Shravanabelagola is a samll town in Hassan District of Karnataka State. It is one of the most impressive and important Jain pilgrim center in India. Shravanabelagola is located at an altitude of 3350 feet above sea level in between the Indragiri (Vindhyagiri) and Chandragiri hills. The town of Shravanabelagola is known for its senic beauty as well as for its religious sanctity.
A small water tank midst Shravanabelagola town is called "Belagola" in Kannada language, "Bel" means white and "kola" means the pond, an allusion to the beautiful pond in the middle of the town. Shravanabelagola reached a high point in architectural and sculptural activity under the patronage of Gangas of Talakad. Shravanabelagola has more than 500 inscriptions.
You can easily walk between the major attractions in Shravanabelagola. Shravanabelagola town has the Jaina matha with very old paintings on its walls. There is also a Sanskrit Patashala to study Sanskrit and Shastras. Shravanabelagola has 28 Jain temples that are spread across the town and the two hillocks Indragiri and Chandragiri. Regular poojas are conducted by the Jaina priests appointed by the Jain Mutt at all the temples as per Jain rituals.
Indragiri Hill - Lord Gommateshwara Statue
Indragiri hill is also know as Doddabetta or Vindhyagiri hill. Lord Gommateshwara or Bahubali statue is located above Indragiri hill. Monolithic statue of 57 ft (17.37 meter) height Bhagavan Gomateshwara Bahubali is considered to be largest monolithic stone statue in the world.
Statue of the Lord Gommateshwara is installed by the Ganga Kingdom General Chavundaraya in 981 A.D. The base of the Bahubali statue has inscriptions in Kannada and Tamil, as well as the oldest evidence of written Marathi. The inscription praises the Ganga king who funded the effort, and his general Chavundaraya, who erected the statue for his mother.
Beautifully carved, single block nude stone sculpture of Lord Gommateshwara is in the posture of meditation known as Kayotsarga, symbolizing renunciation, self-control and subjugation of ego as the first steps towards salvation. The digambara (nude) form of Bahubali represents the complete victory over earthly desires and needs that hamper spiritual ascent towards divinity.
Indragiri hill is one solid rock and its 470 feet above the ground level. It must be climbed barefoot. There are two sets of 660 steps, one set to go up and one set to come down. Palanquin service is available. Palanquin bearers carry you on a chair.
Vindragiri hill adorns many historical monuments - Siddhara Basadi, odegal Basadi, Chennanna Basadi, Chauvvisa Tirthankara Basadi and a finely engraved pillar called Thyagada Brahma pillar.
Mahamastakabhisheka, the head anointing ceremony of Lord Gomateshwara takes place every 12 years. During this ceremony, the statue of Lord Gomateshwara is bathed with water kept in 1008 kalashas (vessels) collected from almost all the rivers and water resources of the land. Jain priests pour pots of curd, milk, honey, vermilion, coconut water, turmeric paste and even shower gold and silver on the statue during the ceremony. The next Mahamastakabhisheka will be held in 2018.
Chandragiri hill known locally as Chikkabetta, is about 175 feet above the ground. A portion of Chandragiri hill is known as Tirthagiri and Rishigiri. All the temples on this hill are built in the Dravidian style of architecture, the oldest of them is of eighth century A.D.
The history of Chandragiri hillock dates back to 2nd Century B.C.. There are many inscriptions spread across the hillock. These inscriptions have helped modern scholars in understanding the nature, growth and development of the Kannada language and its literature. It has also helped understand the antiquity of Jainism and Shravanabelagola.
The last Shrutakevali, Bhadrabahu Swami, and his pupil Chandragupta Maurya is believed to have meditated in Chandragiri hills. It has memorials of numerous monks and shravakas who have meditated there. Chandragiri also has a famous temple built by Chamundaraya, who was a disciple of Acharya Nemichandra Siddhanta-chakravarti. Chandragupta Basadi, dedicated to Emperor Chandragupta Maurya, was built by Emperor Ashoka. Chandragupta Basadi is the smallest and Kattlae Basadi is the biggest of all the Basadis on Chandragiri.
The Cave of Bhadrabahu, Kuge Brahmadevara Kambha, Shantinatha Basadi, Mahanavami Mantapa, Parshwanatha Basadi, Manasthambha Basadi, Kattlae Basadi, Chandragupta Basadi, Shasana Basadi, Majjigana Basadi, Chandraprabha Basadi, Suparshwanatha Basadi, Chavundaraya Basadi, Yeradukatte Basadi, Savathigandharvana Basadi, Tyerina Basadi, Shanteshwara Basadi and Iruve Brahmadevara Temple are monuments of interest in Chandragiri hills.
A visit to Shravanabelagola will reveal the grandeur and architectural beauty of the distant past and intense devotion to the Jain religion.
Shravanabelagola Temple Timings06.00 am - 06.30 pm
How to Reach Shravanabelagola
Reach By RoadShravanabelagola is well connected from Mysore, Bangalore, Hassan and from all other important towns in Karnataka by road. Shravanabelagola is 51 kms from Hassan, 85 kms from Mysore, 158 kms from Bangalore and 233 kms from Mangalore.
There are very few direct buses from Hassan to Shravanabelagola. Channarayapatna is the near by town to Shravanabelagola. There are buses from Hassan to Channarayapattana and Channarayapattana to Shravanabelagola. Private vehicles like auto rickshaw and jeeps are also available for hire from Channarayapatna to Shravanabelagola.
From Bangalore you can hire a taxi or bus to reach Shravanabelagola.
Reach By RailHassan Railway station, 57 kms is the nearest station to Shravanabelagola. Mysore Railway station is at a distance of 85 kms.
You can reach Hassan by train from Mysore. Check Mysore Train Timings.
Reach By AirBangalore International airport is the nearest airport to Shravanabelagola. It is at a distance of 158 kms from Shravanabelagola.
You can hire Taxi services from Bangalore to Shravanabelagola.