Between 1001 and 1500 CE, Hoysalas, Karnataka, Rashtrakuta, Western Chalukyas

Bandalike – A Celebrated Jain Tirtha

Introduction – Bandalike, referred as Bandanike or Bandhavapura in inscriptions, is situated in Shivamogga district of Karnataka. As per the inscriptions, the town was the capital city of Nagarakhanda-70 region,   which was included in Banavasi-12000 province. Banavasi was the cradle of the early Kadamba rulers therefore they would have ruled over Bandalike at their time.

The town started gaining importance since tenth century onwards. The earliest inscription, dated 912 CE, found here refers itself to the rule of the Rashtrakuta king Krishna II. During this period, the town was governed by the Sattara chiefs. It is told that Jakkiyabbe, wife of Nagarjuna Sattara, performed sallekhana here at Bandalike. Bandalike was already established as a celebrated Jain tirtha by then.

Emergence of the Western Chalukyas saw the departure of the Rashtrakutas from Karnataka. The earliest Chalukya inscription found at Bandalike is dated 1015 CE and belongs to the reign of the Chalukya king Jayasimha II. The Sattaras continued to rule over here under the Western Chalukya kings.

During the reign of the Western Chalukya king Vikramaditya VI, region Nagarakhanda-70 was under maha-mandaleshvara Bopparasa. He is said to be born in the Kadamba-vamsa. Many inscriptions of this Bopparasa and his wife, Siriya-devi, have been found here. Bopparasa had a long reign and made various grants to temples and bastis.

The Western Chalukyas were eclipsed under the emerging Kalachuri power. The Kalachuris, under Bijjala II,  took over Basavakalyan, the celebrated capital of the Western Chalukyas. Inscription dated 1163 CE, belonging to Bijjala II, mark the start of the Kalachuri rule at Bandalike. Bopparasa continued to serve Nagarakhanda-70 under the Kalachuris. Inscriptions of Bijjala II,  Sovideva, Sankama and Ahavamalla, belonging to the Kalachuri line and ruled in succession, are found at Bandalike. This suggests that Bandalike enjoyed quite an importance during the Kalachuri rule. All of their inscriptions are for Shiva temples. Probably Jain character of the town took a hit during their rule.

The Western Chalukyas, under Somesvara IV, ousted the Kalachuris and reinstated themselves at Basavakalyana. An inscription, dated 1185 CE, here suggests revival of the town under the Western Chalukyas. But it was a short lived rule as they were soon ousted by the Hoysala Ballala II.

The earliest Hoysala inscription found here is dated 1203 CE and belongs to the reign of Ballala II. Long standing fight for this region between the Hoysalas and the Suenas is also revealed from the inscriptions at Bandalike. Ballala II has his inscriptions dated in 1203 and 1215 CE while Suena Singhana II has inscriptions dated 1215 and 1224 CE. It is a known fact that Suenas were victorious at the last and ruled over this region.

Inscription dated 1396 CE belonging to the reign of the Vijayanagara king Harihara marks the start of the Vijayanagara rule. This was the fate of many other south Indian principalities which were absorbed under the Vijayanagara umbrella. With their rule started the cult of Banashankari devi at Bandalike. She was never heard prior to their rule.

Goddess Banashankari, also called Mayadevi, became the patron deity of the town. As per a legend, Mayadevi, a creation of Parvati, was sent to the famous saint Allama Prabhu to test him. Allama Prabhu did not fall for it and changed her into a divine form.

As evident from above, that the inscriptions at Bandalike are good resources to understand the political history of the Karnataka region. Starting from the Rashtrakutas, to the Western Chalukyas, to the defeat of the latter in the hands of the Kalachuris, later reinstatement of the Western Chalukyas, fatal blows from the Hoysala Ballala, expansion of the Suenas and the final authority of the Vijayanagara empire. Inscriptions at Bandalike are the mute witness of this changing political drama.

R Narasimhachar visited Bandalike in 1911 and he writes, “Bandalike is a village overgrown with teak trees, containing a number of ruined temples, several of which are fine structures both in design and execution”. He described in brief three temples of the town, Shantinatha Basti, Trimurti Temple and Anekalsomaiya Temple.

