Varanga is a small village located at a distance of 26 Km from Karkala in Udupi district. This village is found on the way from Karkala to Agumbe. Varanga is a popular pilgrim center, especially for Jains. This beautiful village houses most ancient and wonderful Basadis (Jain Temples). The main attractions of Varanga are Neminatha Basadi, Chandranatha Basadi, and Kere Basadi. These beautiful, picturesque locations are the best way one can relax amidst tranquility. MetroSaga brings to you reasons why you must visit the Basadis of Varanga.
Serene, picturesque and rejuvenating
A temple in the midst of a lake, another one on the bank of the lake and another one which houses the Jain Mutt – such is the tranquility found in Varanga. This village is also blessed with scenic views and pleasant weather during the latter half of the year, which is more than enough to make you consider more than one visit!
To the temple, by boat!
The Kere Basadi is situated in the middle of a lake, and the only way to reach this marvelous house of serenity is by boat. This isn’t something we’d usually come across and definitely calls for a trip!
The marvelous sculptures
At the Neminatha Temple, two beautifully sculpted elephants greet you, just before the impressive granite entrance. A scene of two elephants garlanding a deity has been carved on the top central portion of this section. Immediately above this, there is a sculpted relief image of a demon face, which is placed for warding off evil forces.
These demon-like-faces are typically found above Jain temples across Karnataka. Here it is made out of the ornate granite slab of the entranceway, unlike other temples in Karnataka where these carvings are on brass or bronze. The main attraction of this basadi is 5 feet black statue of Lord Neminatha, the 22nd Tirthankara in Padmasana position seating on ‘Kamala Peeta’ (lotus seat).
The Kere Basadi houses the idols of Lord Parshwanatha, Lord Shanthinatha, Lord Ananthanatha and Lord Neminatha in Kayotsarga posture facing four different directions.
At the Chandranatha Basadi, the idol of the deity is made of Chandrashila and one can see the light across the idol!
Rich in History
With the Kere Basadi being over 850 years old, the Neminatha Basadi being 1200 years old and the Chandranatha Basadi being 1000 years old, there surely is a lot of historical significance attached to this place.
Karkala was under the Alupas, who later ceded it to the Santaras. The rulers of Karkala were called Bhairarasas, with King Veera Bhairarasa (1390 CE-1420 CE) as the first prominent king of the dynasty. However, the Varanga temples were built at least a couple of centuries before the Bhairarasas, i.e., they predate the ones built by the Jain rulers of Karkala and Moodabidri.
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Rich in Aquatic Life
The lake housing the Kere Basadi and gently touching Neminatha Basadi is rich in aquatic life, be it the amazingly beautiful water lilies, freshwater turtles, fish or water snakes! The lake is deep and one can even feed puffed rice to the fish here.
Although the Kere Basadi is 850 years old, this temple looks renovated, possessing a modern look due to the large marble tiles that surround the outer wall, along with the tile roofing. However, if you look closely at the temple towards its eaves, the frieze projections look old. Also, the pitched roofing above the central section, with a kalasha on its top, rises above the modern-tiled pitched roofing that surrounds it. It also has four entrances in fur different directions.
Neminatha Basadi, on the other hand, is an east-facing temple set in a large enclosure surrounded by high walls with two entrances. The main entranceway, at the east side of the enclosure walls of the temple’s courtyard, is a quite large entrance porch which opens up to the inner courtyard of the temple.
En Route to Agumbe!
Agumbe – the land of hills, waterfalls and Malgudi Days! One cannot resist the charm of these two places especially when they’re en route!
Mangalore, Udupi, and Agumbe are the closest places to Varanga. These places are easily accessible by train.
Best Time to Visit
The winter months are the best time to visit Varanga, owing to the pleasant weather. October-February is therefore when you must visit these temples.
Distance from Bengaluru
381.5 km via Hassan and Sakleshpur. Don’t wait for any further, Bengaluru! Plan your trip right now and have a relaxing trip!
One of the images was sourced from travellerhoots
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