Halebidu (Hassan District, Karnataka), 10 February, 2021: The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has unearthed an ancient temple of Hoysala era in in Hassan district recently, an ASI official said on Wednesday. Presumably a Jain temple, the ancient structure with a grand platform carrying intricate carvings unique to the Hoysala era, was found at Shantinatha Basadi near Halebidu in Belur taluk, the officer added.
The discovery is significant because it shows that the Hoysala rulers had patronised Jainism as well.
The excavation was carried out from 20th January 2021 onwards by a team led by Dr G Maheshwari, Regional Director of ASI (Southern Region).
“It was a mound measuring 30 metres by 20 metres. We have dug out the plinth of the temple and discovered many artifacts and sculptures from the site. It seems to be a Jain temple,” Shivkant Bajpai, the Superintending Archaeologist of ASI, Bengaluru Circle told.
According to him, it could just be a beginning and there might exist some bigger temples nearby.
The ASI had been receiving reports of artifacts found around Halebidu, which already has a magnificent temple from the Hoysala period.
Among the artifacts discovered were the sculptures of a Jain Upasaka measuring two feet in height.
Hoysala dynasty, which ruled parts of the state from 12th to 14 th century, had patronised all sects of the prevailing time.
The Hoysala rulers built the Chennakeshava temple for Vaishnavites in Belur and Kedareshwara (Shiva) temple for Shivaites at Halebidu.
“Hassan district is an abode of Jainism since 3rd-2nd century BC. Jainism has been patronised by many royal dynasties including the Hoysalas. The 28 Hoysala Jain temples spread across the district stand as a testimony to the Hoysalas patronage in the district. This discovery is no surprise. It has further contributed towards Jain history and heritage of the district.”, opines Nitin H P, a Jain researcher, founder & executive director of www.jainheritagecentres.com.
– News and Image Courtesy: Times Group, Jain Heritage Centres News Service