About Atishaya Kshetra Parsvanath Swami Darbar
Babanagar is a Village in Bijapur Taluk in Bijapur District District of Karnataka State, India. It belongs to Belgaum Division. It is located 31 KM towards west from District head quarters Bijapur. 29 KM from Bijapur. 574 KM from State capital Bangalore.
Babanagar is a Jain pilgrimage center which has historical significance and leads us to an eon of Kalchuri era in ancient Karnataka state. Babanagar was a great ancient Jain center as the fact is attested by inscriptional and sculptural evidence. The geographical situation of this town is under Bijapur district of Karnataka state. The place is about 30 Kilometers in the west direction from Bijapur Railway station. The place is renowned as “Parshwanath Darbar Digamber Jain Atishay Kshetra”. The term “Darbar” is concerned to the temple due to some miraculous events happened during the period of Aadilshahi.
Parshwanatha Digamber Jain temple is situated in narrow passages originated from Highway no. 43 passing through Babanagar village. The temple is a two-story building which seems ancient enough and a hospice is situated in front of the main temple has good boarding facility for pilgrims.
The temple has the main gate which is so small that only a single person can enter at a time. Generally, small gates were built to Jain temples in Muslim ruler’s era due to fear of iconoclasm by offenders. As we enter the temple we find ourselves in a big porch which contains the main garbhagriha where the miraculous sculpture of Lord Parshwanatha is situated.
The gate of garbhagriha is flanked by Subordinate deities of Yaksha and Yakshini. They both are carved in black stone and contains Jina icon in their head. As we enter to the garbhagriha principal deity of Lord Parshwanatha carved in Green Black stone is seen in the center. The principal deity lord Parshwanatha’s icon is small in size but very mesmeric sculpture which is full of tranquility and serenity on the face. The image of Lord Parshwanatha is of about 1.5 feet height and on the main vedi, there are a lot of metal bronze sculptures of various Jinas installed.
On the second floor, A Maan stambh is erected which is just above the main entrance of the temple. History of Lord Parshwanatha sculpture: – The temple is constructed for Lord Jina Parshwanatha is newer than the sculpture of Jina. A folktale is popular about Lord Parshwantha is that the images of Jina were possessed by a Queen of the Muslim ruler. She kept this sculpture as a toy in her valuables but she was suffered from severe pain due to disrespect of Jina.
One day a layman dreamed about Jina sculpture and he went to Aadilshahi court and described the way to cure the severe pain of Queen. She was cured of the disease after application of anointment water on the suffering area. The Muslim ruler became very happy and constructed a temple in Babanagar near Bijapur city.
Inscription of Babanagar:- One inscription from a ruined Siva temple renders a valuable information about a 12th century AD Jain temple at Babanagar. It registers a gift of land into the hands of the preceptor Manikya Bhattaraka of Mangalivedha in 1161 AD under the reign of Kalchuri emperor Bijjala.
The preceptor Manikya Bhattarka belonged to Mool samgha and Desiya Gana. The town name Mangalivedha in the inscription is identical with modern Mangalvedhe near Pandharpur town.
The inscription has also recorded about the younger son of King Bijjala named “Maualuga”. The Jain temple is situated at “Kannadiga” which is none other than Babanagar so it is surmised that ancient name of Babanagar should be “Kannadiga”. The whole inscription was inscribed in the Kannada language.
How to Reach
By Road – From Bijapur ( Karnataka)
By Railway – Nearest Railway station is Bijapur station
By Air- Nearest airport is Belgum