Inscriptions – There are about 31 inscriptions found here. All these are published in the Epigraphia Carnatica vol VII.

  1. On a stone to the entrance to the Shantinatha basti – Epigraphia Carnatica vol VII, no Shikarpur 219 – dated Saka 834, corresponding 912 CE – refers itself to the reign of the Maharajadhiraja parameshvara parama-bhattaraka, Kannara-deva (Krishna II) – the inscription mentions maha-samanta Kalivittarasa was ruling Banavasi-12000. Under his order, Sattarasa Nagarjuna, attained heaven during some battle. Nagarjuna was holding the office of nal-gavunda. The king granted this office to his wife, Jakkiyabbe, along with Nagarakhanda-70 principality. She was faithful to Jinendra shashana and an able officer.  This lady, Jakkiyyabbe, sent for her daughter, came to the tirtha of Bandalike and performed the vow, probably of sallekhana. The writer of the inscription was Nagavarmma, the stone was setup by Mudda of the Sandiga tribe, son of Beleyamma.
  2. On a stone to the north of the Shantinatha basti – Epigraphia Carnatica vol VII, no Shikarpur 220 – dated 1015 CE – refers itself to the reign of the Chalukya Maharajadhiraja Jayasimha-deva (Jayasimha II) – the inscription mentions …..ndayya was ruling Banavasi-12000 and Sattarara Nagarjjunayya was holding the office of nal-gavunda of Nagarakhanda-70. On Mukarasa making an attack upon ….ddammana Santara, king of Santalige-nad, Nagarjjunayya’s son Manneya Nagavarmma, on joining the attack, died and gained the world of gods. For Eleya Basava who died with him, Nagarjjunayya and Nijabbe will maintain one matta of rice-land.
  3. On another stone to the north of the Shantinatha basti – Epigraphia Carnatica vol VII, no Shikarpur 221 – dated 1075 CE – refers itself to the reign of the Chalukya king Bhuvanaikamalla (Somesvara II) – the inscription starts with Jain verses, prosperity to Samantabhadra shashana, of the learned pujyapada, of Akalanka-guru of the lord Jina. The king is said to be in his residence at Bankapura. The shashana was given by Srimad Malla and received by Kulachandra-deva-muni. Then come the reference of the king of Kolala-pura (Kolar), referred as belong to Brahma-Kshatra race, maharajadhiraja parameshvara, lord of Kolala-pura, lord of Nandagiri, obtainer of a boon from Padmavati, the Ganga god of love, Vikrama-Ganga, jayaduttaranga, Chalukya Permmadi, Bhuvaneka-vira Udeyaditya. The Chalukya king Bhuvanaikamalla made a grant to Santmatha temple which Bhara…chakravartti had newly erected in the tirtha of Bandalike. He made this grant washing the feet of Kula…..deva, disciple of Paramananda-siddhanta-deva of the sri-Mula-sanghanvya and Kranur-gana.
  4. On the right side post of the door-frame of the Shantinatha basti – Epigraphia Carnatica vol VII, no Shikarpur 222 – dated about 1100 CE – shloka arranged in chankra-bandha (lines of a wheel-like circle, with axel-box and spokes)
  5. On the left side post of the door-frame of the Shantinatha basti – Epigraphia Carnatica vol VII, no Shikarpur 223 – dated about 1100 CE – shloka arranged in chankra-bandha (lines of a wheel-like circle, with axel-box and spokes)
  6. On a pillar near the door of the Shantinatha basti – Epigraphia Carnatica vol VII, no Shikarpur 224 – dated about 1100 CE – shloka arranged in chankra-bandha (lines of a wheel-like circle, with axel-box and spokes)
  7. On the east side of the south-west pillar of the rangamandapa of the Shantinatha basti – Epigraphia Carnatica vol VII, no Shikarpur 228 – dated about 1100 CE – metrical puzzle, shlokas arranged in chakra-bandha (wheel-like circle with spokes). The author describes his composition as containing anuloma and pratiloma shlokas in one; that is, they may be read forwards or backwards.
  8. On the north-west of the south-west pillar of the rangamandapa of the Shantinatha basti – Epigraphia Carnatica vol VII, no Shikarpur 229 – dated about 1100 CE – metrical puzzle, shlokas arranged in chakra-bandha (wheel-like circle with spokes). Direction is given as to what letters to begin with. The last verse of this is said to be a gata pratyagata shloka, that is, it may be read forwards or backwards. The author’s name is Suri, and he calls his composition a prabhandha named Jina-stuti.
