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Humcha, Humbaj, Hamchawadi
|• Body||Gram panchayat|
|Elevation||644 m (2,113 ft)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
Humcha / Hombuja ( Kannada: ಹೊಂಬುಜ ) is a small village near Ripponpet, Hosanagara taluk in Shimoga district in the Indian state of Karnataka. Humbaja Atishaya Jain Teerth Kshetra is famous for being home to an ancient temple of Goddess Padmavati, and to the Humbaj Matha (seminary/monastery), an important institution of the Jain community. This temple is considered to be very holy and is known or its cultural and historical heritage. Other notable highlights of the place are a lake that reputedly never dries up and a tree that likewise always remains green.
Jain devotees of this holy place are everywhere throughout India and also in foreign countries. Thousands of devotees come to the Hombaja every year for fulfillment of their desires.
The Jain Matha (Mutt) at Hombuja
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The Bhattaraka seat at Humcha, famous for the Humcha Padmavati temple, was founded in the 8th century AD, during the reign of Jinadatta Raya, founder of the ruling dynasty of Santara. We can find first references of Santharas in the inscriptions installed by the Chalukyan king Vinayaditya. Santhara kingdom was established by Jinadattaraya. He was a staunch follower of Jainism and had donated a village by name Kumbhasikapura for carrying out day to day abisheka of Jain idols.
Vikrama Santha had built a separate residence to his guru Mouni Siddantha Bhattaraka of kunda Kundanvaya tradition in 897 A.D. The Gudda Basadi was built by him and he had donated the idol of Lord Bahubali to be installed at the temple. Bhujabali Santha had built a Jain temple at Hombuja and had named it after him. Further, he had donated the village Harivara for the well being of his guru Kanakanandi deva. Nanni Santha, brother of Bhujabali Santha was a staunch follower of Jainism & was very much involved in pooja and other rituals.
An inscription of A.D. 1103 states that Malla Santha in memory of his wife Veera Abbarasi and in honour to his Guru Vadigaratta Ajithasena Pandita Deva had laid the foundation stone of a temple at Hombuja. This temple was built in front of the present Pancha Basadi. Bhujbalaganga Permadi (A.D. 1115) one of the rulers of Hombuja had renovated a temple and had donated several villages to it. This temple was built by Dadiga and Madhava the founders of Ganga kingdom. Nanniyaganga, son of Bhujabalaganga renovated the same temple in A.D. 1122 and donated some lands to the temple. Nanniyaganga built 25 Jain temples for popularising the religion. Veerasantha (A.D. 1172) who succeeded Nanniyaganga was called as “Jinadevana Charana Kamalgala Bhrama” as a mark of respect to his contribution to Jainism.
In 1048 AD, the Mahamandaleshwara Chandarayarus made a donation to a Bhattaraka of Balagara-gana at Balligame near Banavasi in present-day Karnataka. Thus, the Bhattaraka seat at Humcha may be one of the oldest of its kind. The most widespread Bhattaraka order has historically been the MulaSangh-NandiSangh-BalatkaraGana-SaraswatiGachchha (MNBS) order. It has seats at Surat, Idar, Ajmer, Jaipur, Chittor, Nagaur, Delhi, Gwalior, Chanderi, Sironj and many other places. There are perhaps hundreds of thousands of Tirthankara idols, spread across the country from Surat to Decca (in Bangladesh), bearing inscriptions mentioning this order. Most of these idols were installed by the Bhattarakas of this order in the past seven or eight centuries. Many of these Bhattarakas were great scholars and prolific authors.
The ancient institution at Humcha is the original home of the MNBS order. It is headed by his holiness Paramapujya Jagadguru Swasti Sri Devendrakeerthi Bhattarakha Swamiji. He is the only existing Bhattaraka of the MNBS order, since all the Bhattaraka seats in north India became extinct in the early part of the 20th century. Several Jain organizations are run by the institute at Humcha.
The annual Rathayatra Mahotsava of Lord Parshwanatha and Goddess Padmavathi will be held with other programmes at Humcha during the months of March/April under the guidance of his holiness Paramapujya Jagadguru Swasti Sri Devendrakeerthi Bhattarakha Swamiji.
Important events during annual Rathotsava are
- Ganadhara Valaya Aradhana
- Kalyana Mandira Aradhana
- Bhaktamara Aradhana
- 108 Kalasha Abhisheka to Lord Parshwanatha at Guddada Basadi
- Kunkuma Utsava & Dhwajarohana
- "Humcha Padmavati Mata". Humchapadmavati.com. Retrieved 2012-02-22.
- Jinmanjari: Contemporary Jaina Reflections, Volumes 17-22, Bramhi Society, 1998, p. 43
- SANTARAS OF HUMCHA - A CULTURAL STUDY, Kuvempu University PhD Thesis, Sarvamangala G., JULY 2008
- JAINISM IN SOUTHERN KARNATAKA Upto 1565 AD By Dr. Shakuntala Prakash Chavan, 2005, CHAPTER - IV HUMCHA: THE CAPITAL OF SANTARA DYNASTY AND A SEAT OF GODDESS -PADMAVATI
- Religious Institutions and Cults in the Deccan, C. A.D. 600-A.D. 1000, By Ramendra Nath Nandi, Motilal Banarsidass, 1973, p. 151