Sravanabelagola

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Shravanabelagola,
literally meaning ‘white pond of Sravana’, is named after a beautiful pond
in the town
Shravanabelagola
is home to 8 Jain temples, or Basadis
It is
home to the world’s largest
monolithic statue (57 ft.) of LordGomteshwara/Bahubali
The statue was carved in the 10th Century out of a single granite
rock by Chavundaraya
The statue portrays the moment of Bahubali’s
enlightenment in his meditative posture (standing)
The foot of the statue holds inscriptions in
Prakrit, i.e. Devanagari script, which read
praises to the funding king
Pro
tip:

During
Mahamastakabhisheka, the site is anointed with water, turmeric,
rice flour, sugar-cane juice, saffron, sandalwood paste, as well as gold
and silver flowers and coins by devotees from across the globe

 

The ceremony takes place once every 12 years and is a must watch

 

 

Trail:

 

1.    
Akkana Basadi:
Built in the year 1181 A.D. It has the 23rd Tirthankara Parshwanath as
main deity of the temple.

 

2.             
Chandragupta Basadi:
This temple was established in 9th century. The middle cell of this
temple has the figure of Parshvanatha, the one to the right the figure
of Padmavathi and the one to the left the figure of Kushmandini,
all in a seated posture

3.             
Chamundarayaraya Basadi: This
is the finest and one of the largest temples on the hill. It is
also known as Chavundaraya Basadi. It is dedicated to Neminatha, the 22nd Tirthankara.
It is dated back to 982 A.D.

 

4.             
Shantinatha Basadi: This
temple is dedicated to Shantinatha.
It was built around 1200 A.D.

5.             
Kattale Basadi: It
is, by fact, the biggest of all the Basadis on the Chandragiri
hill. Kattlae Basadi has first Jain Tirthankara Rishabhnatha as main deity of the
temple.

 

History:

 

Folklore:
From a Prince to a Monk

 

Bahubali received the kingdom of Asmaka when his
father decided to become a monk. In a later take-over between his oldest
brother, Bharata, and the remaining 99 brothers, including Bahubali,
he defeated Bharata. After his win, filled with disgust for the world, Bahubali
renounced his kingdom to become a monk.

 

Read more: When
his father, Rishabhanatha, decided to become a monk, he distributed his kingdom
among his 100 sons. His older brother, Bharata, received the kingdom of Vinita
(Ayodhya), while Bahubali was gifted the kingdom of Asmaka from
South India. However, not satisfied with one, Bharata tried to conquer and won
98 of them, before marching towards Bahubali’s kingdom.

 

Both brothers were
endowed with superior body of extraordinary sturdiness and strength. Bahubali
used this and challenged his brother to a fight. The ministers of both the
ends, in order to prevent a war, devised three contests to settle the matters
between the two brothers: eye-fight (staring at each other), water-fight
(jala-yuddha), and wrestling (malla-yuddha).

 

Bahubali won all the
three contests over Bharata.

 

After the fight, Bahubali
filled with disgust at the world, developed a desire for renunciation. He
abandoned his clothes and kingdom to become a Digambara monk and began
meditating with great resolve to attain Kevala Gyana (omniscience).

 

The Path to Moksha

 

Bahubali is said to have meditated motionless in kayotsarga
(a standing posture) for a year, unmindful of the vines, ants, and dust that
enveloped his body.

 

Read more:
Bahubali is said to be the first Digambara monk to have attained moksha in the
present half-cycle of time (Avasarpi??). After attaining moksha
(liberation) and coming siddha (a pure, liberated soul) he was revered
as Kevali (an omniscient being).

 

Pro Tips:

·      
The statue is open for public visits
throughout the day. The best months to visit are October-March

·      
Foot-ware is not allowed on the foothills
of the temple. It is recommended to carry a pair of socks in
order to save your feet from the hot surface of the rocks

·      
There are more than 700 steps, so do carry
a water bottle in order to stay hydrated

·      
Parking is available
at the foot of the hill

·      
There are a few food
stalls and Bhojanalayas (Mess) around. The most recommended of all is
named “Jain Bhojanalay”. (Breakfast: 8 a.m – 10 a.m | Lunch: 10 a.m onwards)