After spending sometime at Sri Krishna temple, our next halt was at Chaturmukha Basadi at Karkala. Basadi refers to Jain temple and Chaturmukha stands for four faces. As we were nearing, the basadi was visible from a distance and the view was magnificent as on left side there is basadi and on right side one could notice the statute of Bahubali on the top of the hill. The greenery and small hillocks around were giving an ancient touch to the whole place. The feeling was as if you have been airdropped in the middle of an historical era like it happened in the movie “Back to the Future” when the protagonist of the movie landed in 1885.
King Immadi Bhairava (Bhairava II) constructed the Basadi on top of a small rocky hill in 1586 AD. The Basadi has four identical entrances from the four quarters leading to the Garbagriha or sanctorium and hence is popularly known as Chaturmukha Basadi. It is also referred to as Tribhuvana Tilaka Jina Chaityalaya and Ratnaraya Dhama in some inscriptions. The Basadi is built in the form of a square mandapa with a doorway and pillared portico on each of its four sides and a pillared verandah. It has life size statues of three Tirthankaras on each side and small images of 24 Tirthankara. It took 30 years to construct this temple. In all, there are 108 pillars in the temple complex. Each pillar is an exhibition of the architectural skills of the masons of that time and carries a piece of history in itself. One needs to spend time to connect the dots from pillar to pillar.
There was not much crowd around in the basadi. Apart from us, there were only one other family in the temple campus at that time. May be it was peak summer and around noon time it becomes scorching hot outside. Considering that it was built more than 400 years ago, there are lots of tell-tale signs indicating the wearing out of the structure.
The basadi is located about 200 meters away from Gommateshwara Bahubali statute which is visible from the basadi campus. The statue is on the top of the hillock and the view of basadi is very magnificent from there as it gives a wide view of the vast expanse of the area. In fact, I would say that to really admire the beauty of the basadi, you shall climb the hill and take a view from there. It provides a breathtaking view of the basadi as well as the whole valley. I am sure the architect who planned for these two structures at that time, would have considered this while planning for these.
Chaturmukha Basadi is situated on a rocky hill at Karkala which is located about 35 kms from Udupi, 35 kms from Manipal, 52 kms from Mangalore and about 380 kms from Bangalore. The nearest airport is at Mangalore which is connected with many domestic and international flights.