Venur or Venoor is a small village on the banks of the Gurupur river in the South Kanara of Karnataka. It was once the seat of Jainism and the capital.
Venur is on the Dharmasthala-Moodabidri-Karkala route on the costal religious circuit in Karnataka. Venur belongs to Belthangady taluq in Dakshina Kannada District of Karnataka. Venur's claim to fame is the monolith of Bhagawan Bahubali also known as Lord Gomateshwara. The single rock statue is 38 feet in height and was erected by the Jain ruler Timmanna Ajila in the year 1604. The statue is supposed to have been sculptured by Amarashilpi Jakanachari.
The statue stands facing westward on a high platform on the banks of the river Phalguni. This statue of Bahubali is one of the four giant monoliths (of the same God) found in Karnataka (the others being at Shravanabelagola, Karkala and Dharmasthala). The last mahamastakabhisheka or the head anointing ceremony of the statue (typical of all the four Bahubali statues) was held in the year 2000. Venur also has a few other Jain Basadis and a Mahadeva temple.
One-week to one-month programs are available here. You can also attend meditation classes taken by the swamis of the Sivagiri Mutt. There is also a nature cure centre near the beach.
Ajila Dynasty in Venur
Venur once a great seat of Jainism, was the capital of the Ajila Dynasty and one of the most prominent Kings of them Thimmanna Ajila built a colossus of Gommateshwara 38 feet high in 1604 AD. He was a direct descendant of Chamundaraya, who built one at Shravanabelagola. Venur colossus is the shortest of all the three Gommateshwara's within the radius of 250 km around it. It also stands in an enclosure, on the same pattern as that of Shravanabelagola. The Kings of Ajila Dynasty ruled here from 1154 AD to 1786 AD. The current descendant of the Ajila Dynasty is Thimmnnarasa Dr. Padmaprasad Ajila.
Aladangady or Aladangadi is a small town in the Belthangady taluk of the Dakhina Kannada district in Karnataka, India located on the road connecting Guruvayanakere and Karkala. About 5 kilometres from Guruvayanakere and 9 9 kilometres (5.6 mi) from Belthangady, the town is a junction of four roads with many shops, hotels, and a market. It is at the centre of Sulkere Mogru, Shirlal Aladangady, Sulabettu, Pilya, and Navara. It has greenery adorned on all four of its sides and is surrounded by many rivers. It was once part of forest land visited regularly by tigers, cheetahs, and other wild animals.
Chieftains ruled the town and adjoining areas till independence. The area is famous for Yakshagana Mela, a kind of Tulu musical drama, with a Yakshagana troupe based there. There is also a world-famous Kambala (Bafallow Race Course) which conducts yearly race competitions. The town has one church – St. Peter Claver Church for Roman Catholics. There are many Hindu temples, mosques, and one Jain temple. Other popular places include Aladangady Temple, Aladangady Aramane, Jnana Marga, the Society Building, and Para Pente (Old Street). It has both public and private education institutions.
The mode of transport there are bicycles, cars, two-wheelers, and buses (public transport). The town is well connected to towns such as Naravi, Venur, Belthangady, Guruvayanakere, Mudabidri, Karkala, and the major cities of Tulu Nadu, Kudla and Udupi.
Baraya Palace: The Baraya Palace, is an abandoned (but well preserved) structure at Aladangady in the middle of a jungle, located about 60 km from Mangalore, which belonged to the Jain Ajila Kings of Aladangady. It is about 900 years old, built with mud walls and had a thatched roof, which was replaced by Mangalore Tiles about a century ago, and is maintained by the present heirs of the Jain Ajila Kings. There is ornamental wood work both inside and outside the palace, with 8 carved pillars, facing each other in 2 rows and supporting 4 solid wood beams.
Aladangady Aramane (Ajila Palace): The Ajila Jain Bunt Dynasty ruled the principality of Venur for several centuries, 1154 to 1786 C.E. The most notable of the Ajila kings was Veera Timmannarasa Ajila IV who erected the monolith of Bahubali in 1604 C.E. The succession to the Ajila throne was as per the Bunt custom of matrilineal inheritance (Aliya Santana).
The descendants of the Ajila rulers still survive and inhabit the Aladangady Aramane (Ajila Palace). The present head of the Ajila dynasty is Padmaprasad Ajila, fourteenth in line through the matrilineal lineage of Veera Timmannarasa Ajila IV.