Shravanabelagola, Karnataka

#Historical and Heritage #Pilgrimage




Shravanabelagola is a town located near Channarayapatna of Hassan district in the Indian state of Karnatakaand is 144 km from Bangalore, the capital of the state. The Gommateshwara statue at Shravanabelagola is one of the most important tirthas (pilgrimage destinations) in Jainism, one that reached a peak in architectural and sculptural activity under the patronage of Western Ganga dynasty of Talakad. Chandragupta Maurya is said to have died here in 298 BCE after he became a Jain monk and assumed an ascetic life style.

Shravanabelagola has two hills, Chandragiri and Vindhyagiri. Acharya Bhadrabahu and his pupil Chandragupta Maurya are believed to have meditated there. Chandragupta Basadi, which was dedicated to Chandragupta Maurya, was originally built there by Ashoka in the third century BC. Chandragiri also has memorials to numerous monks and Sravakas who have meditated there since the fifth century AD, including the last king of the Rashtrakuta dynasty of Manyakheta. Chandragiri also has a famous temple built by Chavundaraya.

The 58-feet tall monolithic statue of Gommateshwara is located on Vindyagiri Hill. It is considered to be the world's largest monolithic statue. The base of the statue has an inscriptions in Prakrit i.e. Devanagari script, dating from 981 AD. The inscription praises the king who funded the effort and his general, Chavundaraya, who erected the statue for his mother. Every twelve years, thousands of devotees congregate here to perform the Mahamastakabhisheka or Mahamastakabhisheka, a spectacular ceremony in which the statue is anointed with Water, Turmeric, Rice flour, Sugar cane juice, Sandalwood paste, saffron, and gold and silver flowers. The next Mahamastakabhisheka will be held in 2018. The statue is referred to as Gommateshwara by Kannadigas, but the Jains refer to the same as "Bahubali".



1. Akkana Basadi: This was built in 1181 A.D. Akkana Basadi has 23rd Tirthankara Parshwanath as main deity of the temple.

2. Chandragupta basadi: This was established in 9th century. The middle cell of this temple has the figure of Parshvanatha, the one to the right the figure of Padmavathi and the one to the left the figure of Kushmandini, all in a seated posture.

3. Shantinatha Basadi:This temple is dedicated to Shantinatha. It was built around 1200 A.D.

4. Parshwanatha Basadi: This is a beautiful structure with decorated outer walls. The image of Parshwanatha is the tallest on the hill which is 18 feet in height. The manastambha (pillar) is sculptured on all four sides which contains the figure of Padmavathi on the south, Yaksha on the east, seated Kushmandini on the north and a galloping horseman on the west. The pillars in the navaranga are of round Ganga type with bell, vase and wheel mouldings.

5. Kattlae Basadi: This is situated to the left of Parshwanatha Basadi and in fact this is the biggest of all the Basadis on this hill. Kattlae Basadi has first Jain Tirthankara Rishabhnatha as main deity of the temple. Here one finds the image of Adinatha Thirthankara and also of Pampavathi in the Kaisale.

6. Chandraprabha Basadi: It is dedicated to the worship of the 8th Tirthankara, Chandraprabha. The images of Shyama and Jwalamalini, Yaksha and Yakshi are to be found.The basadi is a brick structure raised over a stone base. This temple might be one of the oldest on the hill and its date would be about 800 A.D. It is said to have been constructed by the Ganga King Shivamara II.

7. Suparshwanatha Basadi: Seven headed serpent is carved over the head of the Suparshvanatha image.

8. Chamundarayaraya basadi: is the finest and one of the largest temples on the hill. It is also known as Chavundaraya Basadi. It is dedicated to Neminatha, the 22nd Tirthankara. The sukhanasi consists of good figures of Sarvahna and Kushmandini, the yaksha and yakshi of Neminatha. It is dated back to 982 A.D.


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