Nov 18, 2008

JAINA ART AND ARCHITECTURE IN ANDHRA

Dr. I. K. Sharma


The Jainological studies in respect of Andhradesa have not been comprehensive. Except casual references in P.B. Desai's work, Jainism in South India, and some Jaina Epigraphs, (Sholapur, 1957) and stray notices in A. Ghosh, (ED) Jaina Art and Architecture, Bharatiya Jnanapith (New Delhi, 1975), Vols. I to III; practically no work has appeared on Jaina art and architecture in so far Andhra is concerned. This being so (Late) S. Gopala Krishna Murthy has brought out a work entitled Jaina Vestiges in Andhra in the year 1963 published by Department of Archaeology, Government of Andhra Pradesh. But this work does not specifically deal with the development Of Jaina art and architecture, but provides an interesting narrative on many sites with scattered sculptures of this faith. However, mention should be made of on account of literary sources compiled by (late) Mallampalli Somasekhara Sarma entitled "Jainamatamu" - Telugu Encyclopaedia, Vol. III, (1959), pp. 544-553.

The work of Appayarya, a poet in the Court of Prataparudradeva (1295-1328 A. D.) of the Kakatiya dynasty goes by the name Jinendra Kalyanabhyudayam.l Kalyana here means festivity of worship or jubilation pertaining to Jaina cult. Another work is Padmakavi's Jainendrapuranam.

I. BACKGROUNDIt is held generally that Jaina migration took place from North and Vardhamana Mahavira organised the first Jaina community, the Mu/asangha, its eleven disciples who were named Ganadharas. Ganas are groups of Jains who caused the expansion of Jaina philosopy. Out of these, three were well known and regarded as Kevalis. They were Gautama, Jambu Swami and Arya Sudharma. They in turn had disciples who were known as Sruta Kevalis who were five - Vishnu, Nandimitra, Aparajita, Govardhana, Sthulabhadra and Bhadrabahu. Bhadrabahu, the last Sruta keuali was a contemporary of Chandra Gupta Maurya (315 B.C.) The traditional association of Bhadrabahu with Sravana (Mana) Belgola, its hold as a centre of Digambara Jainism in Deccan has been well known. Subsequently, the great Kundakundacharya, who was regarded as the founder of this Mulasamgha, and his lineage Kundanvaya appears to have made Sravanabelgola a sacred resort of Jains from all over the country. His first name was Padmanandl and since he hailed from the village Kundakunda, he got the name Kundakundacarya subsequently. The various theories regarding the location of the village, date of this acarya, his proper name and suffix have been re-examined recently by A.V. Narasimha Murthy but still no sound explanation is forthcoming. The mulasamgha branched off into four upa-samghas viz., Nandi, Sena, Deva and Simha and each subdivided into ganas and in turn contained several gacchas. All these owed to the mulasamgha for the religious guidance.
Inspite of the fairly reliable traditional accounts attesting an early spread of Jains to Sravanabelgola,it is surprisisngthat .no vestiges are3 available there or even in Deccan for that matter which could be pushed back to Mauryan or post Mauryan times; while correspondingly on the sbuth-east coastal strip, more surer evidencdes, like the early Brahmi records over simple rock caverns and brds are available at such noteworthy sites as Sittannavasal (Pudukkottai), Arittapatti and Tirupparankunram in district Madurai (Tamilnadu). It is interesting to note that one of the early settlements in the Sangam period, (3rd to 5th century A. D.), Tiruppadirippuliyur was called 'Pataliputra' in the coastal part of South Arcot between Cuddalore and Chidambaram. In the Kannada country till date not a single rock-cut Jaina cavern attributable to a pre-Christian era was reported nor any Jain vestiges have been known prior to 5th century A. D. It appears Digambara Jainism did not reach Tamilnadu from' Sravanabelgola centre but through Orissa-coastal Andhra route in early centuries B. C.

We learn from Mulacara and Pravachanasara, which were composed during the early centuries of the Christian era, that permanent habitation for the Jaina ascetics at a place is forbidden. Mulacara ordains the monks to stay in a deserted house, under a tree or burial ground or in natural caves. So the varshavasa of the Jains were mostly natual rock shelters or the way-side hills and forest areas. Therefore, not many vestiges could be assigned to this faith in specific terms.

