Moodabidri is a Jain holy city, home to 18 temples, although the Jains are only a tiny minority of the local population. The largest of the temples is the 15th century Chandranatha Basti containing 1,000 pillars, carved in astonishingly fine detail – no two are alike. It also has a valuable collection of metal and jewel-encrusted images of Jain prophets.
At the entrance is the huge monolithic pillar called the “Manasthambha”, believed to guard the temple and meant to remind all who enter that they must leave their egos at the door, in order to be received by the Almighty once inside.
Jainism began in the same border region of India and Nepal as Buddhism, and at about the same time. The essence of this belief system is that all life is sacred, and that every living entity, even the smallest insect, has within it an indestructible and immortal soul. For this reason they are strict vegetarians. The value Jains place on doing no harm has contributed to their importance in business, as they regard nearly all occupations except banking and commerce as “violent”.
Next you can pay homage to Mother Nature’s bounty as you encounter the heady scents of Dr. Soan’s farm. This hundred-acre spread is home to a variety of spices – pepper, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg; paddy fields (rice), bamboo (one particular species is believed to grow a foot a day), pineapple (the major cash crop), bananas, and a variety of other fruits. If the aromas of the spices and tastes of the fruit give you an appetite it is just as well, as a glass of fresh pineapple juice will be served during your stay. Thereafter you return to the pier to join the ship.

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