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Kere Basadi - Bliss of Varanga Jain temples [ Udupi trip Part-2 ]

With Udupi Sri Krishna Temple behind us, it was onward onto Kere Basadi - Varanga, Karkala. This place was on my bucket list for two years. I was impressed by the aerial view of this Jain temple posted on social media. I always felt "That's the place to live amidst nature". The greenery and an outstanding structure in the center of the lake always fascinated me. With the setback of Jomlu theertha falls, my friends somehow reluctantly agreed to visit this place on my words, and hence we were looking forward to exploring this unexplored place in Varanga, Karkala.

A brief note on Kere Basadi

Kere Basadi is located in Varanga, a small village 26kms from Karkala, Udupi. Varanga is a popular Jain pilgrim center. The village is a home for many centuries old ancient Basadis. The word Varanga is also closely associated with Varangacharita, a novel on fictional prince Varanga to preach principles of Jainism. The main Basadis here are Neminatha Basadi (Here Basadi), Chandranatha Basadi (Matada Basadi) and Kere Basadi.

Varanga Basadis are one of the ancient structural Jain temples of Karkala. They were built in 13th century by Varanga Raja. The Varanga Basadis are built with four symmetrically looking entrances leading to garbagriha of Jain Tirthankaras.

The First Sight of Varanga

[caption id="attachment_5635" align="alignnone" width="1024"]chaturmukha_basadi_karkala_04 As we landed in Varanga - Ancient Basadi and greenery :)[/caption]

Using the Google navigation, we reached Varanga at 1 pm. As we landed, we were awestruck gazing at the structure. A vast temple (Neminatha Basadi) enclosed within ancient walls. The lush green paddy fields soothed our eyes.

[caption id="attachment_5647" align="alignnone" width="1024"]chaturmukha_basadi_karkala_16 The lush green paddy fields !![/caption]

Beyond this, tall coconut trees and swaying hills in the background. [This is where the Kere Basadi is hidden in the center of the lake, which we found later]. We all exclaimed "Wow" and were happy to witness this view. We parked the car and headed towards the temple.

[caption id="attachment_5648" align="alignnone" width="1024"]chaturmukha_basadi_karkala_17 As we headed towards Neminatha Basadi[/caption]

Neminatha Basadi - Here Basadi

The grassy path paved the way to Neminatha Basadi. There stood the ancient Jain temple, built in 1329. It is also referred to as Here Basadi - Big temple. The entrance of the Basadi has huge pillars, roofing old tiles and mentions the history of the temple dated 1008AD.

[caption id="attachment_5640" align="alignnone" width="1182"]chaturmukha_basadi_karkala_09 Entrance of Neminatha Basadi[/caption]

As we entered, an ancient stone structured Basadi surrounded by the grass looked elegant. The Manasthamba of 45ft looked high in the sky.

[caption id="attachment_5639" align="alignnone" width="1182"]chaturmukha_basadi_karkala_08 Neminatha Basadi - dated 13th century[/caption]

Further, the garbagriha houses Lord Neminatha Swamy, a 5ft tall Kamala Peeta (lotus seated) monolithic sculpture. The Basadi also houses 24 Tirthankaras in meditation posture. Neminatha is the 22nd Tirthankara of Jainism and is considered to be most worshipped among Jains. He is also considered to be the "God of village Varanga". The temple has a history of dated back to 1200 years. It is believed that Varanga Raja - king of Varanga, gifted the village to Neminatha Swamy for the purpose of preaching Jainism

[caption id="attachment_5658" align="alignnone" width="724"]chaturmukha_basadi_karkala_18 Lord Neminatha Swamy with 24 Tirthankaras[/caption]

The outer structure of the Basadi is supported by stone pillars. Historical inscriptions are found here dated back to centuries which proves the existence of Jainism since then.

[gallery ids="5636,5638" columns="2" size="medium"]

A huge lush green paddy field is present just in front of this temple. The Basadi administration along with the villagers maintain the paddy field and is never left barren. This adds beauty to the Basadi and scenery is still fresh in our minds.

[caption id="attachment_5665" align="alignnone" width="1058"]chaturmukha_basadi_karkala_24 Serene View of Varanga Basadi[/caption]

Meanwhile, I was pondering about the Kere Basadi and my eyes were continuously searching for the view seen on social media. We noticed few people walking further beyond the Paddy field across a small house structure. We decided to follow them and explore more.

Chandranatha Basadi - Matada Basadi

As we walked further, we came across a Malnad house like structure which is known as Chandranatha Basadi. It is referred as Matada Basadi as it houses the Varanga Jain Mutt. The main deity worshipped here is Chandraprabha, 8th Tirthankara.