II. JAINA TENETS:Digambara Jainism has kept up strict ascetic codes and the ritual observances continued unaltered inspite of the tremendous growth in the activities of Jaina Sangha in South India. Ascetic life lends purity, uniqueness and unsullied fame to Jainism among Indian religions. Jaina scriptures lay three modes of Sallekhana, that is voluntary starvation, standing motionless till death. Vardhamana, known as Nathaputra, (son of Natha clan of Kshatriyas) added to the Jaina Chaturyama, dharma, (Ahimsa, Brahmacharya, Truth and Non­stealing), the fifth one Aparigriha (non-possession) thereby to complete victory over desire. Thus a Jina or Kevali should practice and attain three basic means of liberation Samyakdarsana, Samyakjnana, and Samyakcharita.

III. SOME TRACES OF EARLY JAINISM IN ANDHRAThere are no authentic evidences of premedieval Jaina remains in Andhra. According to Jaina traditional accounts, Mahavira is reported to have visited Kalinga country. Hathigumpha Prasasti refers to the episode of kind Nadaraja of Magadha who took away the figure (Agajinam) to his capital. King Kharavela (2nd cent B. C) restored it back to the basadi at Kumaragiri near Bhuvaneshavare in Orissa and caused in his 13th regnal year caves and resorts at (Udayagiri / Khandagiri ) for Sramanas. Maharaja Kharavele appears to have made a dent into coastal Andhara too during his 11th regnal year and captured the coastal market town of Pithunda, which was an ancient metropolis designated by Ptolemy as the capital of Maisoloi5 (Machilipatnam). Seafaring merchants are stated to be travelling by boat from Champa (Kampuchea) to Pihumda even in the days of Mahavira.. King Kharavela also speaks of a Confedaracy of Tamil countries with whom he fought and defeated. So early Jaina impact could have been the result of Kharavela's expeditions along the South East Coast.

When exactly Jainism spread to coastal Andhra? How it reached? are the questions that defy a clear answer. We have made a reference to a major centre of Jainism in Karnataka. Its influence over the entire south India is well documented. The acharyas belonging to the mulasangha reached far and wide. This could be through Cuddapah ­(Gangaperuru, Danavulapadu)6 Badvel route to Nellore in the coatstal strip. Queen Ayyana . Mahadevi, wife of Kubja Vishnuvardhana Maharaja (A. D. 624-41), the eastern Chalukyan monarch, gifted the village named Musinikonda to Nidumba basadi at Bezawada. In coastal Andhra, this is the first Jaina establishment, perhaps a cave or an open rock shelter caused originally by Ayyana Mahaddevi probably located in the Mallikarjuna hill, which has been subjected to total modernisation and almost all historical monuments have been destroyed in recent years. Later on Vishnuvardhana-III (A. D.718-755), had restored the gifts given to this very Jaina temple for the regular worship of Arahats. The Eastern Chalukyan rulers Gunaga Vijayaditya (849-893 A. D.) and later on Amma-II (945-970 A. D.) have patronised Jainism on a large scale. The Bezwada basadi had monks from far off Surashtra and it appears the early Chalukyan rulers of Andhra had exchanges with the Jaina centres of North - Mathura and Western India as well, besides the major Sravanabelgola the Jain Principle centre of Karnataka.

IV. VADDAMANU, DISTRICT GUNTURVaddamanu is a small village in district Guntur 34 Km. from Guntur on Amaravati road and 10 Km south east of Amaravati, the famous Buddhist site of world renown. The highest hill called Peddakonda has yielded several remains and relics associated with stupas and monasteries as a result of extensive excavations during the years 1981-85. The view that these structures datable to early centuries B.C. are of Jaina affiliation sprang up mainly from the place named Vaddamanu taken to be Vardhamana by the excavators of the site. In fact the name is also held as Vadlamanu due to its rich paddy (Vadlu) fields on the banks of Krishna. There is no doubt that bouldered Stupa at the summit of the hill, and rock caverns, are of the early date associated with N.B.P. and Punch-marked silver coins revealing the Magadhan influence. But to align these structures of early centuries B.C. to Jaina faith is not borne by any evidence except some short label inscriptions noticed (13-on stone and 214 on pottery) on the sculptured­architectural members, pots, bowls used by the inmates of the monastic units located here. It may, at the outset, be- noted that in ancient India, monasteries were resorts of-moving monks, be they Jain, (Nirgranthas), Buddhist or of Brahmanical faith.
Having taken for granted that Vaddamanu is Vardhamana, and hence a Jain Kshetra scholars attempted to dovetail the literary references from Brihat Kalpa Sutra which refers to king Samprati, a patroniser of Jainism, who made his influence felth in Andhra and is as old as Mahavira. T.V.G. Sastry8 and Mrs. Kasturi Bai9 who have published several inscriptions from this place have repeatedly connected some of these short label records to Jaina acharyas, ganas and sanghas of early centuries B. C. and A. D.

