Hurphunhullee. A temple. [Corrected caption: The Chandranatha Basti, Mudabidri.] 965175
Photographer: Pigou, William Henry
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the Chandranatha Basti at Mudabidri in Karnataka, taken by William Henry Pigou, c.1857. Pigou was an officer of the Bombay medical service who was appointed official government photographer to the Bombay presidency in 1856. Mudabidri, located just north of Karnataka's border with Kerala, is an important centre of Jainism, a religion which was founded about the same time as Buddhism in India, in the 6th century BC. Mahavira, the founder of Jainism, was a prince from Bihar who turned into an ascetic and achieved omniscience (kevala-jnana) after years of meditation. Jainas believe that he was the 24th in a line of saints called Tirthankaras or fordbuilders across the sea of suffering. Mudabidri has a large number of Jaina temples called bastis, characterised by sloping roofs which served as protection against rains and show the influence of the coastal style of Kerala. The Chandranatha Basti dates from 1429 with later additions, and consists of a sanctuary preceded by three mandapas (halls) surrounded by a colonnade. The halls are roofed with sloping tiles, of which the uppermost is composed of copper sheets, a fourth detached hall has projecting sides. There are stone pillars decorated with carvings, and in front of the temple is a tall lamp column.