| Karnataka - situated on the western coast
of South India offers a rich and varied fare to the tourist.
The history of Karnataka comes vividly into focus starting with
the reign of Chandragupta Maurya (321-297 B.C.) who is said
to have spent his last years at Sravanabelagola. Stone edicts
marking his grandson Emperor Ashoka's Buddhist beliefs can be
seen at Raichur and Chitradurga. The Satavahanas too, after
the Mauryas, set up Buddhist stupas and viharas during the 1st
Century B.C. The Hoysalas who ruled between the 11th and the
14th centuries were architectural masters and are famous for
what might be called their architectural gems at Somnathpur,
Belur and Halebid. The Vijayanagar empire with its capital at
Hampi was founded in 1336. It has also left its mark in the
embellishment of older temples and the building of new ones.
Striding through history came Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan who
ruled the erstwhile state of Mysore from Srirangapatnam until
the return of the Wodeyar dynasty that steered Karnataka into
the 20th century.
Age-old monuments lie scattered throughout the state making
it a paradise for the cultural tourist, while the garden city
of Bangalore, and Mysore- the capital of the erstwhile Maharajas-
wildlife sanctuaries, and the magnificent scenic beauty of Sivasamudram,
Kemmangundi and Mercara provide enough variety to make the state
a truly fascinating and rewarding destination.
The Jain Trail
It is believed that jainism has flourished in Karnataka for
over 2000 years as a vital and powerful force. In the 3rd century
BC the Mauryan Emperor Chandragupta came here with his preceptor
Bhadrabahu and twelve thousand other Jain sages, and settled
down in shravanabelagola, performing austerities. jainism is
believed to have been practised here even before that.
Karnataka received royal patronage, and many temples and monuments
have been dedicated to it.
Sravanabelagola has a 58.6 feet tall Gommateshwara statue built
by Chavundaraya and carved from a huge rock at the peak of Indragiri
Hill, by sculptor Aristenemi in 981 AD.
Dharmasthala - 75 km from Mangalore has a 39 feet tall
statue of Gommateshwara, carved out of granite near Karkala.
Humcha also known as Hombacha, Pomburchchha, etc in old inscriptions
-- and which means 'a golden bit' -- is situated in the foothills
of Bileshvara hill. It is famous for the centuries old Jaina
Matha belonging to the Nandi Sangha of Sri Kunda - Kundanasaya
which has spacious buildings, the parshvantha Temple, Padmavathi
temple, Mathada Basadi, Bogara Basadi and Jattingaraya Basadi.
Karkala, about 52 km from Mangalore has the giant 42
feet tall statue of Gommata installed in 1432 AD
Moodabidri - Just about 35 km from Mangalore, Moodabiddri
is known as the Jaina Kashi of the South. It is famous for its
18 Basadis dedicated to Thirthankaras.
Area: 1191,791 sq. km
Population: 44.9 million
Main anguage: Kannada
Best time to visit: September to February
Karnataka Travel Reservation Form