I would like to state that these shorter inscriptions, and a few somewhat longer are merely the names of the monks like Ara - taken for Aranathaj asari (da) am: arhata, (VDM, 620), Uttarudhal0 Gadodasa, and Utaradas, etc. Sanghasll like Ukkasa, Nagara, Gavanti Sangha of Gayanasakha; Kulas like Nandige, Pratiga; names like Vadhama (564/1), Maha (564/2), Veera (617/2), Vadhamana Pavate (567/6), Risabo (567/6), Nemi (573/14) have all been taken to be the names of Jaina Tirthan-karas and places. Somewhat lengthy record on a harmika slab which is incomplete reads, "Vadhamana nivasikasa Dhanumitisa Samatukasa Pithuka sa Bhatukasa Chu/a Dhanutikasa ku (mar and Sastry links up this Dhanumita, resident of Vadhamanu to a Dhamati of an inscription from Mathura who is cited as an inhabitant of Punyavardhanal2. This is apparently a very imaginative linkage without basis. Punyavardhana is a place closer to Mathura and several such pious places exist in Ganga­Yamuna doab. It is again interesting for us to note that some references like Jinanevihara, Parivara Sameta (569/4); Samprati Vihare Vadhamanu Pavatake{567/8); {Bhikshukasa}, Pithuda pura nivasikasa; Bhokavadhana pava (te); antevasa (566/9) Varanasa pati (618/4), Nepano Gamanidana (574/8); merely refer to frequent visit of monks from various places to this hill monastery and not that the monastery is aligned to exclusively Jains. Terms like Jina, arhata apply both for the followers of Buddhism as well as Jainism. There is no question of building of Stupas and monasteries in early Jainism and the Stupa of Kankalitila, Mathura, came to existence only during the Kushan period. The monastic life of Jainas has never been in permanent structures, they have dwelt merely in open resorts, way ward Rock shelters for the rainy season (Varshavasa). The monasteries, both Rock cut-in caves, halls, as well as structural viharas were not necessarily for a particular sectarian but meant for nanadesis belonging to various faiths. In the light of what has been stated above, we are of the view that Vaddamanu has no exclusive Jaina art and architectural relics. On the other hand from recently edited copper plate grants issued by Prithivi Mula Raja discovered from Kondavidu Fort (Guntur dt.), the existence of an Aryabhikshu Sangha at Vardhamani-mahavihara established by the Maha Meghavahana confirms that Vaddamanu was a flourishing Buddhist centre with several bhikshu Sanghas right upto 5th century A. D. enjoying royal patronage. In fact Digambara Jainism in early centuries B. C. or A. D. (before the advent of Mulasangha of Sravanabelgola), has no base in Andhra. Dynasties like Pallava, Chalukya, Nolamba, Rashtrakuta, Chola and Kakatiya, no doubt patronised Jainism in Andhra after this Sravanabelgola impact, wave after wave. The rock caverns reported in the Coastal Tamilnadu were only transient shelters and early Jaina monachism did not permit permanent residences to its ascetics and this holds good in respect of Andhra too.

IV. LATER HISTORICAL SITES:The Kalyani Chalukya, Kakatiya and the Velanati Chola rule witnessed asfairly large concentration of Jaina architectural establishments. The square Sikhara over a plain stepped pyramidal tower, and Trikutas involving Triple shrines on plan with a front pillared mandapa are frequently seen as Vardhamana pura, Pragatur while single towered temples are at Kambaduru. Peddatumbalam, etc. But there has not been many rock cut ventures and hardly we get any pillarad caves as in the Brahmanical and Buddhist estasblishments. The extact examples known to us from Ramatirtham (Dt. Vigaz) Siddulayyakonda (Dt.Nellore), Hanumankonda (Dt. Warangal) and Chippagiri are merely shelters under the cover of huge granite boulders and the ledges. These rock caverns are of the times of the Chalukyas and Rashtrakutas to begin with and continued by their successors like the later Chalukya and Kakatiya dynasties. Carved middle size or miniature temple models of various types found in Vemulavada, Padmakshi, and Vijayawada give us an idea of the Jaina temple styles. These models closely recall the early Chalukyan monolithic temples found at Mahanandi, Satyavolu, Kadamara Kaluva, Alampur, etc. These are usually Chaumukhas or Chauvisis intended for four or twenty four Tirthankaras.

