Humacha (ಹುಮಚ) is a small village of historical and religious importance, in the Shivamogga district of central Karnataka at a distance of nineteen kilometers from Hosanagara the talluk head quarters. This was known by different variants of its name such as hombucha. pombuchcha and patti pomburcha. The word literally refers to a piece of gold.(Pon) This scenic village was the capital city of Santara (sAntara) dynasty between the eighth and the sixteenth centuries. However, Humacha ceased to be their capital after the twelfth century. They were ruling the region called sAnataLige sAvira. The dyanasty was established by Jinadatta who migrated to this region from North India along with a statue of Padmavathy.

The ruins of the capital city are to be found at the base of the Bileshvara hill.

Humacha contains many Jaina temples(basadi) and a solitary maTha. The earlest basadi was known as pAliyakkana basadi and and the ruins of this basadi are now found in the precincts of Panchakuta basadi. Vikramaditya Santara built another small basadi in 820 A.D. Chandranatha basadi was built in the tenth century within the premises of the maTha.

Humcha has a Jain Monastery, established centuries back by monks belonging to the Nandi Sangha of Shri Kund-Kundacharya. The matha has spacious buildings and maintains the Parshvanatha temple and Padmavati buildings. Padmavti temple, Marthanda Basadi, Bogara Basadi and Jattingaraya Basadi seem to have been rebuilt in granite using materials of older Hoysala and Chalukyan temples. This is particularly true of the pillars and the fine torana(tOraNa) at the door way.

However the biggest and best known happens to be Panchakuta basadi. This was built in 1077 A.D. by Chattala Devi in the Chalukyan style. This contains a solitary navaranga and five garbhagudis and an open mukhamantapa. There is a verandah all round the temple. In front of the basadi is a manastambha which is a magnificent monolithic pillar and is an interesting piece of work with elegant carvings. The pillar stands on a high platform which has three tiers. The bottom-most tier has four elephants at the four corners and four more at the cardinal points. Lions in different postures are carved in-between these elephants. Ashta dikpalas with all their retinue and musicians are carved on the second tier. This small village contains more than thirty inscriptions.

On the top of a hill close to the village and overlooking this Matha is another Basadi dedicated to Bhagwan Bahubali. An inscription here indicates that the Basadi was built by Vikramaditya Santara in 898 A.D. Sculptures and monuments are unearthed at regular intervals in this region. The Pancha Matrika sculpture recently found in front of the Kalleshwara temple is a significant find.

Humacha is thus important not only to the Jaina piligrims but also to the students of the history of Karnataka.


References and Links:

1. My life and my views: Day 1 - Humcha - Jain Pilgrimage centre

2. Humcha Padmavati Mata





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