SHRAVANABELAGOLA FACTS & FIGURES
- Location: Dharmasthala, 52 Kms from Hassan, Karnataka, India
- Best time to Visit: October to March
- Significance: Bahubali, Jain Pilgrimage.
Shravanabelagola is a city located in the Hassan district, in the Indian state of Karnataka. It is one of the most important Jain pilgrim centers. In Kannada language, “Bel” means white and “kola”, the pond, an allusion to the beautiful pond in the middle of the town. It reached a high point in architectural and sculptural activity under the patronage of Gangas of Talakad.
It is a little township tucked away between Indragiri and Chandragiri hills. Its antiquity dates back to 3rd century B. C. when the great Mauryan Emperor Chandragupta Maurya handed over his empire to his son Bimbisara and sought the serenity of Sravanabelagola.
The Monolithic statue of Lord Gomateshwara, a Jain saint and an object of worship for centuries, standing atop one of the hills (Indragirl hill), is 17 metres high and is said to be one of the tallest and most graceful monolithic statues in the world.
There are two hills Chandragiri (Chikkabetta) and Vindyagiri. The last shruta-kevali Bhadrabah and his pupil Chandragupta (formerly the Maurya king) had meditated there. Chandragupta Basadi dedicated to Emperor Chandragupta Maurya was originally built here by Emperor Ashoka in the 3rd cent BC. Chandragiri also has memorials to numerous monks and shravakas who have meditated there, since 5th cent CE, including the last king of the Rashtrakuta dynasty of Manyakheta. Chandragiri also has a famous temple built by Chamundaraya, who was a disciple of Acharya Nemichandra Siddhanta-chakravarti.
Pilgrim/Tourist Attractions in Shravanabelagola
You can see the Chandragupta Basadi of the Gangas and the Parashwanatha Basadi here, besides several Jain temples. There is also a famous temple built by Chamundaraya.
Indragiri has the Gommata monolith, the statue of Bahubali, said to be the tallest monolithic structure in the world. This statue, the exquisitely engraved Tyagada Brahma Pillar, along with Siddhara Basadi, Odegal Basadi, Chennanna Basadi and Chauvvisa Tirthankara Basadi was installed by a Ganga general and scholar Chamundaraya.
Shravanabelagola, this place has the Aregal Basadi and the Shantinatha Basadi of Hoysala times.
More than about 800 inscriptions related to Shravanabelagola are found here, belonging to the period before 10th century. Some of them are recording death by starving (sallekhana) by Jain ascetics and laymen.
• Bhattaraka Math
This Math belongs to the Desiya Gana lineage of Mula Sangha of Digambar monastic tradition.
Fairs And Festivals
Mahamastakabhisheka: This ceremony of the 17.38m high statue of Lord Bahubali (Gomateshwar) at the Indragiri Hills is celebrated grandly after every 12 years. On this occasion, the statue is smeared with thousands of pots of coconut oil, yoghurt, ghee, bananas, jaggery, dates, almonds, poppy seeds, milk, saffron and sandalwood.
How to Reach Shravanabelagola
- Air: The nearest airport is at Bangalore.
- Rail: Shravanabelagola is connected by rail to Bangalore, Mysore and Hassan.
- Road: Shravanabelagola is well-connected by a network of roads to Bangalore, Mysore and Hassan. Buses from Hassan are frequent.