Karkala is home to famous Jain temples dating back a thousand years. A stunning Jain stupa and a gigantic statue of the Jain god, Gandharva grace this small town. Situated on the top of a hill with a stone staircase it was a memorial and place of worship to Jain god, the Gandharva.
The important characteristic of the temples are the beautiful architecture, Hoysala sculptures and the intricate architectural design of the staircases and porticos.
One can see a special set of footprints embedded in a rock dedicated to the Gandharva near the entrance to the Jain temple .
Legends believe these are actual impressions of the holy saint, dating back a thousand years or more. The statue of the Gandharva is carved out of a granite rock rising to a height of 300 ft.
It is considered unique as it is one of the three such statues into the whole of India.
Karkala is also famous for towering statue of Gomateshwara, with a height of 43 ft.It was build by Veerapandyadeva, the king of Bairarasa family of Karkala in 1432 AD on a rocky hill. One is sure to find stunning life size statues of three Teerthankaras as well as one of Padmavathi Yakshi.