Of the 18 Jain temples in Moodabidri, Saavira Kallina Basadi is considered to be the largest and most ornate Jain temple. History of the temple dates back to 1430 A.D and is said to have been built by the then local chieftain Devaraya Wodeyar. And some new construction was added in 1962. The splendour of this temple lies in the many pillars that stand and support this 3 storey temple which also has a grand pillared-courtyard.
The main temple structure is enclosed by huge stone walls. The view of the 60ft monolith Manasthambha (the pillar in front of the basadi) is striking right at the outset. The temple has the typical Malnad-styled sloped roof with tiles and stone carvings adorning the sides. The elephant balustrades catch one’s attention as one climbs up a short flight of steps to the pillared porch of the temple. The ornate pillars and the beautiful floor tiles instantly steal your heart. The details on the pillars depict many a hidden story. There are 7 mandapas with symmetrically carved stone pillars yet none of the pillars looks similar. The sanctum sanctorum of the temple houses an eight-foot bronze idol of the 8th Thirthankara Chandraprabha, hence the temple is also known as Chandranatha Temple. All the visitors to the temple can offer prayers inside the sanctum sanctorum but the upper storeys are open only to the Jain pilgrims. The serene surrounding and the tranquil atmosphere of the temple is a welcome feeling, away from the chaos of the bustling city life.
This Jain temple gives us a glimpse of Jain rulers’ interest in encouraging and constructing such architectural masterpieces. It isn’t a surprise that it is also popularly known as the Tribhuvana Tilaka Chudamani, Crest-jewel of the three worlds.