,” says Hampana.

About Hupari: Hupari is a small town at a distance of 20 Kms from the Taluk Centre Hatkangale and 23 Kms from the district centre Kolhapur. Other Jain temples at Hupari are Shri Shantinath Digambar Jain Temple at Chandi Nagar and Shri Shantinath Digambar Jain Temple at Yashwant Nagar.

Photos Courtesy: Abhilash Patil (Belagavi), Annasaheb Shendure (Hupari), Prashant J Upadhye (Galataga) and Sunil Upadhye (Hupari)
Video Courtesy: Sunil Upadhye (Hupari)
– Jain Heritage Centres News Service (JHCNS) with inputs from Dr. Ravikumar K Navalagunda