Dr Umanatha Shenoy is a noted Indian historian, who has published over 200 research articles in national and international journals, periodicals, souvenirs and commemorative and felicitation volumes. He has discovered and published many stone inscriptions with their translations. He has published 21 books whose summaries are given below.
1985 - Bangara Ithihasa
(History of Bangara Dynasty)
Published by Shri Raviraj Ballal of Bangadi Palace, Belthangady Taluk. This book covers the political history of that dynasty and the patronage given by them to the fields of culture, literature, architecture, economy, social harmony, international trade and so on, from the beginning of their rule in 1157AD to 1947.
1985 - Putturu Kshethrada Ithihasa
(History of Puttur)
The book explains the historical background of Puttur, specially that of Shri Mahalingeshwara Temple of Puttur. It tries to explore the primitivity of the place and its early inhabitants and foundation of the temple, its growth, evolution and expansions through the ages. It refers to the patronage given by the Vijayanagara emperor Devaraya II on the basis of the huge monolithic inscription found in the inner quadrangle of the temple. Besides, it gives some clues regarding the services rendered by Vishnuvardhana, the Hoysala Emperor. The book gives a graphic account of the literary, social and cultural achievements made by the people of Puttur. It also deals with the services made by the rulers of Keladi dynasty, Wodeyars of Mysore and the Kings of Coorg. In the index, it gives brief accounts of the important places in and around Puttur.
1986 - Belthangady Taluk Darshana
The author has made a thorough study of Belthangady taluk, covering its geography, history, society, culture, educational facilities, religious institutions, administration and so on. The book contains the relevant statistical data of the taluk along with its political map and pictures.
1988 - Kannada Sahityakke Moodubidireya Koduge (Contributions of Moodbidri to Kannada Literature)
Moodbidri, a great Jain centre, popularly known as ‘Jaina Kashi’ has contributed much to Kannada literature through the ages. The book throws new light on the contributions made to this language by the great writers of the place like Somaraja Kavi Devarasa, Vadi Vidyananda, Nemi Vrithi, Rathnakara Varni, Shanthikeerthi Muni, Kavi Chandrama, Mahendra, Padmanabha, Pattabhirama, Bhujabali Shasthry, Radhamma, Chandayya Upadhyaya, Palakala Seetharama Bhat, Lokanatha Shasthry, Deva Kumara Shashthry and so on.
According to the author, the earliest Kannada writer of Coastal Karnataka namely Somaraja had belonged to the Chowta dynasty of Moodbidri. The book tries to explain the literary beauty of Kannada inscriptions found in Moodbidri especially Thousand Pillars Jaina Basadi of the place. The author has evaluated the works of these writers and has successfully brought to light the biographical details of the writers and judged the merit of their writings by studying the original palm leaf manuscripts found in the Rama Rani Jaina Research Centre, Shri Jaina Mutt. Thus, many hidden potentials were brought to public notice by the author for the first time.
1990 - Karkalada Gomateshwara Charithre
(History of Karkala Gomateshwara)
The book deals with the historical background of Karkala and the details regarding the erection of Gomateshwara statue and its Mahamasthakabhisheka. The study is based on the inscriptions found in the locality and a literary work called ‘Karkala Gomateshwara Charithe’ written by a poet of 17th century called Chadura Chandrama. The historical sequence of the whole story of Gomateshwara has been explained authentically by Dr. Shenoy in this book. The book has been recommended for the purchase to the libraries of all high schools in Karnataka State under the order No. SAKHA3TRR fund BPB 9090 dated 3rd April 1991 , by The Commissioner of Public Instruction, Govt. of Karnataka.
1992 - Baindur Shri Seneshwara Devalaya
(Seneshwara Temple of Baindur)
The book deals with the historical background of Shri Seneshwara temple which is located in the northern part of Kundapur taluk. The study is based on the numerous inscriptions and icons found in the temple. Side by side it deals with the special architectural features of this abode of worship. The Sena dynasty which had founded this temple later finds it place in the history of Bengal from 12th Century A.D.
