Shravanbelogola - The home of majestic Bahubali

I visited Shravanabelagola after exploring Channakesava temple in Belur. Shravanabelagola is one of the most important pilgrimage destinations for Jains. The main attraction in Shravanbelagola is 58-feet tall monolithic statue of Bahubali (also known as Gommateshvara).It is considered to be the world's largest monolithic stone statue and was built in 983 A.D.

Bahubali was the son of Rishabhanatha, the first tirthankara of Jainism. He is said to have meditated motionless for a whole year in standing posture because of which climbers grew around his legs. After one year of meditation, Bahubali attained omniscience and became an omniscient being. According to Jain texts, Bahubali's soul attained moksha (liberation from the cycle of births and deaths) at Mount Kailash.

The statue was built by the Ganga dynasty minister and commander Chavundaraya. This 58 feet tall monolith statue was carved from a single piece of rock.

There are two hills Chandragiri and Vindhyagiri. Bahubali status is located on Vindyagiri Hill.

You will have to ascend the hill , 650 steps before you see the statue, temple that too bare foot. 650 steps!! Bare foot!!!! that too in hot weather!!! This is something all say but dont worry you can move with socks. You will find many people selling socks in 20 rs. Useful. By the time we reached Vindhyagiri and started ascend it was 4pm. You might think its best time to visit but it was too hot. Every 100 steps we had to stop, take break, water, take some photos and  then move on. It was very interesting and delightful to see many including old ladies, kids visiting the place. 650 steps in that kind of weather is no child game. I think its all about the faith and belief they have.

Steep steps, manageable but you need to take bit of rest, relax and move on.

Once you cross 3/4 of the steps, you will see one small temple. There you can see many medieval age inscriptions on the rock surface. These all are preserved by covering with glass shield. Most of the inscriptions are in old kanadda dated 11th century. 

Stop there and see the beauty around. You can see Chandragiri hill, temples, lake and entire town from this vantage point. 

After spending good 15 mins, taking rest and water, we felt ok and time to finish the last lap. Another 100 steps and we reached the main temple. Main attraction is off course the BIG 58-feet tall monolithic statue of Gommateshvara or more popularly known as Bahubali.  There are also statues of all the 14  Jain Tirthankaras kept in the corridors around the monolith, carefully preserved.


Impressive and amazing how the statue must have been created 1000 years back, that too without having modern tools. Well thats not just this place but everywhere in India, all the temples, caves, statues will amaze you. May be the architect that time were too ahead of the time, they had more knowledge and techniques to built all these amazing statutes.    
After offering small pooja, it was time to go back. Dont forget to stop a bit and enjoy the view. View from the top is a good treat for eyes. descending was not that tough, with sun setting and cool weather made it easy. All of us were hungry and then we found one small Jain bhojonalayas (Restaurant). simple food but really tasty. 

Overall it was great experience. Mix of all, a little religion, a little adventure, great history and amazing architecture.

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