Mandaragiri Hills / Basadi Betta – A Flavor of Jainism 07/06/2015

Places: Mandaragiri Hills (aka Basadi Betta), Kyathsandra, Tumkur

Distance: 60 * 2 = 120 kms
Route: Vijaynagar -> Dabaspete -> Right turn after 10.7kms from Dabaspete -> Mandaragiri Hills
Crew:  Abdul, Arun, Ravi and Sagar (Myself)
Type: Temple, Short Trekking 
Ideal for: Friends & Family
Bikes: Bajaj Discover and Honda Trigger
Budget: 150/Head

Best of the Beast

It was a month since my last trip to Antargange, I badly needed another trip but had a tough time to manage all works. Found this unexplored placed called Mandaragiri hills which at first felt very similar to Shravanabelagola.

Brief about the place:

  • Popularly known as Basadi betta among the locals is one of the important pilgrim centers for Jainism in Karnataka
  • Pinchi shaped 81 ft high Gurumandir first of its kind in Jain History declared as a Unique world record.
  • The Guru Mandir is dedicated to the Digambar Jain  ascetic Acharya 108 Sri Shanthinsagarji Mahara.
  • Shri Mukha Mantapa at the base has installed tall statue of Chandranatha Thirthankara inaugurated in 2011.
  • The Mandaragiri hill is a small hillock with well carved 435 steps which houses 4 ancient temples of which 2 are from 12th century and other two from 14th century.
Sunday Morning: Hit the road at 5.45 am Ravi joined us at Yashwantpur, the silky smooth national highway added thrill to the ride. Pulled over for breakfast at Dabaspete, I checked Google maps for directions it said – “Take Right turn after 10.7 km”, the unique hillock with carved steps was visible from the highway.

Mandaragiri Hills: Parked vehicle at the base and started trekking, there are nicely carved steps till the peak which made ascend very easy. As its a very small hillock with 435 steps we reached peak in 10 minutes, the temples are protected by the outer walls. Beyond the main door lies a big courtyard with temples, we were clueless about the place.

435 stairs leading to the peak
Mandaragiri as written on the Hill
At the top, temple surrounded by big walls
Paintings on outer walls
We a saw Pujari coming out of temple, Abdul out of his curiosity asked him about the importance of the place that’s when he told us that there are four temples, two of which are from 12th century dedicated to Bhagwan Chandranatha and other from 14th dedicated to Parshwanatha and Suparshwanatha. Many saints used to visit this place for meditation, since Jain community is very small temple attracts very less audience. Pujari was more than happy to explain about their tradition, about the deity and about the place. After talking to him for long time we got to know that he was from Tumkur a business man who comes during weekend to offer his prayer to the deity. 
Four temples lined up inside the courtyard.
Paintings on the wall
Paintings on the wall
Paintings on the wall
12th Century Shri Chandraprabhu Thirthankar Temple and idol.
Sri Mahaveer Thirthankar foot prints
16th Century Parshwanath Thirthankar temple and idol
12th century Chandranath Thirthankar Temple

We visited all the four temples and explored paintings on the wall. There is a small pound beside the temple, we spent an hour sitting beside the pound and enjoying the breeze. I can’t say the view from the peak is good as its not that tall enough to get you that view but we could see Shivagange, Nijgal betta and Devarayanadurga here. There is  also a famous Maidala lake popularly known as Maidala kere you can see behind the temple which was dried at the time we visited.

Paintings on the rock
Nearby pound
Spent some quality time near the pound
View from the Hill. observe Gurumandir in the photo
Peacock feather shaped Gurumandiri as seen from the hills
At the Base: Pichi shaped Gurumandir dragged our attention, it was unique, different and beautiful. We wanted enter this Gurumandir but it was closed so we dropped the idea.

Recently constructed (2011) Shri Mukha mantapa houses tall statue of Chandranatha Thirthankara. We spent some more time at peaceful place and left the place.

Pinchi Shaped Gurumandir – First of its kind with its unique shape
Shri Mukha Mantapa Entrance gate
Statue of Chandranatha Thirthankara
Statue of Chandranatha Thirthankara
I couldn’t figure out what this scene would depict
but its really strange to see Cows child and Tigers child drinking other mothers milk
Pillar in front of the tall statue
English Translation: Welcome to Shri Kshetra Mandir
Piligrims who wishes to visit Jain mandir on the Hill
can give their address and get key of the temple door at the office.
Ride Back: It was 10.30 am by the time we left the place, as it was summer 10.30 was feeling like 1 pm, the sun was very intense, had cold drink on the way and reached home by 12 pm.
Important Note:
1. It is very likely that the main door of the temple on the hill is closed you can get the key of the temple from office at the base and return them while going. You can call to the below numbers to inquire about the keys and get the key in case its closed. (Note: Numbers are taken from the sign board at the office)
  • 9448077290
  • 9844548097 
2. There is no source of water / food at the hill as well as at the base make sure you carry enough water before going.
Other Mode of transportation: Plenty of buses run between Bangalore to Tumkur, you can catch any bus and get down at the Mandaragiri cross. Walk 1.6 km to reach the base of the hill.
Also read about the nearby places to Mandaragiri.
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  1. I couldn't figure out what this scene would depict
    but its really strange to see Cows child and Tigers child drinking other mothers milk

    ..This is classic jain painting which symbolizes peace.
    As natural rivals (Cow,triger) ..rivals in the sense one is anothers preys.
    are treating each others children as if they were their own …the ultimate peace and non violence is depicted here.

  2. Hats off to you Sagar for writing such informative travel blogs…it makes traveling easy for old and aged people like us…God bless. As I am planning a visit to this temple in end September you have helped me immensely … Keep it up!

  3. Hi Sagar,
    I was planning to go there, Thank you so much for the information.
    Keep up the good work..!!

    Regards, Bharatesh

  4. Hey, that's a detailed blog! Loved the article and pictures. I wanted to use one of your picture for our website (with credits of course) pl. let me know if I can. thanks much.

  5. Hi. The place is little isolated during weekdays. I would suggest you to go to any other place instead. Check shivagange on my blog

  6. The temples on Basadi Betta are 800 and 600 years old built by Kannada Jain paleyagara's

    The Bahubali statue and pinchi shaped building is built by migrant north indian Jain community around 10 years back.

  7. അടിപൊളി സ്ഥലം. പ്രകൃതിരമണീയമായ ഭൂപ്രദേശങ്ങൾ. കുന്നിൻമുകളിലുള്ള ഈ ക്ഷേത്ര ഭംഗി കാണാതിരുന്നാൽ ഒരു വലിയ നഷ്ടം തന്നെയാണ്. മനോഹരം അല്ല അത് മനോഹരം.