  9. On the north-east pillar of the rangamandapa of the Shantinatha basti – Epigraphia Carnatica vol VII, no Shikarpur 230 – dated about 1100 CE – metrical puzzle, shlokas arranged in chakra-bandha (wheel-like circle with spokes).
  10. On the south-east pillar of the rangamandapa of the Shantinatha basti – Epigraphia Carnatica vol VII, no Shikarpur 231 – dated about 1100 CE – metrical puzzle, shlokas arranged in chakra-bandha (wheel-like circle with spokes).
  11. On a virakal near the Hanumanta temple – Epigraphia Carnatica vol VII, no Shikarpur 246 – dated 1123 CE – refers itself to the reign of the Chalukya king Tribhuvanmalla-deva (Vikramaditya VI) –  when maha-mandaleshvara Bopparasa and his wife Siriya-devi were in the temple at the rice fields, the cowherd Marana’s son Dekaya-Nayaka made a vow saying – “If the king obtains a son, I will give my head to swing on the pole for the god Brahma, of Kondasabavi”, gave rice land to provide for expenses of the basadi.
  12. On a virakal lying behind the Anekal Somayya temple – Epigraphia Carnatica vol VII, no Shikarpur 238 – dated about 1128 CE – When samanta Bopparasa of Bandanika was making a tour in the nad, the people of Kallamanne captured the cows of Karinele and were going off, when by order of his ruler, Bammana, brother-in-law of Bireya-nayaka’s son Heggade-Bammabeya, recovering the cows, stabbed with dagger, distinguished himself and gained the world of gods.
  13. On a stone lying in front of Saharsralinga temple – Epigraphia Carnatica vol VII, no Shikarpur 242 – dated 1163 CE – refers itself to the rule of the Kalachuri king Bijjala II –  Obeisance to Shiva and Devi. When the Kalachuryya-bhujabala-chakravarti Tribhuvanamalla-deva was ruling the kingdom in peace and wisdom – the Bhujabala-chakravarti, a sun in the sky of Kalachuryya-kula, the king Bijjala. His son-in-law Barmma-dandadhisa ruled from famous Banavasi with glory. His son was Bopparasa. To him and Siriya-devi, daughter of the Kadamba king Santa, was born the king Soma or Soyi-deva. His wife was Malala-devi. A dweller at his feet was Macheya-Nayaka. His father was Masanayya and mother was Malliyakka. His wife, daughter of Tantrapala Mallayya and Maleyakka, was Suggiyakka. Their son was Soma. Macheya was the manager of the custom duties of Talarike, his son Soma gained a name as sarvvadhikari. His guru, a celebrated Kalamukha, was Devasakti-bratindra, Acharya of Hiriya-matha of Bammakuru. Macheya set up a linga, named after his ruler maha-mandaleshvara Sovi-Devarasa, god Someshvara. He made grants to the temple for various purposes. Senior queen Malala-devi also made a grant for the perpetual lamp one oil-mill. Various other people also made grants. The temple is known as Brahmachari-matha. Someshvara-pandita and Bireya-jiya are the priests there.
  14. On a stone in the right of Anekal Somayya temple – Epigraphia Carnatica vol VII, no Shikarpur 236 – dated 1174 CE – refers itself to the reign of the Kalachuri king Sovideva – Obeisance to Shambhu. Mentions that Bharata country got its name from Bharata, the author of Natyashashtra. To the prosperous people of the country, being like curls (kuntala) of the lady earth, the Kuntala country obtained its self-expressive name. The royal line of Lunar race is said to be ruling Kunatala. A king, named Soma, in this Lunar race learnt the use of weapons from Ashvatthama, and became proficient. This king, also named Ishvaramsa, started the Kalchuri family. So one day, this king Soma and Ashvatthama went to Kailasha mountain in order to worship Shiva. An esteemed king Nanda was worshipping the feet of Shiva with flowers. He got distressed on Shiva not being pleased with him, but then some kadamba flowers fell down near him. He worshipped Shiva with these flowers and Shive granted him a boon saying, “two brilliant sons under the name of Kadamba-kula will be born to this king” and instructed Ashvatthama and Soma to join them and teach them. Born in that Kadamba-kula, Kirttivarmma and Maytavarmma, having acquired the glory of all learning from Droni, that Kadamba-vamsha obtained fame together with all royal wealth. In the Kalchuri line were born, Soma, Pemma, Gorvvapa, Vajra, Yoga, Permmadi and Bijjana. To the Kadamba Maytavarmma was born Tayta, to him was born