2001 - Shri Karinja Kshethra
(Shri Karinja Kshethra)
Dr. Shenoy has thrown new light on the background of this religious centre of Bantwal taluk after a thorough study of the geography of the place and the several archaeological remains of the stone age and inscriptions found on the huge rock here, on which the two temples are situated. Coloured photographs of the temples and the valuable archaeological remains here have been included in this book. The Puranie stories of this kshethra have been narrated briefly in here.
2002 - Bangadiya Athishaya Kshethra - Shri Brahmadevara Gunda (The powerful Kshetra of Brahmadeva's Gunda of Bangadi)
Dr. Shenoy has brought out the spiritual and religious background of this very special centre, where a solid stone was found floating on the surface of water because of the high divine power of Brahmadeva who is worshipped here. Dr.Shenoy has given the historical evidences and eye witness account in support of this peculiar phenomenon. He has also given a complete detail of this spiritual centre.
2003 - Kannada Sahithyakke Moodbidre Lekhakara Koduge ( The Contributions of Writers of Moodbidri to Kannada Literature)
This book published by the State Kannada Sahithya Parishath, Bengaluru is a revised edition of the former work titled “ Kannada Sahithyakke Moodbididreya Koduge” by the same author. This has been made more comprehensive by including more information about the authors and their works and also by adding some more modern writers of the place like Shri M.Veerappa Moily, Smt. Rathnamma, B. Chandrayya, S. U. Puttige, Chandra Rajendra Indra, Ravindra Pai, Rajendra Pai, Prof. Ajith Prasad and so on. For the clarity of points some small original extracts have been given in the book. Thus, some hitherto unknown writers and their works have been brought to light in this book.
2003 - Venurina Aithihasika Smarakagala Sarvekshane mattu Adhyayana (Survey and Study of Historical Monuments of Venur)
This small book gives a study report of the monuments of this capital city of Ajilas called Venur. History students of S.D.M. Degree College made a survey of the monolithic statue of Gommateshwara, eight Jain temples and their historical background under the guidance of Dr. Shenoy. They made use of the inscriptions found here and wrote a graphic account. With due corrections Dr. Shenoy gave the form of a book to the reports and published them in 2003.
2004 - Ithihasadalli Marethuhoda Kannadada Putagalu (The forgotten Kannada Pages in History)
Many historical events have not been recorded duly in Karnataka history. Such details have been culled out from different sources and included in this book. The details on the background of great personalities like ‘Leelashuka’, the tragic end of a royal couple of Coastal Karnataka, the less known community called Kudal Deshastha Gowda Brahmanas, unpublished inscriptions related to the history of Banga dynasty, tragedies of the historical place called Nandavara and such other topics have found a deserving place in this book. The book has been welcomed by scholars, historians and researchers. This has been published by The State Kannada Sahithya Parishath, Bengaluru.
2004 - Shri Somanatha (Shri Somanatha)
In this book much light is thrown on the concept of Somanatha (Shiva) and the historical background of Shri Somanatha temple at Kutyaru in Belthangady taluk. A special study of the images found in the chambers on the first floor of the temple has been made and their photographs have been included in the book along with that of the chief deity. Details of functions like Brahmakalashotsava, Rathotsava and annual festivals have also been included. The book appears like a souvenir. The picture of the new inscriptions and its original texts written by Dr. Shenoy is found on the wall of this temple.
2005 - Chathurvimshathi Theerthankara Purana ( Purana of 24 Theerthankaras)
This is the biography of all the 24 Theerthankaras of Jainism. The book has been prepared and printed by the Dr. Shenoy and also distributed freely among the people as Shasthradana (giving Literature freely). This is a Kannada prose edition of a Kannada Kavya written in Sangathya style by a Jain saint called Shanthikeerthi Muni of 17th century A.D. who was living in Kolhapur and Moodbidri. This narrates the greatness and teachings of all the 24 Jaina Theerthankaras. The original poems written by the saint also have been given in this book.