[caption id="attachment_5649" align="alignnone" width="1182"]chaturmukha_basadi_karkala_20 Chandranatha Basadi / Varanga Jain Mutt[/caption]

The Jain mutt is functional and there were around 15 students learning here. It is maintained by Sree Hombuja Jain Mutt. The interiors of this Basadi looks like a typical Malnad home with beautiful wooden structures.

[caption id="attachment_5645" align="alignnone" width="1024"]chaturmukha_basadi_karkala_14 Beautiful wooden interiors[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_5644" align="alignnone" width="1024"]chaturmukha_basadi_karkala_13 The typical Malnad home[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_5646" align="alignnone" width="1024"]chaturmukha_basadi_karkala_15 Peaceful moments ;)[/caption]

We were fortunate to meet the secretary of the mutt - Yuvaraja Ariga Sir, who gave us a great insight into the place. He was so humble and offered us a sumptuous lunch when we enquired about the hotels nearby. Spending time with him helped us to understand the significance of Varanga and Jainism. Thanks to him :)

Discovering Kere Basadi

We walked further and another mystery awaited us - a big lake surrounded by tall coconut trees. As we gazed across the lake, we noticed another Basadi in the center of the lake - Kere Basadi. "This is what I was searching for"- I exclaimed.

[caption id="attachment_5661" align="alignnone" width="1086"]chaturmukha_basadi_karkala_21 As we finally noticed Kere Basadi[/caption]

When we enquired on reaching there with Yuvraj Sir, he told us that there is a ferry available which the priest would row and that's how we would reach the Kere Basadi. We also realized that this is where recent movie Mugulunage climax was shot. We bought tickets for Rs.5 each and started to walk near the ferry.

[caption id="attachment_5643" align="alignnone" width="1024"]chaturmukha_basadi_karkala_12 Breathtaking view :)[/caption]

The beautiful Kere Basadi

As we neared the entrance, the view was Breathtaking !! Beautiful Basadi in the center of the lake filled with green aquatic plants. The tall coconut trees in the background. Moreover, the reflection of the Basadi in the calm water looked fabulous. What more to ask for!. We were feeling awesome with these fantastic views.

[caption id="attachment_5664" align="alignnone" width="1024"]chaturmukha_basadi_karkala_23 Magnificent !! The reflection captured :)[/caption]

The ferry ride fun

The lake is approximately 28ft deep and is full of aquatic plants and fishes, we enjoyed playing with them. We boarded the blue ferry, which was our Titanic feeling for some time :D. Few Titanic poses Toh Banta hai :P The priest arrived with other tourists near the ferry and he held a big log to row the ferry. Everyone boarded the ferry and the ferry started. It was literally scary as it tilting almost 45 degrees while he rowed. We adjusted ourselves so that the ferry would remain balanced. The ride was awesome and adventurous with no life jackets :P As the basadi was nearing, the priest turned the ferry almost 180 degrees, which was so exciting :D

[caption id="attachment_5655" align="alignnone" width="2720"]chaturmukha_basadi_karkala_33 The Buddies in the lake :)[/caption]

Kere Basadi - An abode of Jainism

The Kere Basadi looked like a lotus in the center of the green calm lake:). It is also called as Chaturmukha Basadi as it is a square symmetrical structure with four identical entrances. The whole temple is supported by a small compound. The walls of the Basadi is built with granites. There is a small well also present inside the temple premises.

[caption id="attachment_5642" align="alignnone" width="1024"]chaturmukha_basadi_karkala_11 Side view of Kere Basadi[/caption]

It is dedicated to Lord Parshwanatha, 23rd Tirthankara of Jainism. It also houses Lord Ananthanatha, Lord Shanthintha, and Goddess Padmavathi. We sought the blessings.

[caption id="attachment_5650" align="alignnone" width="2720"]chaturmukha_basadi_karkala_30 Lord Pashwanatha, Lord Shanthinatha, Lord Ananthanatha[/caption]

The lake view from this Basadi is great. We traversed around the temple for some time to capture beautiful sights of nature. The whole atmosphere was so peaceful. A wish to stay there amidst nature.

[caption id="attachment_5667" align="alignnone" width="1086"]chaturmukha_basadi_karkala_26 Gentle green Lake view - Tall coconut trees[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_5641" align="alignnone" width="1182"]chaturmukha_basadi_karkala_10 Swaying hills in the background[/caption]

We spent around 20 minutes and had to head back. This was a new experience for all of us. We were happy to see this place and a lot of learnings on Jainism.

One last time we captured the sight of Varanga and bid a goodbye. It was 3 pm and we resumed our journey towards Agumbe. The memories of Varanga is still fresh in our minds, especially the ferry rides and breathtaking views. I will surely visit this place again!

[caption id="attachment_5666" align="alignnone" width="1086"]chaturmukha_basadi_karkala_25 Signing off with this beautiful picture :)[/caption]

So this was the second part of the trip. Keep traveling and stay tuned for my next posts on Udupi trip :)

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Check out The Duke Man's ride vlog along this stretch.

