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Jaina Basti with Brahmadeva Pillar, Melagi

DISTRICT: Shimoga; TALUK: Tirthahalli
LOCALITY: Melagi (Lat. 13° 49' N; Long. 75° 02' E)
APPROACH: AIRPORT: Bengaluru; RAILWAY STATION: Shimoga; BUS STATION: Melagi

According to an inscription, the Jaina Basti is said to have been constructed by one Bummana Sreshthi, a merchant, and was rebuilt in stone by his grandson in 1608 AD. The basti is dedicated to Ananthanatha. The basti on plan has a garbhagriha with a narrow pradakshinapatha, a sukanasi, a navaranga and a mukhamandapa with an entrance porch to the east. The pillars of the mukhamandapa resemble the Vijayanagara pillar order. The adhisthana in the region of garbhagriha and mahamandapa is austere comprising a pada, an adhokumuda, pattika and an urdhvakumuda moulding. At mukhamandapa the pattika is replaced by a kantha and the urdhvakumuda moulding is provided with dentil decoration at regular intervals. The flight of steps is flanked by yali balustrade. The bhitti is plain save slender pilasters at regular intervals. The eave, is plain and heavy, is surmounted by a plain prastara provided with dronas at regular intervals. The superstructure over the garbhagriha has five talas in receding order with a prominent griva and stupi. The mahanasa of sukanasa  is bereft of any image. In front of the basti there is a manastambha of good proportions. It stands on a stepped platform. The pillar is square at the base and the shaft is shaped to begin with an octagon later sixteen sided and finally circular at its apex.