Santa and to him Maila. After him and many other kings came Boppa, the husband of Sri-devi. King Bijja’s achievements are mentioned, Gurjjara, Kalinga, Malava, Anga, Turuksha, Chola and Andhra all lost their glory to this king. King Bijjana was given by Somanatha a son of hundred-fold valor, Soma, who received the name Raya-Murari. In his achievements are mentioned Khasa, Kalinga, Kimmira, Turuksha, Chera and Surashtra. Since the Kadamba Taila there has been no one worthy to protect the whole world, thus thinking, and distressed on this account, the husband of Sri-devi, Bopparasa, with great devotion worshipped Shiva. Siriya-devi worshipped Dakshina Somanatha with desire of a son. Shiva with pleasure granted a son equal in bodily might to that of Rayamurari-Soma, who should transfer the glory of the Kalchuryya-vamsa to the Kadamba-vamsa. Shiva came in the dream of his wife, and gave the child named Soma. When he was learning to talk, he received the name of Satyapataka, and when he was learning to walk he received the name Nigalanka-malla. Then comes reference of Machi who was a dweller at the feet of the victorious Soma. Machi’s guru was celebrated Devasakti-yatipati. Then comes reference of Banavasi and Nagari-khanda. This Nayaka Machi, descendant of Guna-bhushana, by the direction of the king Boppa, erected in Bandanike a Shiva temple, named Boppeshvara Temple and made a land grant. Lachchala-devi also made a land grant. Also five hundred remitted certain custom duties and for the perpetual lamp granted an oil-mill. And fifty families of oilmen granted oil. On seventh year of the Kalachuryya-bhujabala-chakravarti Rayamurari-Sovi-deva, and maha-mandaleshvara Sovi-devarasa’s minister, Hattabova Nacharasa, managing Jiddulige in Ede-nad of Nagari-khanda, granted for the perpetual lamp. This much, Chikka-Macheya-Nayaka, washing feet of the Mulasthana Acharya, the Kalamukha, possessed the usual ascetic veitues, Kalyanasakti-pandita, made over….
  15. At Anekal Somayya temple, on a base of inside pillar – Epigraphia Carnatica vol VII, no Shikarpur 237 – dated 1180 CE – refers itself to the reign of the Kalachuri king Sankama – a land grant in Siyeahall belonging to Bandanike-sthala, is made by maha-mandaleshvara Boppa-devarasa for the offerings to god Sankara-Narayana of agrahara Binnegeri.
  16. On a third virakal at the Saharsralinga temple – Epigraphia Carnatica vol VII, no Shikarpur 245 – dated 1183 CE, fourth regnal year – refers itself to the reign of the Kalachuri king Ahavamalla – when maha-mandaleshvara Boppa-devarasa himself paid a visit to Esaleyahalli for Sanna-mahadeva-dannayaka’s tribute, the musketters of Maluge-deva’s army being on the march to Baligave, through misunderstanding a fight arose, in which Murari-Soma’s son Dadeya Katiga-Naga being ordered to destroy them, killing many and gained the world of gods.
  17. On a third virakal at the Trimurti temple – Epigraphia Carnatica vol VII, no Shikarpur 249 – dated 1185 CE, fifth regnal year – refers itself to the reign of the Chalukya king Tribhuvanamalla-Someshvara-deva (Somesvara IV) – when maha-mandaleshvara Sovi-devarasa, the senior queen Lachchala-devi went to svarga, fulfilling the vow he had previously uttered, saying ‘ I will die with the devi’, he died. A grant was made for his wife and children.
  18. On the south-west pillar of the rangamandapa of the Shantinatha basti – Epigraphia Carnatica vol VII, no Shikarpur 227 – dated about 1200 CE – Charukirtti-deva, disciple of Abhayachandra-siddhanti-deva, repaired the Pancha-basti of Hiriya-Mahalige. For the temple, the grant from the king and from the nad originally made for the basti of Talaguppe may be applied, namely, Baleyagaru, Baleyahalli and Tagaduvattiga, – these three villages, free of all imports.
  19. On the yard of the Shantinatha basti, on  tombstone to the north – Epigraphia Carnatica vol VII, no Shikarpur 232 – dated about 1200 CE – inscription is much defaced. It records the death of Somala-devi or Somavve with the performance of Jain rites at the Shantinatha basadi. Her guru was Subhachandra, the inscription praises her liberality and Jain devotion.