Bhima Saiki younger brother of Chalukya, Vijayaditya-II of Vengi (806-846 A.D.) was given protection by the Rashtrakuta Gonvinda-III, who placed him near Hanumakonda in early 9th century A. D. Saiki favoured Jainas who first established a colony in the Fort, a Durga Tank and rock shelters in the bouldered hills.

During the Kakatiya times Jainism has come to the fore as the early members of the dynasty adopted Jasinism.

Bodhan (Dr. Niamabad )Known anciently as Paudanyapura during the Rashtrakuta rule. this place has become a Jaina centre. A place of Gommata, it served as a capital of Rashtrakuta king Nityavarsha Indra (915-927 A. D.) The Jaina image is known as Kukkutesvara. In Andhra, the figure of Gommata is rarely seen. In Pithapuram, a Gommata is found which is called Kukkutesvara - as Kukkuta sarpas surround him.15 The Vaisyas in Andhra are called Komatis (a native Telugu word) being followers of Gomatha. They are traders by profession and followers of Jainism.

Vemulavada: (Karimnagar district).Arikesari-II (930-955) ruled at Vemulavada. The Kannada poet Pampa,16 the author of Adipurana, originally from Vengimandala, joined the court of Arikesari being a Jaina. A big Jaina temple named as Subhadhama Jinalaya was raised. Arikesari-III donated a village (A.D. 966) to the Jaina pontif Somadeva Suri, who belonged to the Gaula Sangha of North Indian origin. Interestingly this gift was to cause maintenance like white washing. daily offerings, and worship - "Khandasphutita nava Sudhakarma, Bali, naivedyartham". It is therefore, clear that the Brahmanical ritual modes were adopted in toto, though Tirthankaras in Jainism were certainly not Gods. Though the temple got ruined we still see the Paravsnatha image of red sandstone erected in the present Raja Rajesvaralaya. Several other Tirthankara figures are found scattered in various temples here. (five Pasrsvanatha, three Vardhamanas, Suparsvanatha, a Gommata, and four others). Vemulavada was undoubtedly a big Jaina centre in Telangana.

The literary works like Yasastilaka by Somadeva and Adipurana by Pampa speak of the pre-eminence of Jainism in Telangana. The Sanigram inscription of Beta-I reveals the gift to Yuddhamatta Jinalaya. Beta-II also patronised Jaina-basadis.

The Padmakshi temple inscription of the times of Prola­III (1117 A. D.) records the construction of Kadalalaya basadi. The Garuda banner of Pratapa Rudra is regarded by some scholars as the lanchana of Santinatha, the 16th Tirthankara. Ekasila was a Jaina resort. Several Jaina images were found in the Fort area. The Vardhamana (P1.1), Parsvanatha (P1.2), model shrine with Tirthankaras in niches (P1.3), all of back basalt are typically Kakatiyan. Padmakshi temple on Hanumakonda hill was continuously patronised. The steep narrow path is an arduous are a but ascetic Jains chose such places only. The Jaina basdi here enjoyed perpetual grants during the time of Pratapa Rudra17 who held all the Samayas (faiths) in equal esteem.

The Kadalalaya basadi or Padmakshi temple is built on a large rocky out crop. The rick built Sikhara and ardhamandapa, no doubt impressive ones, are later constructions. The sanctum is formed by a natural cavern and with a closed Cella all facing north. Seated Pasrsvanatha on lotus and a royal lady holding up an umbrella and a chief ten by the side are often taken as Mailama and her husband (P1.4). The standing Tirthankara in Kayotsarga with a seated Yaksha - Yakshini were carvings in bold relief on the left boulder closer to garbhagriha (P1.5). Significantly among the several Jaina figure carvings, a book­rest (Vyasapitha) is shown. Hanumakonda hill was a place of learning, like Sravanabelgola.

There are numerous rock carvings on the Hill at the northern boundary of the Fort and recall the rock shelters of Vallimalai and Siyamangalam in Tamilnadu.

The row of Tirthankaras (P1.6) in niches on the north face afford a grand look for their oval forms and superior workmanship on hard trap. Parsvanatha, Yakshi Padmavati, a sitting Tirthanakara in neatly cut niches are examples arising out of later Ganga-Rashtrakuta influence.18

Kollipaka: Jaina temple was built by Kumara Tailapa. The Purnaghata on the door jambs of stone, mana stambhas, carvings of Adinatha, Padmavati and the high stone torana are fine specimens.

