Video - In and Around Shravanabelagola Temple
History of the Temple
Nearly 1,800 years old this Jain statue which is reached by climbing 700 steps carved in the steep granite slope is symbolic of the renunciation of worldly possessions. It was sculpted by Aristanemi in 981 AD and Chamundaraya, a general and minister of the Ganga King Rachamatta installed it in 983 AD.
But the biggest event at Shravanabelagola temple is the Mahamastakabisheka, an anointing festival that takes place every 12 years when scaffolding is erected and the statue of Bahubali is given a sacred bath with holy water, milk, curd, honey, ghee, turmeric paste, sandalwood paste and such others and then showered with silver and gold coins. Lakhs of pilgrims gather to witness the festivities and take part in them. The next Mahamastakabisheka is scheduled for 2018.
In addition to the Shravanabelagola temple there are various other Jain institutions in Shravanabelagola including basadis and mutts.
Thousands of devotees congregate here to perform the 'Mahamastakabhisheka' (sacred anointment), a spectacular ceremony which is the focus for Jain pilgrims across India, held once in 12 years. Hundreds of pots containing curds, milk, honey, vermilion, coconut water, turmeric paste and even gold and precious jewels are poured over the statue's head by priests. The next Mahamastakabhisheka will be held in 2006 AD.
In addition to the statue, there are several Jain bastis (temples) and monasteries in Shravanabelagola. There are 14 shrines on Chandragiri hill and Chandragupta Maurya the Great Emperor is buried here. Of the temples the Chamundaraya basti, build in 982 is the most remarkable. There is a spacious sanctuary in Bhandari Basti about 200 meters to the left from the path leading to the Gommateshvara Statue containing the 24 images of Tirthankaras.
Time to Visit
The best time to visit Shravanabelagola would be during the festival of Mahamastakabhisheka, that is held once in 12 years. The festival was recently concluded in the year 2006 and is scheduled next in 2018. The worshipping ceremony of the statue with flower petals, saffron paste and giving a holy bath with milk is worth seeing.
|Near by tourist places to Shravanbelagola Temple
|The main treat however is at the end when a helicopter throws loads of flower petals on the statue. Not to be missed site. Besides the statue of Gomteshwara there are many Jain temples and Maths on the Indragiri hill, makes a good trekking adventure.|
How to Reach the TempleThrough Airways -the Nearest Airports are at Bangalore (157 kms) and Mangalore (230 kms). Here the Regular flights of Jet and Indian Airways connect these cities with the rest of the country.
Through Railways- the nearest railhead is at Hassan (50 kms). Here the Regular trains connect Shravanabelagola to Hassan and further to the rest of the state.
Through Roadways -there are Well linked roads connect Shravanabelagola to Bangalore, Mysore and Hassan. Buses from Hassan are frequent.