  20. On a second virakal at the Saharsralinga temple – Epigraphia Carnatica vol VII, no Shikarpur 244 – dated about 1203 CE, thirteenth regnal year of Ballala II – refers itself to the reign of the Hoysala king Ballala II – when Ballala attacked the fort of Udare, at the bidding of the great minister Malleya-dannayaka, his intimate servant, the Bandanike guard Nemma-madeyanna’s son Hariyana, showed his valor in the fight, bringing glory to his family, he gained the world of gods.
  21. On a stone in front of Shantinatha basti – Epigraphia Carnatica vol VII, no Shikarpur 225 – dated 1204 CE – refers itself to the reign of the Hoysala king Ballala II – the inscription starts with praises to the celebrated poet Recha-chamupati and Kavade Boppa. The latter is said to be an ornament of the Yadu king’s kingdom and promoting the Jain dharma at the tirtha of Shanti-jina, the lord of Bandhava-pura. Then comes mention of Kunatala country which had been ruled in the past by the nine Nandas, the Mauryas, the Guptas, the Rattas, the Chalukyas, king Bijjala of the celebrated Kalachuriya-vamsa in order. Then, after subduing the powerful, came the Hoysala king Ballala II. He is said to be ruling from Vijayasamudra. Then comes praises for Banavasi-12000 and Nagarakhanda-70. In Nagarakhanda is located Bandhava-nagara. Its ruler Boppa-deva, son of Soma-nripa, was born in Kadamba-vamsa. His son was Brahma-bhupalaka. Kavedeya Boppa Setti erected a mantapa for the god Shantinatha of Bandanike. In this Nagarakhanda were five agraharas and its Brahmans were praised. Kereyur Sambhu-deva was versed in all learnings. Verses in praised of Settikavve’ son Sankara-setti of the Bananju-dharma : of samanta-Mudda, whose father was Sankara, his mother Jakkavve, his friend Jina, his guru, Bhanu-kirtti-bratipati, his ruler Ballala, his wife Kachhchhaviyur : of Mala-gauda, Prabhu of Begur : of Erakati-gauda of Kannasoge : of Eraha-gauda of Malavalli : and Soma-gauda of Abbalur. Munichandra-siddhanta-deva’s favorite disciple was Lalitakirtti-siddhanti, his son was Subhachandra-pandita-deva, of Kanur gana. He raised up the tirtha of Bandanike. He obtained the paripatya (management) of the Shantinatha-tirtha. Then come the verses about the minister of Ballala, named Malla, lotus to Brahman race, protecting Bandanike. His minister was Suryya-chamupati. This celebrated official Malli-setti; Suryya-deva; all the Brahmans; Sambu-deva, the master of Kereyur; Bittimarasa, master of Kachhchhaviyur; Tribhuvanamalla-Settikavve and her son Sankara-setti; Sankara-samanta’s son nal-prabhu Maddayya; Begur Mala-gauda; Kannasoge Erakati-gauda, Malavalli Eraha-gauda; Abbalur Soma-gauda – these chief persons, and the farmers of Nagarakhanda-70, getting together, for the bathing and eight manner of ceremonies of the god Shantinatha of Bandanike and made grants.
  22. On a stone in front of the Mahanavami mandapa – Epigraphia Carnatica vol VII, no Shikarpur 235 – dated 1207 CE – obeisance to the Varaha. From the naval of Sri was born Abjaja, his son was Atri, whose son was Chandra. In this Chandra-vamsa arose Yadu and from whom was the family of the Yadava kings. In that family was Sala, king of the region in which the Tungabhadra is born, worshiper of the goddess Vasantike of Soseyur, who killed a tiger at the order of a muninatha, and thus he became Poysala. This way his descendants through the favor of the goddess of Sasapura acquired the name Hoysala and the tiger crest. Then comes Ballala who is said to have defeated the Pandyas, capturer of Uchchangi, submarine to the ocean the Lala king. His fame eclipsed that of Chola, Varala, Lala, Khacha, Turuksha, Chera, Maru, Malava, Magadha, Gurjjara, Andhra and Nepala. Then comes the reference of Malla whose descent is explained. An ornament to Eral-nad was the agrahara Nagave, in which was the famous Hrishikesha, his son was Mallideva, whose son was Bhaskararyya. His son was Mallideva or Kammata-Malla, of the Kashyapa gotra, the elder brother of Bhagyavati. His wife was Jakkale, and their son was Bhaskara whose younger brother was Vasudeva. Praise of Suryya-dandadhinatha whose son was Bachayya. Then comes the mention of Kunatala, Banavasi, Nagarakhanda and Bandhavapura. In that royal city was formerly a king of that country famed for his liberality, Sovi-deva. He gave to thirty-three Brahmans a grant to vrittis in Bandhavapura and his son Boppa maintained the work of merit with affection. After that it was confirmed in the Yadu kingdom and later renewed by Mallideva. The grant was shared with the senior queen Abhinava-Ketala-mahadevi. A later grant made by queen’s brother, Madhava-dannayaka, is also engraved.
