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Ancient Jaina Vestiges, Artipura

DISTRICT: Mandya; TALUK: Maddur
LOCALITY: Artipura (Lat. 120 37' N; Long. 770 06' E)  

The earliest reference to this place is dated to the time of Ganga Akinita dated to 559 AD. Arethipur is also referred to as Tippur in the Ganga charters of 799-800 AD issued during the time of prince Narasimha, is a prolific Jaina center. It received maximum attention during the time of Hoysalas as evident from the inscriptions dated 1117 AD, wherein Gangaraja, the commander of Hoysala Vishnuvardhana is stated to grant the village Tippur to a Jaina Acharya. Interestingly, one of the inscriptions at this site refers to poet Kandarpa, the father as well as teacher of Balachandradeva who consecrated a Jaina image near the perennial pond. This place is variously known as Arethipur, Arathipura, Kulegere etc. The site consists of two hillocks Chikkabetta/ Kanakagiri and Shravanabetta.  A statue of Bahubali is installed on the top of Shravanabetta, while Chikkabetta/ Kanakagiri has bas-reliefs depicting the Jaina Tirthankaras Adinatha, Suparsvanatha, etc. in various stages of carving on the vertical face of the rock.  The scientific debris clearanAD carried out at Chikkabetta has brought to light  a Jain temple complex. The temple complex revealed granite adhisthanas and brick walls indicating three phases of structural activity. Many sculptures of Adinatha, Bahubali, Goddesses, Dvarapalakas etc. are also found. There are also two natural ponds in Chikkabetta.