Jan 26th 2007: Soon after witnessing the Mastakabishkea @ Varur, Hubli, We made our way to a small village called Kasamalagi. It is situated 14 KMs away from Kittur (in Hubli -> Belgaum highway, Karnataka).
After reaching Kittur bus station, we hired a rickshaw to reach Kasamalagi. Probably this 15KMs from Kittur to Kasamalagi will be remembered for a very long time. Nature at its best, with green surrounding both sides of the road was an absolute treat to watch. In this maiden journey, I did discover a kind hearted auto driver for the very first time in my life. If you are planning visit Kasamalagi in the near future, then never forget to hire the auto of Areef (Kittur) :) I can assure that you are going to enjoy his company.
Kasmalagi, is hogging the limelight after an eleventh century statue of lord Parshwanath, the 23rd Tirthankar of Jains, was recovered while digging a foundation in a school.
The idol was found in an inverted position with the leg(padha) of Parshwanth facing the earth surface. Then he took us to the place where idol was kept.
An amazing moment of my life was just seconds away……. I was absolutely shocked to see the monolith of Bhagwan Parshwanth carved in the dark green marble. No doubt, it is one of the most beautifully carved digambar idol that I have ever seen. The idol looks so fresh as if it was carved a day before. Believe it or not, this idol belongs to 11th century. The archeology department has confirmed this stake.
Bhagwan Parshwanth standing in Khagdasan mudra with eyes lids half open, and partially smiling lips is a treat to watch. The idol is roughly 9 feet in height. I can forget the face of the idol, but not the serpent encircling the idol. The entire serpent running from the feet of idol to the head is the best part of this statue.
Yaksha and Yakshi are carved at either sides of the leg of Bhagwan Parshwanth. Thus it is evident that the worship of Yaksha/Yaksi was practiced even in 11th Century AD.
The pedestal on which Bhagwan Parshwanath is standing, contains an inscription written in hallekannada(Ancient Kannada) which reads, “This statue has been carved by Hamashetty, disciple of Chandabhata of Tribhuvan Basadi (Jain temple), in Kesharmenage (Kasamalagi)”
The carving work on Prabhavali of the idol can’t be compared. It is one of the most beautiful Prabahavli that I have ever seen. Full marks for the person who has carved this statue.
An idol with same design of that of Kasamalagi Parshwanth can be found at Markuli (Near Hassan). There is no difference in design. The stone used at Kasamalagi is far better in quality than that of Markuli, Hassan.
I would like to thank the administrators at Kasamalgi for granting us the permission to capture the photographs of Parshwanth.
Plan soon to visit this place…. Its really really worth visiting.