  23. On a second stone to the north of the Shantinatha basti – Epigraphia Carnatica vol VII, no Shikarpur 226 – dated 1213 CE – Born in the ocean of the sri-Mula-sangha, of the Kranur-ggana, and Tintrinika-gachchha, obedient to lalitakirtti-muni, Subhachandra-deva shines in the sky as far as the points of the compass. (on the date specified) he went to svarga. Having renounced all in sannyasana, repeating the five words, with firm mind, he departed. From Bharateshvara………………….for the mathadhipati of Bandanike was erected a mandapa in front of the Shantinatha basti………
  24. On a virakal near the Saharsralinga temple – Epigraphia Carnatica vol VII, no Shikarpur 243 – dated 1214 CE – refers itself to the reign of the Suena king Simhana – When joining with Dronapala, maha-mandaleshvara Bammi-Devarasa of Bandanike besieged Uddare, perggade Macha showed extraordinary valor in the battle and attained world of gods.
  25. On a virakal near Trimurti temple – Epigraphia Carnatica vol VII, no Shikarpur 247 – dated 1215 CE, second regnal year – refers itself to the reign of the Hoysala king Ballala II – maha-vadda-behari Kamata-Malla-Setti with Suryya-dannayaka, sending for Gavamaleya-Nayaka and engaging his service- when penetrated to Baleyahalli and having captured the cows was returning, the watchman of the Kavada forest, by order of……… Saniyabe’s sahani, fighting slew many and gained the word of gods.
  26. On a second virakal at the Trimurti temple – Epigraphia Carnatica vol VII, no Shikarpur 248 – dated 1224 CE – refers itself to the reign of the Suena king Singhana – in protecting Mulugunda, in the fight with Jayya-rahuta, Bokeya-Boppe-Nayaka slaying and gained the world of gods.
  27. On a stone in a tank – Epigraphia Carnatica vol VII, no Shikarpur 233 – dated about 1396 CE – (on the date specified) for the offerings to Bana-devi, certain land (specified) was granted, free of all imposts, by Chanchali-Odeyar. Some other land granted to Lachaya-devi.
  28. On a stone near the Banashankari temple – Epigraphia Carnatica vol VII, no Shikarpur 241 – dated about 1396 CE – refers itself to the Vijayanagara king Harihara-Raya – Banavasi and Bandanike are adored. (on the date specified) when Bachappa-Vadeyar was on the throne of Sove, in front of the goddess Banna of Bandanike in the Nagarkhanda-nad, for the repair of the temple of the goddess, will be assigned custom duties from the former priest of the goddess and other subjects, the tax from the five classes of artisans, hidden treasure, underground stores.
  29. On a vira-kal to the south of Banashankari temple – Epigraphia Carnatica vol VII, no Shikarpur 240 – dated 1442 CE – In the reign of the rajadhiraja raja-parameshvara vira-pratapa Immadi-Deva-Raya-maharaya, (on the date specified), when Madukanna-Nayaka, son of the Kadamba Soyi-Devarasa of Bandanike, the famous royal city of the Nagarakhande-70, his son Baicharasa and his son-in-law Surappa-Nayaka had blocked up Kappegere, a hamlet of Banavasi, and people of the tirtha coming, laid siege to it, – like brave men, killing many, and being cut into two pieces, gained the world of gods.
  30. On a masti-kal to the south of Banashankari temple – Epigraphia Carnatica vol VII, no Shikarpur 239 – dated 1447 CE – In the reign of the rajadhiraja parameshvara vira-pratapa Mallikarjuna-maharaya, (on the date specified) when Kathariryya-Nariyaooa-Nayaka’s son Maduvarasa-Nayaka went to svarga, his wives Bullarasi and Kannayi cast themselves into their husband’s victorious fortune and gained the world of gods.
  31. On a stone on a mound in the south wastewir of the same tank – Epigraphia Carnatica vol VII, no Shikarpur 234 – dated about 1510 CE – it refers to the reign of maharajadhiraja raja-parameshvara Krishna-Raya-maharaya – praise of Shambu. King is said to be in Vidyanagara. For the purpose of clearing out the tank each year, Chandragupti village in Chandragupti magani of Banavasi-12000 was granted.