The Raja Raja Jinalaya was built during the time of Anantavarman 1187 A.D. The metre high Parsvanatha is very impressive. The Jaina temple at Chippagiri ( on the hill), comprises of a garbhagriha, ardhamandapa and maha. mantapa, and a mukha mandapa. The Navranga has Kakshasana all around interiorly as in the Kakatiya or later Chalukyan period.

Ramathirtham,(Vizag): There are two caves or open shelters under a huge live rock. The way is rough. On the Gurubhakta hill at a distance of one Km. we find a natural cave sheltering a Jain figure (PI.7). Vimaladitya's guru Trikalayogi Siddhantadeva who belonged to desigana visited Durgamkonda. This Jaina monk is shown in relief on the rock and three more figures Chandraprabha (PI. 7 A). Parsvanatha, and Chandraprabha (PI. 7B, C) out of local khondolite resemble the Rashtrakuta examples. Chandavolu, capital of Velanati Chola's(12-13th century A.D.) has also several Jaina figures.

Kanchumurru, (West Godavari) was a rendezvous of Jains during the time of Ammaraja-II. A lady named Chamekamba pupil of Acharya Arhanandi, raised a temple called Sarvalokasraya Jinabhuvana.19

Penukonda in West Godavari has a Parsvanatha, which is a renowned place of learning. Jina bhushana Bhattaraka one of the Chaturdasa Vidyasthanas of Jains (PI.8). Aryavatam in East Godavari district, near Draksharama has a Jainapadu. The Vardhamana image of grey granite from here is of an early period and has the aureole and the Triple parasol. The chauri bearers and Lions back-to-back make it Simhasana. The facial expression and serene pose in dhyana make this figure pleasant looking. Tirthanakaras existed in the Kakinada town hall compound also. Biccavolu has a fine example of Vardhamana (P1.9) now in Madras Museum. This appears to be a Rashtrakuta - Vengi Chalukya make and falls into the early class of figures, like the Aryavatam example. We are reminded of the similar Jaina sculptures of Ellora.

JAINA TEMPLES IN NELLORE DISTRICT:Nellore is known as Vikrama Simhapuri. According to Boswel.20 Vikrama Simhapura and Mulasthanesvara temples were caused by one Mukkanti (Trinetra) a legendary Pallava king. Nellore and its surroundings revealed several Jaina vestiges.21 which provide a fresh data on the nature, early history and spread of this religion.
1. Parsvanatha Image in the Town Hal I (Pl.10)In the premises of Nellor Progressive Union's (Town Hall) library a relief sculpture of a Jaina Tirthankara is planted in position.
This stone slab measures 1.14 metres length and 63 cm. wide out of black basalt rock. In the central part of the stone is a figure standing erect (samapadas sthanaka), nude in Kayotsarga posture. A seven-hooded snake protects the head of the image which has the Trichatravali, the symbol of royality. Besides the Prabhavali, the tiruvasi torana raised over Kudya-stambhikas was held by makaravyala mukha at the base. At the ends of these pillars are the attendant gods of the Jaina pantheon. Samvara enraged at the severe austerities of Parsvanatha Tirthankara attempts to disturb him from penance. A heavy dowopour of rain and storm was caused resulting in total deluge around the standing Parsvanatha. At this juncture Dharanendra, the Naga king came up from the Patala along with his consort Padmavati to protect the Jina. Dharanendra becomes a carytide yaksha and spreads out his hoods on the head of Parsvanatha to ward off the rain, while Padmavati holds up the feet by placing lotus flowers. Thus the Naga couple is depicted here standing either sides with folded hands while the Sankha and Lotus (Padmadala) are up the waters as if emerging to protect the central figure. In the central part are two whisk bearers. The upper loop of the torana is held by a set of elephant riders. Above the festoon is a Gandharva playing the drum.

The above sculpture was reported from the area closer to the Cathedral Church where a stepped tank also existed. This lateritic tank is now taken over by the Fisheries Department which is closer to the former bus stand. The sculpture was however shifted to the premises of the Nellore Town Hall. The stepped tank has still some ancient features preserved. The spot is called Enugulamitta, the tank was the Sarovara for the Parsvanatha temple.

Not only the above find, but another figure of Parsvanatha was noticed in the compound wall of the old bungalow of District Judge in Dargamitta area.22 Though defaced, the image has all the characteristics detailed above (no. 1) with the exception that no elephant riders are shown among the Paribhramana devatas.

