Shravanabelagola Temple



Location :

 Video - In and Around Shravanabelagola Temple
Shravanbelagola is been located 51 km south-east of Hassan in Karnataka is one of the most important Jain pilgrim centres of India. Shravanabelagola temple is located in Hassan district on top of Vindyagiri hill, about 50 km Southeast of Hassan, and about 150 km Southwest of Bangalore

History of the Temple
Hassan, India Weather Forecast
The Statue of the Jain saint Gommateshwara (AD 981) is carved out of a mountain which is said to be one of the tallest and most graceful statues in the world, is situated in this small town atop the Indragiri hills. The colossal monolithic statue is 58 ft high, naked, with 26 ft wide shoulders, 10-ft of its feet. Starkingly simple, the beautifully chiseled features of this statue embody serenity.

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.

Shravanbelagola Temple
It is a famous centre of pilgrimage for Jains, and contains a massive statue of Bahubali who is the first Jain Tirthankara to have gained salvation. The statue is more than 1000 years old and was erected in 983 AD by Chamundaraya, a general in King Rachamalla's army. Shravanabelagola means literally the white tank of the ascetic and has got its name from the tank below which looks silvery, while the reference to ascetic is Bahubali.

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.

Shravanbelagola Temple
Legend goes says that Lord Gomatesheshwara was the Jain prince Bahubali. During a war with his greedy elder brother, Bharata who sought to usurp his kingdom, Bahubali accepted defeat at the moment of his victory when he realized the futility of it all. He renounced the world and his rights to his own kingdom, much to the severe repentance of Bharata and left to lead a life of penance and meditation, attaining Nirvana.

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.

Shravanbelagola Temple Near by tourist places to Shravanbelagola Temple

Nandi Hills

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 Temple
Through 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.