View of Karkala with the statue of Gommatesvara
Artist: Ward, Benjamin Swain (1786-1835), attributed to
Water-colour of Karkala, with the statue of Gommatesvara, attributed to Benjamin Swain Ward from the MacKenzie Collection, dated 1806-1816.
The religious centre of Karkala, situated 15 km north of Mudabidri, is famous for the 45 feet tall monolithic statue of the Jain Tirthankara Gomateshvara situated on the top of a granite rock. The statue was erected by a Jain king in 1432 in memory of Bhubali, the first Tirthankara who renounced the world and become an ascetic. Opposite the statue there is a Jain temple of granite known as 'Chaturmukha basadi' and a carved pillar or Manastambha almost 50 feet high.
There are five statues of Gomateshwara in Karnataka, the most famous of which stands at Shravana Belgola where it was installed in 981 A.D.