Jina Vardhamana (P.11)This impressive image of Vardhamana is presently within the Narasimhasvami temple in Danduvari Street, Nellore. Some regard the figure as Mahavishnu and worship it. The image is kept within an iron-bar door on the left side room of the Gopuradvara. This rare specimen is made out of black basalt and highly polished. Seated in Dhyana, the figure is 1.16 metre high with well marked forehead, long nose, distended ears and full neck, throat marked by tri-rekhas, and head with vamavrita curls imparted the look of a peal of custard apple. The radiating face sumptuous and sturdy shoulders and in quite meditative posture, the Vardhamana looks in every sense a Manmadtha Jina. The vahana (mount) is Lion but since the base part is embedded in the earth, this is not visible.
It is reported that originally the above image was within the premises of an old tank (pushkarini) built of lateritic blocks. The large tank was also closed in 1900 when the District Collector's office was raised at the very same place. It appears that during this work was going on, excavation around the sculpture revealed a temple pian. In view of the fineness of the image, the locals who were much impressed, shifted the same to the nearby Narasimhasvami temple in Danduvari Street. Several carved pieces of the temple and also the laterite blocks were used as building materials in the construction.

The above evidences when put together bring to light the existence of a Jaina Temple with an image of Vardhamana and a tank (pushkarini) was in its front. It is very important and also interesting to note that the image is called 'Konetiraya' by the elders of the town. Thus the consecreted Vardhamana was regarded as the king (raya) and greatly revered.

It may be seen from the above facts that in Nellore proper there have been in existence at least three Jaina temples and sarovaras. As prescribed in the Jaina-agamas, for the ritual of Samavasarana, Sveta or Dhaval Saras (Lotus Tank) was a must. Hence the temples of Jina at Nellore had invariably been associated with stepped tanks whose remains were traceable. This ritual tradition was streamlined and observed strictly by the Digambaras during 8th-9th centuries A. D. The Mula Sangha of Sravanabelagola (Dist. Hassan, Karnataka State), was the seat of several Digambara acharyas of renown and the Svetasarovara here was the most sacred pushkarani for Jinas in the whole country.

Digambara Jainism spread from Karnataka to the region through Siddhout-Cuddapah and Badvel perhaps at the behest of Acharya Simhanandi of Sravanabelgola during 7th-8th century A. D.

4. SOME MORE JAINA SETTLEMENTS IN NELLORE DISTRICT:It is relevant to mention here some more Jaina remains in Nellore District. Robert Sewell and Goapala Krishna Murthy.23 mention as Jaina temple at Kanuparthi padu village which is 20 Km east of Nellore. The Jaina temple here was built by Karikala Chola of legolldary fame. But during the thirty seventh year of the Chola King Raja Raja Deva his consort Pramiladevi caused steps to the Palmlichamda and gifted lands for maintenance of the mopastery.24 The image of Parsvanatha Jina in this village bears close resemblance to the figure from Nellore described above.
Ruins of a Jaina temple along with the figure of Parsvanatha are traceable at Krishnapatnam under the silt (P1.12). The image is enshrined as a mulabera and the Sasanadeuatas, respectively Dharanendra yaksha and goodess Padmavati are paying obeissance from' either sides. Although foundational inscriptions are not traced. the Jaina vestiges in jhe Nellore region were of 9th century A. D. and during the later Telugu Chola times these were renovated and expanded too.

The style of Jaina figures in Nellore district resemble those of the Chalukyas and nearer Bapatla. Nellore also became famous during A. D. 849-893 A. D. during the reign of Gunaga Vijayaditya, 25 the Eastern Chalukyan king His vassal Panduranga enriched Kandukur to look like Bezwada in its grandeur and ruled the Nellore region.26

It might be of topical interest to critically examine some of the local temples in Nellore. More specifically the temple of goddess Irukala Paramesvari worshipped under the name of Yerukalamma as a Sakti presiding the place. The temple is located in Mulappet at the North east-wards of Svarnala Cheruvu, now popular as Nellore tank. This temple is built with lateritie blocks. Kulottunga Chola­III (1178-1226) offered worship to this deity and gave munificient gifts. Though defaced, the goddess like Chamundi has owl as lanchchana. She is the counterpart of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity.