Monuments – There are many ruined temples in this village. The main three temples, Shantinatha Basti, Trimurti and Someshvara Temple are under the protection of ASI (Archaeological Survey of India). Veerbhadra temple, Sahastralinga Temple and Hanuman temple are other main temples in the village.

Shantinatha Basti

Shantinatha Basti (image courtesy http://industrialtour.com)

Shanthinatha Basadi – This structure is located on the right side of the tank, locally known as Nagara-kere or Nagaratirtha. The basti consists of a garbhagriha (sanctum sanctorum), an antarala (vestibule), a four pillared mahamandapa (hall) and a thirty two-pillared mukhamandapa, all in north-south orientation. The mukha-mandapa has entrances on its three sides. Slanted back-rest type arrangement is present on the parapet wall of the mukha-mandapa.

There is no image now in the garbha-griha but once there would have been a Jain tirthankar image, probably of Shatinatha. The well-carved antarala doorway is provided with perforated jalis (screens) on its either side. This kind of jail work was very prominent during the Chalukyas, specially the Western Chalukyas.

No foundation inscription is found for this basti. The earliest inscription found in vicinity of the temple belongs to the Rashtrakuta period and dated 912 CE. However this inscription does not mention about this basti. Therefore this date cannot be taken on its face value. The inscription mentions sallekhana of a lady at the Bandalike tirtha. There can be two possibilities, either the composer of the inscription on purpose did not mention about the basti as there was no connection or this basti was not constructed by that time.

However, it is confirmed that Bandalike had assumed the status of a Jain tirtha by that time. If the present basti was not one of the reason of this then which other temple was responsible? There is no other surviving Jain temple in the village. In this situation, it would be acceptable if we assume that Shantinatha basti was existing by the start of the 10th century CE and was also instrumental in taking the status of the village to a Jain tirtha.

Shimoga Gazetteer mentions that this basti cannot be associated with the Rashtrakutas as it differs in style and design. A later epigraph, dated 1200 CE, records repair and maintenance of Pancha-basti of Hiriya-Mahalige, therefore it does not apply to this basti. It is curious why such an inscription is engraved on a pillar of the mandapa of this basti where it mentions repairs of another basti. Another inscription, dated 1204 CE, mentions grants and endowments by Boppa-setti, the ruler of Nagarakhanda-70 region, to this basti.