2008 - Moodubidire Chandranatha Swamiya Savira Kambada Basadi (The Thousand Pillars Basadi of Chandranatha Swamy of Moodbidre)
This is the first book exclusively on the thousand pillars temple, popularly known as `Savira Kambada Basadi’ of Moodbidre. All the icons and inscriptions found in the premises and on the walls of the Basadi were examined and published with photographs in this book. As it is the first book about the Basadi, it is the source book for the further study for researchers and archaeologists. Valuable information have been collected from the copper plate inscriptions found in the Moodbidri Jaina Mutt and added here. The beginning and the stages of expansion of the basadi have been explained. The opinions expressed by art critics of different countries at different ages have also been included. Side by side the huge donations given by the local rulers and of Vijayanagara governor and emperors have been enlisted here. The details of the preparation of the statue of the chief deity, Lord Chandranatha are given in this book. However it is the first attempt made to study all the aspects of this magnificent structure. The contemporary society of the Vijayanagara period, dragon (the symbolic animal of China) and camel which was the representation of trade connection between India and Arabia are clearly reflected at the basement of the Basadi through the carvings and panels here.
2009 - Hoysala Rajavamshada Ugamasthana: Shashakapura- Ondu Adhyayana (The place of origin of the Hoysala Dynasty: Shashakapura-A Study)
The place of origin of the Hoysala dynasty which preceded the Vijayanagara empire in Karnataka had been responsible for the development of Karnataka culture, economy and social life. It is well known that Hoysalas were responsible for the construction of magnificent temples at Beluru, Halebeedu, Shravanabelagola, Somanathapura and other places in Karnataka. They had originated from a place called Shashakapura (now also called Angadi in Mudigere taluk). It is believed that there was a gurukula at Shashakapura in ancient days where a group of students were getting education. Once a wild tiger attacked them. Immediately the guru ordered one of his students called Sala to attack (poy) it. He attacked and fought with the tiger and killed it. After there the boy came to be called as Poysala. Later his successors came to be called as ‘Hoysala’s’. The related photographs of this place, temple and other structures have been included in this book. This particular book has been hailed as a source book on the origin and history of the early Hoysala dynasty.
2012 - Venur Ajila Rajavamsha (Ajila Dynasty of Venur)
Ajila Dynasty which ruled from Venur and Aladangadi of Belthangady taluk is a well known royal family in Coastal Karnataka. Their primary capital was Venur, where they have erected the monolithic Gomateshwara statue and built many Jaina Basadis. Some important centres of their kingdom like Aladangadi, Baraya and Kela were their sub capitals, with their own history . Now the royal family resides at Aladangady Palace. A general study had been done about this dynasty by Govinda Pai, Dr. Gururaj Bhat and others. Now Dr. Shenoy has taken up the ground level study of this dynasty and its rulers based on inscriptions, monuments, icons and literary works mainly “Venurina Bahubali Charithre” written by Kavi Padmanabha in the 17th Century.
2013 - Belthangady Talukina Jaina Basadigalu - Ondu Prakthana Shasthriya Adhyayana (Jaina Basadis of Belthangady taluk - An archaeological study)
This book is comprised of the historical information and archaeological specialities of the Jaina Basadis of this taluk. It gives an exhaustive study of all the 44 Jaina Basadis along with their photographs and contact details. For writing this book, the author has consulted all the archaeological sources and concerned people. The structural details of Basadies and the idols worshipped there like Padmavathi, Saraswathi, Brahmayaksha etc., have been given due importance. Wherever possible Jaina shlokas and mantras have been printed in the book. Due attention had been given to verify whether all the Basadis have been built in accordance with archaeological norms.
2015 - Avibhajitha Dakshina Kannada Jilleya Jaina Basadigalu (Jaina Basadis of Undivide South Kanara district)
Dr. Shenoy personally visited all the basadies of the districts for 2 years and prepared a book for publication during the Mahamasthakabhisheka at Karkala in February 2015. This book received a warm response from the people of Coastal Karnataka, since it was the first publication on the subject explaining the historical background, architectural specialities and the magnificent Jaina idols found in these Basadis. This book also contains the details of the huge monolithic statue of Gomateshwara and tall monolithic Manasthambhas found in front of the Basadis. Here the study of the concept of Chathurmukha Basadis, their structure and their peculiarities have found a mention in this book. At the end of the book, brief biographies of Theerthankara deities, some famous Jaina hymns and photographs are included in this book. This book shows that Dr. Shenoy is a tireless researcher and an eminent writer.