From the Jaina inscriptions of South India the set of Sasanadevatas governing the Jaina temples and settelements have come to stay. In some other parts of south India we find similar practice in vogue. Two Jaina temples dedicated respectively to Vrshabhanatha ( 748-749 A. D.) and Chandranatha (1190-91 A.D.) existed at Perumandur village27 in Dindivanam Taluk of South Arcot district. The Jaina-Yakshas set up here were named as Irivikula Sundari Perumbali and Manganayaki named after the donor of the temple of images. The presiding deity of the Nellore temple was called like-wise Irukala-paramesvari or Irukalamma could thus be regarded as a Jaina Sasanadevi and the Svarnalacheruvu was the dhavalasaras for the Jaina ritual of Samavasarana.

It can also be reasonably held that "Lion" being the Vahana of Vardhamana Jina the king or rayadu of the place, the toponym Simhapuri to Nellore came to vogue. The Jaina acharya Simhanandi laid the seeds of Jainism, for the first time at this place, and this event also might justify the name Simhapuri to Nellore. In any case there is no doubt of the hold of Jainism in Nellore region.

Culturally the village names ending with Palli, Palai andPadu signifiedJaina settlements. In thes records of Kulottunga Chola-III (1178­ 1226), Nellore is called Pallinati or Palai Vikrama Simhapuri. It is quite reasonable to take the Konetirayad!,1, the principal Jina at the Jaina temple datable to 9th century A. D. as the owner of the older Jaina village. We may conclude that the name Simhapuri to Nellore originated from its being an important place of Jainism during the times of acharya Simhanandi.28

SlDDHULAYYAKONDA: (Village Saidapuram): (14° 12'N: 79° 44'E)This place is located 50 Km. from Nellore South-West, 30 Km. East of South Rapur, A recent discovery by G. R.Gehlot.29 Superintending Archaeologist, Hyderabad Circle of the Archaeological Survey of India and his colleagues is of great importance, as this is first and only rock-cut shelter (Pl.13) dedicated to Jaina faith in the area after Vallimalai in the neighbouring North Arcot district of Tamilnadu.
The sturdy Jaina Tirthan kara figures with trichatravali customary three-tiered umbrella, seated on a Simhasana in Sattva-paryanka are fixed inside Kudu like aurole. There are two such Tirthankaras, the first one measures .60 cm x 40 x 10 cms (Pls.14 and 15) is Adinatha flanked by two standing male chouri-bearers, while the other is Vardhamana, (56 x 38 x 10 cm) the Prabhavali, in tiers, with the seated Matanga Yaksha on the right, and Siddhayika on the left: The Vamavrita curls, trirekha of the neck and round bulged face and sturdy body features clearly reflect the characteristics of Vallimalai Tirthankaras and also Siyamangalam. Like in the rock caves, the cave of Siddulagavulu has an opening of a long bouldered frontage with an entrance door-way, the dripledge cut on the face of the rock above the top line meant to arrest the main water directly falling into the cave (PI. 13). This Jaina cave appears to have been ocupied in later periods by Alvars. The Jaina images too are regarded by the locals as alvars or generally Siddhu/u i.e. hermits.

Danavalapadu (district Cuddapah)According to the inscription of Rashtrakuta Nityavarsha Indra-III (915-927 A.D.) caused a Jaina basti at this place and installed on a Pitha the image of Santinatha, 16th Tirthankara. Danavalpadu presents an evolved state of ritual and iconography presents an evolved state of ritual and iconography of Jains. Several white granite/sandstone sculptures have been brought to Madras Govt. Museum. These include carved mandapa pillars, and nishidika stones, and Chaumukhas. Within a circular ridged Pitha amidst the temple ruins, (PLs. 16 & 17) clearly betray their original installation. The divinities carved in relief on the side edge of the circular Pitha (PL 18) are unique examples and chaumukhas were meant for the ablution of Santinatha. The structural jaina temple is an extensive basadi on the banks of Pennar river (PL 19). A ghat with stepped descent was also provided for use of the Jains. The introduction of abhisheka mar~s an advancement in the Jaina ritual and the sculptured Pithas with water chuta is a speciality of Danavalapadu.

The Jaina temples, Chaumukhas, a pedestal for Tirthankaras, 3-metre high figures of Parsvanatha (two in granite and Padmavati were unearthed (PL 20). Except a few at site rest are in Madras Museum. The Sarvatobhadrika was a set up in a square temple with openings at the four directions. A seated Jina, is seen who attained Kaivalya. In this case the figures could be those of Mahavira, Neminatha or Rishabhanatha.

