Saturday, December 1, 2007

Shravanabelagola Quick Travel and History Guide

We have all heard about the Gomateshwara statue at Shravanabelagola in Karnataka in India, it is arguably one of the most popular monument in India. Here is a Quick Travel Guide both for Trivia buffs and for someone planning their next trip to this Historic marvel central to Karnataka’s Religious and World Heritage Tourism circuit. You can combine you visit to Sravanabelagola with other Heritage locations such as Mysore, Hampi and or Badami, You can find more Karnataka itineraries here.

Where in the world is Shravanabelagola?

This monument of Karnataka is at a distance of 158 km from Bangalore located at Shravanabelagola in Hassan district (49km southeast of Hassan and 93km north of Mysore). Here there are two hills Doddabetta(Vindyagiri) and Chikkabetta(Chandragiri Hill). The monument is positioned on the top of the Doddabetta hill which is at a height of 438 Feet.

What was the unique recognition given to this statue in 2007?

On August 5, 2007, the magnificent statue of Shravanbelagola was voted by Indians as the first of the Seven Wonders of India.

When is the next Mahamastabisheka and when was the first Mahamastabisheka?

Chavundaraya who created this monument himself conducted the first Mahamastabisheka on 14-3-981. From that day every 12 years, thousands of devotees congregate here to perform the Mahamastabisheka, a spectacular ceremony in which the thousand-year-old statue is anointed with milk, curds, ghee, saffron and gold coins. The next Mahamastabisheka will be held in 2018 A.D.

How can I reach Shravanabelagola or Can I get Driving directions from Bangalore?

Unfortunately there is no flight yet from Bangalore to Hassan (there will be one in the next couple years). You can go by train to Hassan from Bangalore and drive to Shravanabelagola.

By road take Tumkur Rd towards Nelamangala (27Km from Bangalore). Take a Left onto NH-48 drive for 94 Km and divert at Hirisave towards Sravanabelagola (18Km).

Who was Bahubali also called as Gomateshwara?

Lord Gomateshwara was a Jain saint and is often referred to as the Lord Bahubali.

Who created this monument?

This monument was created by Chamundraya around 983 AD. Chamundraya was a minister of the Ganga King, Rajamalla. The sculptor of this mega statue is said to be Arishtanemi (Bharatoja). The sculptor converted a tor standing at the summit into a colossus statue. Choosing a strategic opening between boulders, he also constructed a gateway (the present Akhanda Bagilu) with a large Gajalakshmi panel adorning its upper portion.

Who are the Gangas?

Know as the Western Gangas with their capital at Talakad on the banks of the River Cauvery. They ruled from 350 to 550 AD.
The kings of this dynasty encouraged the fine arts due to which literature in Kannada and Skilled Craftsmanship flourished. They were most famous for their patronage towards Jainism resulting in the construction of monuments in places many places across their small kingdom including the Lord Gomateshwara at Shravanabelagola.

Why is this monument special?

It is the largest monolithic statue in the world.
The monument is considered as one of the greatest achievements in the field of sculptural art in ancient Karnataka. The statue is made up of a single block of granite 17 meters in height. A 438 feet high granite mass forms its pedestal. It is regarding as one of the most brilliant Jain works of art. Carved from fine-grained white granite, the image stands on a lotus. With no support up to the thighs the 60 feet tall statue has a face measuring 6.5 feet. The serene expression on the face with curled hair, graceful locks and detailed proportional anatomy. Brilliantly combing artistry and craftsmanship it is called the mightiest achievement in sculptural art in medieval Karnataka is considered the high point of Karnataka’s craftsmanship. The architecture has Pallava and Badami Chalukya features or influences.

Why was this jain monument created in Karnataka?

Jainism was the state religion during various periods, it has very strong roots in Karnataka.
Jainism came to Karnataka four centuries before the Christian era. The religion received patronage of all the major dynasties that ruled this region including the Gangas, Kadamba, Chalukyas, Hoyasala and Wodeyars. Around 297 BC when Chadragupta, the founder of the Mauryan dynasty gave up his throne and came to Sravanbelagola in Karnataka to become a Jain monk he died here at a Hill near Shravanbeagola’s called Chandragiri. This is where later the Shravanbeagola shrine belonging to the Digambara sects of the Jains was built.

Are there any inscriptions at Shravanbeagola?

There are more than 800 inscriptions are found at Shravanabelagola dating from various points during the period from 600 to 1830 AD. The inscriptions are found across the town and Chandragiri. Shravanabelagola abounds in inscriptions that are scattered around the area and are in various Halagannada (Old Kannada) and Purvahalagannada (Pre-Old Kannada) characters. There inscription mention various dynasties including Gangas, Rashtrakutas, Hoysalas, Vijayanagar empire and Mysore Wodeyars.

Top Rated Stay, Hotel or Home Stay options near Shravanabelagola at Hassan or Mysore which are closeby towns to this monument.


Roopa said...

Sravanabelagola 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 Ganges of Talakad.

To know more about Shravanabelagola visit

sasi said...

very informative

Ricky Peterson said...

Amazing article and pic. Gomateshwara is the tallest statue in the world of Lord Bahubali. It is located in Shravanabelagola at a distance of 158 kilometers from Bangalore, India. The statue has a height of 17 meters. Festival of Mahamastakabhishekam which is held once in 12 years. During the festival the statue of Lord Gomateswara is bathed in milk, curds, ghee(clarified butter), saffron and gold coins. The statue is visible from a distance of 30 kilometers. For more details refer Gomateshwara

Divya said...

You know Travel to Karnataka known for its historical and medieval heritage, which is nonetheless reflected inside the South Indian temple architecture.India travel advice you enjoy the fairs and festivals of Karnataka.

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Karnataka Travel said...

Very Nice blog thanks for sharing. This is really great and very informatics blog,I have visited Shravanabelagola and Adichunchanagiri Peacock,Gomateshwara stands at 52-ft easily one of the largest monoliths in the world,It is good tourist places in Karnataka refer moreBest Places In Karnataka

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