Someshvara Temple

Someshvara Temple – Also referred as Anekal Somayya and Boppesvara temple, this temple was built by Boppa Setti, the ruler of Nagarakhanda-70, in 1274 CE. The temple is consisted of a garbhagriha (sanctum), an antarala (vestibule), a pillared mandapa (hall) with an insignificant porch, all arranged in east-west orientation. The porch has not survived. The entrance doorway to the mandapa had four sakhas (divisions). At the base of it are depicted dvarapalas and female figures. On the lalatabimba of the lintel is Gajalakshmi.

On either side of the above door are highly ornate, sculptured, screens which have perforations alternating with narrative friezes depicting select episodes from epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata. The explanation of the scenes are provided below.

Left Side Screen

Scenes on the left side screen (from bottom to top)

  1. First frieze – Dashratha with three queens, Rama’s coronation, Rama’s exile with Sita and Lakshman.
  2. Second frieze – Rama and Lakshman in battle with Khara and Dhushana with their rakshasa army
  3. Third frieze – Rama and Lakshman in quest of golden deer, Rama shot the golden deer, deer and bear in the forest, Ravana in front of Sita’s hut, Ravana abducted Sita.
  4. Fourth frieze – Hanuman reporting to Rama, making of bridge by monkeys.
  5. Fifth frieze – Vanar (Monkey) sena (army) fighting with rakshasas, Rama and Lakshman on rightmost.
  6. Sixth frieze – Rama and Ravana fight, Rama, Lakshman and Sita with monkeys.
  7. Seventh frieze – Ravana in his court, Sita in Ashokavana.

Right Side Screen

Scenes on the right side screen (from bottom to top)

  1. First frieze – Kaurava and Pandava at dice game, Bhima shaking Kauravas from a tree.
  2. Second frieze – Karna and Arjuna fight, Gograhana.
  3. Third frieze – Arjuna and Bhishma fighting, Bhima killing Dushashana, Draupadi wetting her hair with his blood, Arjuna and Drona fighting.
  4. Fourth frieze – Arjuna and Karna fighting.
  5. Fifth frieze – Bhima fighting Bhagadatta.
  6. Sixth frieze – Bhima and Duryodhana fighting.
  7. Seventh frieze – Shiva seated with Nandi, Ganesha and Kumara, on his right are Brahma and Sarasvati and on his left are Vishnu and Mahishasuramardini.

Inside the sanctum is a Shiva-linga with facing Nandi in antarala. The antarala doorway has two perforated screens on is either side. On the lalatabimba of antarala doorway is Shiva in dancing mudra. He is accompanied with Ganesha, Brahma, Vishnu and Mahishasura-mardini. In the mandapa are provided niches, two each on either side, however all are empty at present.

Just behind this temple, there is a mandapa known as Mahanavami mandapa. An inscription found here, dated 1207 CE, mentions grant from the Hoysala queen, Abhinava-Ketala-Devi, the wife of the Hoysala king, Ballala II.

Trimurti Narayana Temple

Trimurti Narayana Temple – Trimurti Narayana temple is the largest temple at Bandalike. This east facing temple is trikutachala (triple celled) in design. All the three cells are adorned with antaralas (sukanasi), which connect to a common mandapa. The tower of the western cell has fallen, other two towers are in good state of preservation. West and south cells have Shiva-lingas while the northern cell has an image of Vishnu.

How to Reach – Bandalike is about 88 km from Shimoga, 36 km from Shikaripura and 17 km from Siralkoppa. Buses from Siralkoppa are available however frequency is less. It is better to arrange for your own transport. Bandalike is a small village so not many options are there for food and accommodation. Arrange your food at Siralkoppa and for accommodation try at Shimoga.

References:

  1. Annual Report of the Mysore Archaeological Department for the year 1911. University of Mysore.
  2. Annual Report of the Mysore Archaeological Department for the year 1931. University of Mysore.
  3. Annual Report of the Mysore Archaeological Department for the year 1941. University of Mysore.
  • Manish Jain

    Very very great research you have done, superb info, all at the one place. Thanks.

  • N S Sharada Prasad

    Must Read Article. Wonderful JOb. Congrats.

  • R Venkatesh Kolagi-577433

    excellent effort