Shravanabelagola Temple karnataka
Sharavanabelagola is the most important pilgrim centers of Jain comunity in Karnataka, is located 12 km to the south-east of Channarayapatna in the Channarayapatna taluk of Hassan district. In Kannada language, ‘Shravana’ means a Jain austere, ‘Bel’ means white and ‘kola’ means the pond, the reference to the beautiful pond in the middle of the town. The name ‘Belagola’ is been found in an inscription belonging to 650 AD and 800 AD. Hence the word Shravanabelagola means the place of white pond where the Jain ascetics live.
The Shravanabelagola temple is a holy place for the Jains and is world renowned for the majesty of Lord Gomatheeswara towering over everything around. It is one of the holiest places for the Jain community attracting millions of devotees yearly.
Shravanabelagola is popular for its scenic beauty as well as for its religious sanctity. It reached a high point in architectural and sculptural activity under the patronage of the Gangas of Talakad. Shravanabelagola is wedged between two rocky hills – the Vindyagiri and the Chandragiri.
The Vindyagiri hill is about 470 feet in height . The 17.38 meter (58 ft) high monolithic stone statue of the Gomateshwara or Bahubali is loacted at the Vindhyagiri hill. This is said to be one of the tallest huge statues in the world.
The statue of Bahubali was installed by a Ganga minister and scholar Chavundaraya. This statue is carved beautifully with accurate sense expression and there are curly hairs over the head.
The stone sculpture of Bahubali represents repudiation, self-control and suppression of ego as the first steps towards salvation. The digambara (nude) form of Bahubali represents the complete victory over whatsoever desires and needs that hamper spiritual ascent towards holiness.
Chandragiri is a small hill, located just opposite to the Vindhyagiri. Chandragiri has memorials to numerous monks and shravakas who have meditated there. Chndragiri also has famous Jain temples and the tomb of Chandragupta Maurya, famous patron of Jainism can be seen.
Mahamastakabhisheka is the great head anointing ceremony of Bahubali which is performed once in every 12 years. The enormous statue of Lord Gommateshwara is suffused with thousands of pots of Milk, Ghee, Sandal, Saffron, Flowers etc.
The huge number of devotees from all over the world presents here to witness The Mahamasthakabisheka The last Mahamasthakabhisheka was held here in February 2006. The next Mahamastakabhisheka will be held in 2018 A.D.
Shravanabelagola is the seat of the antique Bhattaraka Math, belonging to the Desiya Gana ancestry of Mula Sangha of Digambar monistic tradition. The Bhattarakas are all named Charukeerthi.