Visiting tips

  1. Varanga Jain Basadi is the best place to visit in Karkala. It's on the way from Udupi to Agumbe. If you are on this way, don't miss to visit this ancient Jain temples

  2. The place consists of three Basadis mentioned above. Each of them has their own importance.

  3. Kere Basadi remains closed most of the time and devotees can request the priest of the Basadi to take them. The only way to reach this Basadi is in a small wooden boat.

  4. Ferry rides cost Rs.5 per person.

  5. It takes almost 1 to 1.5 hours to explore all Basadis.

  6. Photography needs prior permission. I took pictures upon requesting the temple administrator.

  7. A Ratharohana happens every year on Hastha nakshatra which accounts for a huge crowd of Jains.

  8. Swimming in the lake is strictly prohibited as it is heavily filled with aquatic plants and is considered sacred.

  9. The place is a bliss, hence please maintain cleanliness and silence.

  10. It's a great learning about Jainism and Varanga culture.


  1. It's really a fabulous journey!

  2. […] was almost 3pm in the noon. Departing from the scenic views of Varanga, we set out to drive through the Western Ghats. The deadly journey of Western Ghats is known to be […]

  3. […] beach – Bond of sea and river 6. Agumbe – Drive through the Deadly Western Ghats  7. Kere Basadi – Bliss of Varanga Jain temples [ Udupi trip Part-2 ] 8. Udupi Sri Krishna Matha [Udupi trip […]

  4. […] other posts on : 1. Udupi Sri Krishna Matha [Udupi trip Part-1] 2. Kere Basadi – Bliss of Varanga Jain temples [ Udupi trip Part-2 ] 3. Agumbe – Drive through Deadly Western ghats 4. Maravanthe beach – Bond of sea and […]

  5. […] beach – Bond of sea and river 6. Agumbe – Drive through the Deadly Western Ghats  7. Kere Basadi – Bliss of Varanga Jain temples [ Udupi trip Part-2 ] 8. Udupi Sri Krishna Matha [Udupi trip […]

  6. […] beach – Bond of sea and river 6. Agumbe – Drive through the Deadly Western Ghats  7. Kere Basadi – Bliss of Varanga Jain temples [ Udupi trip Part-2 ] 8. Udupi Sri Krishna Matha [Udupi trip […]

  7. […] beach – Bond of sea and river 6. Agumbe – Drive through the Deadly Western Ghats  7. Kere Basadi – Bliss of Varanga Jain temples [ Udupi trip Part-2 ] 8. Udupi Sri Krishna Matha [Udupi trip […]

  8. […] beach – Bond of sea and river 6. Agumbe – Drive through the Deadly Western Ghats  7. Kere Basadi – Bliss of Varanga Jain temples [ Udupi trip Part-2 ] 8. Udupi Sri Krishna Matha [Udupi trip […]

  9. […] beach – Bond of sea and river 6. Agumbe – Drive through the Deadly Western Ghats  7. Kere Basadi – Bliss of Varanga Jain temples [ Udupi trip Part-2 ] 8. Udupi Sri Krishna Matha [Udupi trip […]

  10. Small correction:) Varanga Jain temple is on the way from Karkala to Mudradi/Hebri...I'm not sure about Udupi to Agumbe.Thanks


  11. Thanks, Mithun for the correction. It's actually in between Karkala to Hebri. I mentioned Udupi to Agumbe as we traveled that route. Follow me on Instagram for travel and food posts.

  12. Well about the Titanic pose. you said it, I saw it. thanks to a group that came there for a pre-wedding photo shoot.

    Great post btw. :)

  13. Wow! DUKE man is here... Thanks for the compliments :)

  14. […] beach – Bond of sea and river 6. Agumbe – Drive through the Deadly Western Ghats  7. Kere Basadi – Bliss of Varanga Jain temples [ Udupi trip Part-2 ] 8. Udupi Sri Krishna Matha [Udupi trip […]

  15. The kind of efforts put in by you guys just to allow people an virtual access to this beautiful place is amazing and the way way the video is edited must have taken a lot of efforts including the detailed write-up by Ms. Smitha about this place. Being a Jain, I would love to visit this place now and it would certainly help me enhance my experience in terms of reaching out their and stuff.

  16. Thanks, Kapil for your compliments. Means a lot when readers recognise the good content :)

  17. Nicely written. Now this place has become quite famous because of various movies being shot here. I had visited it recently in peak monsoon season. It was an amazing experience.

    I missed going into the Varanga Jain Mutt. Also the inside of Neminath Basadi was closed. But good to see that in your blog.

  18. Yes, it has gained popularity now! Hope people travel consciously not affecting it's pristine :)

  19. Hi could u help me with jain temples near Udupi? Also way to reach this place from Bangalore


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