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Moodabidri (India)

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Moodabidri, in the Indian State of Karnataka, about twenty miles from Mangalore, is a sacred pilgrimage site for Jains. Jainism is one of the smaller religions that developed on the Indian subcontinent. It dates to the sixth century BCE and the career of Vardhamana Mahavira (599–527 BCE, a contemporary of Buddha, although there is no evidence they knew one another. Jainism is distinguished as a nontheistic religion with an emphasis on the reverence of life. Ahimsa, the nonviolence to life, finds its most extreme expression among those Jains who wear a cloth over their mouth to keep from breathing in insects and carry a brush to sweep any small life forms from their path as they walk.

Moodabidri is home to some eighteen Jain temples, called basadis (literally, “abodes of gods”). One of the temples, called variously the Saaveerakambha or the Chandranatha Basadi, is renowned for its one thousand granite pillars, no two of which are identical. The temple also has a collection of carved images of Jain tirthankaras, exemplars of the Jain faith who are deemed to have reached a state in which both attachment and aversion to things have disappeared.

The Moodabidri temples were built during the height of Jainism in the region in the fourteenth to sixteenth centuries. The oldest temple, the Guru basadi, is home to the Dhavala texts, a set of twelfth-century manuscripts written on palm leaves.

Moodabidri is home to one of the largest Jain communities in India, although they constitute only a minority of the town’s residents.


Dhaky M. A. The Indian Temple Forms in Karnataka
Inscriptions and Architecture. New Delhi: Abhinav,1977.
West, E. W. History of the Bombay, Karnataka; Musalman and Maratha: 1300–1818. Delhi: Asian Educational, 1989.
The Encyclopedia of Religious Phenomena © 2008 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The event is the brainchild of a practising physician and philanthropist Mohan Alva, who runs the famous Alva Education Foundation in Mudabidri near the southern Indian city of Mangalore.