Thanks to all the friends and families who have portrayed the obvious image of Udupi in my mind. Until this point, I knew Udupi to be famous only for Krishna math, and its delicious laddu. But how did they miss Varanga Jain Temple? A few months back, I had a golden opportunity to visit Udupi for a wedding. Since it was a weekend wedding, I had a great amount of time around this time for exploring the city.
I’ve always been fascinated by Jainism ( and Buddhism) which made me plot a direction to a village that has been on cards for a really long time but never found time to visit. The first and obvious is, that I never found a reason to visit Udupi, and “who’s going to drive that far?” feeling. No, it’s not about the distance ( i can drive for miles) but it’s about the conditions of roads as you cross Goa going South, even to this moment of writing this article. But now I had a perfect reason.
The Varanga Jain Temple location:
It was a windy Sunday and I didn’t have a second thought of ‘being it the day for the mission to visit this temple. 4 Hours before the Haldi ritual could start and I know this was indeed a golden opportunity for me, coming this far, for a different reason altogether. This place is around 45-60 min aware from the town center of Udupi and demands careful driving owing to narrow lanes as you close into the Location. The drive to the village of Varanga is serene and peaceful. Apart from being slow and careful, this place is totally worth the drive that you incur. The interesting part is, depending on which part of Udupi you are situated, there are multiple routes leading to this temple. This place has a wonderful parking space in an open area. Being Sunday, I couldn’t spot any other car than mine at that moment, in this Grass-filled Parking area.
About Varanga Jain Temple:
Kere Basadi (which means a lake temple), also called Chaturmukha Basadi. Built-in the 12th-century, this temple has a 4-faced idol of Tirthankaras and they look beautiful. As per the reports, a few years back, one could easily walk into the temple and the same is the situation during the dry season, however, if I had to be asked, I’d prefer it this way. There’s a small workshop house next to the temple wherein you can avail your ticket for the boat and you can also look for other temple offerings or services. They do not accept digital payment for any kind of ticket or services. The boat ticket costs INR 20 ( USD 0.26) which is 1 person’s return ticket. That’s a too low cost for a ride, worth into such a wonderful place.
The footwear needs to be kept away from the temple and is not allowed to be carried into the boat as well. It takes 2-mins to be taken across the other side and this is how the scene looks mid-way.
What was really admiring about this place was the ‘silence’ that you face. Plesant water, Quiet atmosphere makes it totally worth for you to spend your time. As you close in, this is what you see:
About Varanga Jain Temple:
As the boat docks, you end up on the steps and within the count of 5 of it, you face the back of the temple. I had the temple Pujari to guide me by his action which meant “to the front”. The location of the dock is at the back of the temple and you need to walk up to just the opposite side.
The Pujari told me to enter the temple, started with his Puja, and then offered the Aarati. He also explained to me that this temple is nearly 1300 years old and told me to check the other 3 idols.
The walk into the temple area is very narrow but I managed it easily. I had a curious question for the Pujari and I asked about the visitors. To my surprise, he said a lot of tourists visit in the month of October-November and March-May, especially from Maharashtra and other parts of Karnataka. He added saying that the village of Varan houses a good number of Jain population too. While this conversation was getting interesting to learn, I knew it was my time to return. While going back to the other side where my car was parked, I couldn’t resist but capture a couple of more pictures.
The rush of the hour was the culprit to make me walk back to the boat. The boatman was very patient to allow me to capture the picture and even though it was against my will to return, I had to. Or else I wouldn’t have, especially if this is the view:
In case you wish to visit the temple, here’s the Google Location to the place. Next time you are in Udupi, Don’t miss this. Please be assured that this place has a full-powered network of Vi-Idea, Jio so you aren’t away from a single call, just in case you need to be pulled out ( but why would you be?).