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Thursday 6 April 2023

Brahma Jinalaya - The Sanctum And The Outer Area

Hope you enjoyed the tour of the inner mantapa. Thank you for joining me here.

The inner mantapa has the 22nd Tirthankara as the main deity. He is flanked on either side by attendants fanning him with a chowrie (a traditional fan made of animal hair attached to a handle). According to our guide the entire backdrop of the chowrie holding attendants was carved out of a single stone. 

The lotus motif in the ceiling needs a special mention here. This was the motif of a morning lotus. We saw these motifs in most of the other temples in Lakkundi and Gadag too. There is a morning lotus, afternoon lotus and an evening lotus. Those images will follow in the other stories. 

Outside the temple. seated in the glaring sun is the mark of the unfortunate effects of the war and fragile human ego. A beautiful statue of Mahavira, sadly decapacitated, sat there still exuding a certain peace. This was the original statue in the sanctum. But after the mutilation, the idol of the 22nd Tirthankara took over.

This is one motif that baffled both Meera and me. No matter how hard we tried to see it and from whichever angle we examined it, we could not decipher what it meant. It looked like an Hippo with an open mouth, but if any of our readers can clarify this for us and others reading this, it will be wonderful. 

The Kirtimukhas were seen on almost every panel in the outer walls of the temple. A symbol of lord Shiva, legend says that the Kirtimukha was originally a lion that emerged from Shiva's third eye to deal with Rahu at the behest of King Jalandhara. But once Rahu sought Shiva's mercy and was forgiven, a new way had to be found to appease the lion's hunger. The lion graciously started devouring himself from his tail, till only the glorious face remained and hence the name Kirtimukha. 


Hope you enjoyed this 3 part tour of the Brahma Jinalaya with us. Please stay connected for more wonderful stories from Lakkundi and other places. 

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