A sample imageKarnataka has a long association with Jainism, one of the old and important religions of India. It has been a major cultural, philosophical, social and political force since a long time. The penetration of Jainism into Karnataka area is hitherto unknown. According to a tradition, Mahavira visited Karnataka and initiated King Jivandhara of Hemanagada country of the Kuntala (Karnataka) region. Historically, it is believed that Bhadrabahu and his royal disciple Chandragupta Maurya migrated to the Karnataka where the both took sallekhana (fasting unto death) at Shravana Belagola and afterwards, the hill was named as Chandragiri hill. Though there is no direct evidence to corroborate this incidence, it was first mentioned in an inscription of 7th century CE of Shravanabelagola. Further, Brhatkhosa of Harisena of 931 CE also mentions this tradition. It received royal patronage from all the major dynasties that ruled Karnataka like the Western Gangas, Kadambas, Chalukya, Hoysalas and Vijayanagar. Large number of Jaina monuments in Karnataka clearly attests the huge patronage received not only from the royals and royal families but also from the merchants and common man.


A sample image A prolific Jaina centre, Arethippura is also refereed as Tippuru in one of the earliest inscription issued during the Ganga period of 799 – 800 CE. Although, the earliest reference to this place is dated to the time of Ganga, it received maximum attention during the time of Hoysalas as evident from the inscriptions dated 1117CE, wherein Gangaraja, the commander of Hoyala Vishnuvardhana is stated to grant the village Tippur to a Jaina Acharya.

This research deals with the recent archaeological investigations conducted at Arethippura, a Jaina settlement dating back to Gangas followed by Hoysalas and Vijayanagar period i.e. from 4th – 5th century CE to 15th – 16th century CE and the Archaeological Survey of India carried out Scientific Clearance which brought many structural remains, sculptures, inscriptions etc. to lime light.

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