Shravanabelagola is an important pilgrimage site and a historical town located in the Hassan district of the Indian state of Karnataka. It is renowned for the gigantic statue of Lord Gomateshwara, also known as Bahubali, which is one of the tallest monolithic statues in the world. Shravanabelagola holds immense significance for the Jain community and attracts thousands of devotees and tourists every year. Here are some key highlights and attractions of Shravanabelagola:
1. Bahubali Statue: The main attraction of Shravanabelagola is the 58-feet-tall monolithic statue of Lord Gomateshwara, which is carved out of a single granite rock. The statue is a symbol of peace, non-violence, and renunciation.
2. Gomateshwara Mahamastakabhisheka: Once every twelve years, a grand festival called Mahamastakabhisheka is held to anoint the statue of Lord Gomateshwara with milk, saffron paste, and other sacred substances. The event attracts devotees from all over the world.
3. Vindhyagiri Hill: The Bahubali statue is located on top of Vindhyagiri Hill, which can be reached by climbing around 600 steps. The hilltop offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes.
4. Chandragiri Hill: Shravanabelagola also has the Chandragiri Hill, which is home to several ancient Jain temples and shrines. It can be accessed through a shorter flight of steps compared to Vindhyagiri Hill.
5. Jain Temples: Besides the main statue, Shravanabelagola has numerous Jain temples and basadis (shrines), showcasing fine examples of Dravidian and Hoysala architecture.
6. Odegal Basadi: Odegal Basadi is an important Jain temple known for its exquisite carvings and ancient inscriptions.
7. Akkana Basadi: Akkana Basadi is another prominent Jain temple, featuring beautiful carvings and a peaceful ambiance.
8. Siddhara Basadi: Siddhara Basadi is an ancient Jain temple dedicated to the Jain Tirthankara Parshvanatha.
9. Shravanabelagola Lake: The town has a picturesque lake, providing a serene atmosphere for relaxation and meditation.
Shravanabelagola’s rich Jain heritage, ancient architecture, and the magnificence of the Bahubali statue make it a significant religious and cultural destination in Karnataka. The town’s spiritual aura, along with its historical importance, creates a unique and meaningful experience for visitors, irrespective of their religious beliefs.