2017 - Karavali Karnatakada Jaina Mandiragala Darshana (The visit of Jaina Basadis of Coastal Karnataka)
This volume gives details of the Jaina temples found in Coastal Karnataka comprising of South Kanara, Udupi and North Kanara districts. The details of more than 180 Jaina Basadis are given in this book. All the Jaina pontiffs of this area like that of Shravanabelagola, Moodbidre, Karkala, Sonda and Humcha have complimented this work. This book runs to in 440 printed pages and 72 pages of coloured photos of Jaina Basadis. This book contains biographies of all the 24 Jaina Theerthankaras in brief and also maps of 3 districts showing the locations of these Basadis. All the Basadis are listed under each taluk of the districts which has made their reference very easy. This book explains the history, architectural features, idols and the facilities available in the Basadis. The Department of Public Libraries in Karnataka has purchased the copies of this book worth Rs. 1,00,000/-.
2017 -Uttara Kannada Jilleya Jina Mandiragala Dharshana (Visit of Jaina Basadis of North Kanara District)
This book was written as per the wish of His Holiness Shri Math Abhinava Bhattakalanka Bhattaraka Swamiji, Shri Swadi Mutt, Sirsi Taluk, North Kanara District. His Holiness was convinced of the ability of Dr. Shenoy in writing a book of this standard since he had written a great volume on the Basadis of South Kanara and Udupi districts. As per the instructions, support and cooperation given by the Swamiji of Sonda Math in collecting the information about Basadis of the respective areas. Dr. Shenoy has thrown a new light on the existing 42 Jaina Basadis of the district. This is the first book which reveals the present conditions of Basadis, as some are in good condition while others are existing only as structures in this district. The book also contains the photographs of all the Jaina Basadis , deities and a map showing their locatin. This book throws light on the background of this mutt which had its beginning from Bhatta Akalanka Deva Acharya who had lived in the 8th century A.D. From this book it can be known easily that Sonda Kshethra in which the mutt is situated is achieving all-round developments.
2017 -Ujire Parisarada Shraddha Kendragalu (Devotional Centres of Ujire locality)
Apart from being an educational centre, Ujire has been a religious centre also with many powerful spiritual or devotional institutions of worship and prayer. A study of them had been found necessary since long. Shri Janardhana Swamy Temple here has a long and rich historical background, as reflected in the inscription here and its architectural features. It is said that Shri Madwacharya had visited this temple. Ujire has about 33 devotional centres which belong to the people of all religions like Hinduism, Jainism, Christianity and Islam. The book brought out by Dr. Shenoy contains the information and photographs of all these spiritual centres. This book has been welcomed by all the institutions and people of the area.
2020 - Chikkamagaluru Jilleya Jaina Mandiragala Darshana (The visit of Jaina Basadis of Chikkamagaluru district)
Modern Chikmagaluru district spreading over the Western Ghats was under the rule of Hoysalas, Jaina rulers of Kalasa and Karkala and also Veershaiva Chalukya rulers of Kalyana. Many magnificent Jaina Basadis were built under rulers of first two dynasties while they saw their downfall under the later rulers. Therefore, now we find only a few Basadis in good conditions, while some others are in ruined condition shrouded by thick natural vegetation. A survey and study of the Basadis in Ghats is highly difficult. But His Holiness the Swamiji of Narasimharajapura Jaina Mutt wanted to get this study done and written a book. Therefore this work was assigned to Dr. Shenoy, who visited all the 43 Basadis of the district, collected information and brought out this book which contains all the relevant photographs also. In the book attempts are made to study the structures of Basadis, their foundations and other architectural details. The laborious attempt made by Dr. Shenoy for the study of Basadis has been duly acknowledged.