Shravanabelagola Temple in Karnataka
Shravanbelagola temple in Karnataka is a historical Jain temple And a famous pilgrimage centre in South India. This Shravanabelagola temple is situated on top of Vindyagiri hill in Hassan district. There is a massive statue of Bahubali of more than 1000 years old, erected in 983 AD. by Chamundaraya a general of King Rachamalla’s army.
The name Shravanabelagola got its name from the tank below which looks silvery. Shravanabelagola means the white tank of the Spartan and is known as the white pond of the Sravana or “the Jain monk. The Shravanabelagola temple place represents the richness of Hoysala art. This temple can be approached by climbing more than 600 steps which have been constructed out of the rocky surface of the hillock.
Reaching the temple peak visitors get enthralled by the towering statue of Bahubali, also called as Gomateshwara in nude form. This statue of the Jain saint Gommateshwara is carved out of a single rock mountain is about 58 ft high, naked, with 26 ft wide shoulders, 10-ft of its feet and carved with creepers and is one of the tallest and most graceful statues in the world located on the Indragiri hills. It dominates the landscape around the area and devotees come to visit Shravanabelagola temple from near and far. The Gommateshwara statue was made by a minister of King Rachamatta of Ganga dynasty Chamundaraya, in 983 A.D. The statue is located in the famous temple known as Manjunath Temple that symbolizes victory over earthly desires.
Festivals celebrated at Shravanabelagola Temple:
The biggest event celebrated at Shravanabelagola temple is the Mahamastakabisheka dedicated to Lord Gomatesheshwara, a big festival that takes place once in every 12 years. During this festival the statue of Bahubali or Gomateshwara is given a sacred bath with holy water, milk, honey, curd, ghee, sandalwood paste and turmeric paste and then showered with silver and gold coins. Thousands of pilgrims visit the place of Shravanbelagola temple in Karnataka to witness and participate in this festival.
History of Shravanabelagola Temple :
The word Belagola is derived two kannada words which means Bel is white and kola means pond an illusion to the beautiful pond in the middle of the town. It is believed that the two hills Chandragiri and Vindyagiri are the places where Chandragupta Maurya who was a former king have meditated at this place.
Shravanabelagola temple has 500 inscriptions is the major highlight written in several languages which depicts the history. These inscriptions depicts the development of several kingdoms such as Hoysala, Rashtrakutas, Ganga, Wodeyars and Vijayanagara.
There is a Mutt at the base of the two hills where Jain Munis reside and there is also a Sanskrit Pathsala where Sanskrit and Shastras are taught.