Kamal Basadi, Belgaum

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Kamal Basadi is an 11th Century Jain temple inside the Belgaum Fort, in the north western corner of Karnataka. My friend R, whose family has been a patron of the temple for generations, took us to visit.

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“Kamal” means lotus and it’s fitting. The anti amber has a lovely carved lotus blossom ceiling with 72 petals, each with a mini statutes of Thirthankaras (24 from the past, 24 current and 24 future ones). Thirthankaras are Jain prophets who help people achieve enlightenment.

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Inside the Santorum Santorum is a idol of Neminatha, the 22nd Jain Thirthankara. And there are other lovely carvings and Thirthankara idols.

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The columns are smooth stone and they are so shiny as to reflect when you look into them — the convex carving in fact causes a double reflection: one right side up, the other upside down. The are also “musical” — when tapped lightly with a coin the resonate with sound.

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Next we checked out nearby temple that had been de-consecrated.

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And then I was asked to pose for photos with a local family…

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And R tapped into her inner super model …

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Thanks R for showing us around and teaching us more about Jainism!

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