Jain Temples in Belagavi & Karnataka await restorations and seek protection.
Jain Temples at Belagavi & Karnataka need protection & restoration. In Karnataka, there are currently around 50,000 Jains temples of worship that require protection and a thorough inventory. Community members have expressed concern over the loss or encroachment on precious lands and properties connected to more than 90% of the basadis and temples, which are valued at least Rs 2-3 lakh crore. Whole temples have vanished in certain areas.
In a letter to the government, the Karnataka State Minority Commission brought up the necessity to survey and protect over 50,000 religious monuments. Due to the loss or destruction of grant records stretching back centuries, many temples lack the necessary paperwork.
The existing religious structures should be assessed and, if necessary, safeguarded by legislation to ensure their safety as the community comes to terms with this reality. According to Surendra Heggade, Veerendra Heggade’s brother and the leader of the well-known Dharmasthala Manjunatha temple, several Jain temples and shrines are currently undergoing restoration.
Jain culture is well-established in the state, particularly in the north. We have over 22,000 basadis and Jain temples in Belagavi alone, and there are more than 50,000 more temples of worship in the state as a whole. Grants of land were made to the basadis and temples to aid in the maintenance of the place of worship. 99.9% of the time, the land has either been lost or infringed upon. According to B S Prasannaiah, president of the Karnataka Jain Association, the value of the lost property could be in the range of a few lakh crores.
Through the Dharmodhana Trust, Surendra Heggade stated, “We have taken over 32 basadis, or Jain temples, around the state. We have restored them to their original state and given them to the community for ongoing prayers and protection. The cost of repair is very high, and we pay a portion of it while the state government pays a portion.
According to academics, such appropriation of Jain shrines has historically occurred in Karnataka when districts, where Jains were influential, came under Shaiva’s influence, according to Sanjay Dhariwal, a Jain activist working with an NGO. Numerous inscriptions mention Shaiva temples and monasteries occupying Jain basadis. In pre-modern Kannada literature, the religious dispute between Jains, Shaivas, and Vaishnavas has been explored.
Karnataka has a rich history of Jainism thanks to the adoption of the religion by numerous strong kings and kingdoms. The Rashtrakutas, Gangas, Chalukyas, Kadambas, and Hoysalas embraced it.