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Basadis and Inscriptions, Humcha

DISTRICT: Shimoga; TALUK: Tirthahalli
LOCALITY: Humcha (Lat. 13° 45' N; Long. 75° 12' E)
APPROACH: AIRPORT: Bengaluru; RAILWAY STATION: Shimoga; BUS STATION: Humcha

Humcha also called a Pattipomburchhapura in inscriptions was the stronghold of the Kadambas of Banavasi (3rd -6th centuries AD) and Chalukyas of Badami (5th- 8th centuries AD).  Later, it became the capital of the Santara and the principality came to known as Santalige-1000. Humcha, the chief town in Santalige-1000 was an important centre of Jainism. In about 1209 AD, the Santaras shifted their capital to Kalasa in Chikmagalur district. The temple Pancha Basti, described as Urvi-tilakam (glory of the world) is situated at the foot of the Billeshvara hill and was built in the Chalukyan style by chattadevi, wife of Kaduvetti, a Pallava chief.  Facing east, it consists of five cells all in a row with a common navaranga, mahamandapa, an open mukhamandapa constructed in 1077 AD. There is a cloister (verandah) all round the temple. In front of the main structure and few feet away on either side of it are two small shrines dedicated to Parsvanatha (north) and Bahubali (south) and the whole is enclosed by a compound with a mahadvara. Between the mahadwara and the main building is a small mandapa and a manastambha, which is a magnificent monolithic pillar with elegant carvings. The pillars stand on a high platform rising in three tiers. The bottommost one has four elephants at the four corners and four more at the cardinal points. Lions in different postures are carved in between these elephants. There is a small pavilion surrounding the pillar with a seated figure facing each of the four directions. On the whole,  the manastambha is very elegant and is proportionate from top to bottom.There are three images in the cells of the basti mainly, Chandranatha, Santinatha and Parsvanatha. The image of Parsvanatha is interesting wherein just at the periphery of snake coils the personified manovikaras attracting the tirthankaras are depicted. The navaranga consists of ten ankanaswith three doors and the images of Jwalamalini Yakshas and Yakshinis are kept in it.