Chavundaraya Basadi, Chandragiri Hillock, Shravanabelagola.

Main Deity – Idol of Lord Neminath in padmasana.

History – The Chavundaraya/Chamundaraya basadi is the finest and one of the largest temples on the hill. Impressed by its beauty and the richness in architecture archaeologists call Chavundaraya Basadi as the king of temples. It is a homogeneous structure consisting of a garbhagriha with an upper storey and a tower over it, an open sukhanasi, a navaranga and a porch with verandahs at the sides, all built of fine grained hard granite. It is dedicated to Neminatha, the twenty second tirthankara. The sukhanasi consists of good figures of Sarvahna and Kushmandini, the yaksha and yakshi of Neminatha. The basement consists of three cornices and the outer walls are decorated with right angled pilasters at intervals. There is a deep niche at the centre on each side of the outer walls of the garbhagriha and the navaranga. On the top of these pilasters is a row of hamsas or swams under the sharp curved caves above which is another row oe yalis mostly in pairs facing each other. Above this frieze is a row of fine seated figures of tirthankaras and other male and female figures under arches. The walls of the upper storey are also similarly ornamented. The inscription regarding the construction of this temple clearly states that it was caused to be constructed by Chamundaraya/chavundaraya and hence its date may probably be 982 A.D. But the inscription on the pedestal of the image of Neminatha in the garbhagriha of about 1138 A.D. says that Echana, son of the general Ganga Raja, caused to be built the Jina temple Trailokyaranjana which was also known as Boppana Chaityalaya. It is therefore clear that the image of Neminatha or at least its pedestal did not originally belong to this basadi and must have been brought here at some subsequent period from the temple founded by Echana which may have gone to ruin. The upper storey enshrines the figure of Parshwanatha and an inscription on its pedestal says that Jina-deva, son of the minister Chamundaraya, caused to be made a Jina temple at Belagola. The temple referred to is probably the upper storey and its period may be about 995 A.D. It is highly probable that the building which was commenced in about 982 A.D. was perhaps completed in 995 A.D. The porch appears to be later addition and perhaps belongs to the days of Vishnuvardhana Hoysala.