Dharmayaram, in Ongole taluk of Prakasam district, is known as Dharmapuri for its being a place of Jaina Dharma. Two long hill ranges provided shelter to Jains. A Jinalaya was constructed at the east of the village proper by Duggaraja the Commander-in-Chief of Gunaga Vijayaditya. This Jinalaya was named as Katakabharana Jinalaya and several land grants were caused. Among the figures found in the village, Parsvanatha, and a grey stone Tirthankara now in Sub Collector's office are good examples. Munugodu in Sattenapalli Tq. was a Jaina Kshetra. It has the name-Prithvi tilaka Jaina basadi of the Svetambara Jainas. Kulotunga Choda-I, during his 37th regnal year gave land grants.

Anantapur Area:After Konakondla, important Jaina relics were noticed at Pedda Tumbalam, Chinatumbalam. Kambadur, Nayakahalli Adoni; Penukonda and more prominently Hemavati. We shall consider a few examples among these sites in a rapid way.

Hemavati, anciently known Henjeru, a capital of Nolambas who ruled between 8th-10th century A. D. and kept close contacts with Pallavas Gangas of Karnataka.

A figure of Adinatha (PI. 21) seated on a raised Simhasana Trichattravali, flanked by male chauries is an installed image and inscribed too in 9th-10th century characters. Another Jaina Tirthankara, Vardhamana in dhyana reveals the supple Nilamba features. Hemavati patronised Jains and a temple existed here. At Kambadur, the Jaina temple facing north has a plain tiered tower (pyramidal) over the garbhagriha, fronted by an ardhamandapa, a pillared hall all within a stone prakara wall. The door frame of the Pratoli shows Purnaghatas and a Jaina figures on the Lalata of the over door frame indicates its Jaina affiliation. A Jaina temple named Brahma-Jinalaya housing Parsvanatha is seen within Tailagiri Fort, in Amarapuram village of Anantapur district.

At Adoni hill, the rock-cut seated Jinas in a neat row (three nos) on the hill remind us Hanumakonda. Parsuanatha in Kayotsarga, Padmavati-Dharanendra. The huge are of Rashtrakuta vintage, boulders close the entrance.

Tadipatri on the banks of Pennar has two Jaina te!T1ples, one of Chandranatha, the other for Parsvanatha. These perhaps had been founded in 1208 A. D. by Chola Chieftan Vijayaditya by name.

BRONZES FROM BAPATLA AREA:Several bronzes of Jaina faith were found near Bapatla. Of these two are bells, eleven Tirthankaras and attendent Yaksha- Yakshini figures. These are now preserved in State Museum, Hyderabad. They are datable to 11th-12th century A.D.
Vardhamana seated in dhyana is flanked by Yaksha-Yakshini (P1.22) with chauris carved above. He has a Prabha surmounted by a Chatrauali, Parsvanatha is seated on an elaborate Simhasana with a prabha behind his head (P1.25). Yakshi Ambika with the child is shown below holding the branch of mango-tree (P1.26). Others include Parsvanatha, Neminatha, Padmaprabha, a Vidyadevi, etc. (P1.23, 24).

OTHER JAINA IMAGES IN THE STAGE MUSEUM, HYDERABADa. Patancheruuu : Hyderabad area is stated to have several Jaina basad is. Standing Bahubali in Kayotsarga with creepers entwining his legs is a powerful representation. The image is of 12th century A. D. Mahavira with 23-Tirthankaras carved around is impressive. The Jaina Sarasuati is an example of a robust female in supple form, with several ornaments on the body. A Chaumukha with Sikharais interesting.

An important centre of Jainism is Nizamabad. The Parsvanatha image with all the Maha Purusha lanchanas is interesting.

b. Kurikyal, Karimnagar district: An image of Yakshi chakresvari, attendent of Adinatha is a dated example with an inscription of the donor king Jinavallabha, brother of Pampa, the great Kannada poet (950 A.D.).

c. Chilukuru: A very robust figure of Parsvanatha is sandstone measuring 3.25 em. height standing in Kayotsarga was found at Chilukuru, just 20 Km. from Hyderabad. Another Mahavira seated in Padmasana in dhyanamudra, was of black basalt and one metre high. Two chauri bearers were also found.

1 comment:

madhurirao said...

This article is very much helpful to researchers. There are good number of refrence numbers (not plates)through out the article. list of refrences is missing. Please add it. Then it will be more helpful to a researcher like me. I hope I may see the list very soon. Thank you.

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