By Balaji Shenoy
Many people are aware of the fact that Jainism had its presence in Goa too. The archeological findings and the historical observations by many scholars reveal us that Jainism was popular in Goa.
Jain Memorials at Kudne, remains of Jain Temple at Narve and broken sculptures of Jain tirthankaras found at various places in Goa are the fact which proves the existence of Jainism in Goa.
Neminath Jain Basti which is in ruins bears the testimony to the existence of Jainism in Goa. The ruins of Neminath Jain Basti are on the way to Nageshi Temple, few kilometers from Farmagudi hillock. Bandora, Bandode or Bandiwade place is better known for Hindu temples and the palace of Saundekar Maharaj, is a hub of religious and cultural activities. The reference to the Bandora Neminath Jain Basti is found in a Kannada inscription of Bandiwade (Bandora), which mentions the link of Bandora with that of Gujarat. According to Mitragotri, “This inscription mentions that King Sripala established the village Bandiwade (Bandora) and constructed the Neminath Jain Basti. The King Sripala is supposed to be the King of Gujarat. On a single stone three kannada inscriptions bearing saka 1345 (1423 A.D.), saka 1347 (1425 A.D.) and saka 1355 (1433 A.D.) are engraved.”
This inscription is found in the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) Museum at Old Goa. It belongs to Vijaynagar period in 14th century, which deals with the construction and restoration of the Jain Basti. Three generations of Jain monks are mentioned in these inscriptions.”
This historical site which is under Department of Archeology, Government of Goa is now in neglected condition. Heritage sites needs protection and conservation. I believe that awareness about history and heritage sites should be a part of academic curriculum.