Shravanabelagola - Bahubali
Shravanabelagola is one of the most popular Jain pilgrim centers located in the Hassan district of Karnataka state. Shravanabelagola is at a distance of 52 Kms from Hassan town, the headquarters of the Hassan district and 146 Kms from Bangalore. In Kannada (the state language), 'Bel' means white and 'kola' means the pond, an allusion to the beautiful pond in the middle of the town.
Shravanabelagola is wedged between two rocky hills - Vindyagiri and Chandragiri.
The hill is about 470 feet above the ground. The 17.38 meter (58 ft) high monolithic stone statue of the Bhagavan Bahubali (Lord Gomateshwara) is loacted at the Vindhyagiri hill. The statue of Bhagawan Bahubali was installed by a Ganga general and scholar Chavundaraya and is said to be one of the tallest monolithic statues in the world. This statue is carved beautifully with accurate sense expression and there are curly hairs over the head.
The stone sculpture of Bhagawan Bahubali symbolizes renunciation, self-control and subjugation of ego as the first steps towards salvation. The digambara (nude) form of Bahubali represents the complete victory over earthly desires and needs that hamper spiritual ascent towards divinity.
Mahamastakabhisheka, the great head anointing ceremony of Bhagawan Bahubali have been performed once in every 12 years. The huge statue of Lord Gommateshwara is getting pooja by pouring thousands of pots of milk, ghee, sandal, saffron, flowers etc., from devotees attended from all over the world. The last Mahamasthakabhisheka was held here in February 2006. The next Mahamastakabhisheka will be held in 2018 A.D.
Chandragiri, a small hill is 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.
Shravanabelagola is the seat of the ancient Bhattaraka Math, belonging to the Desiya Gana lineage of Mula Sangha of Digambar monstic tradition. The Bhattarakas are all named Charukeerthi.
The present Swamiji of Shravanabelagola:
The present Swamiji of the Dharmapeetha of Shravanabelagola is Sri Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Swamiji. His earlier name was Rathnavarma. He accepted his sainthood when he was 20 years of age. Sri Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Swamiji became the seer of the Dharmapeetha of Shravanabelagola on 19th April 1970.
Distances from Shravanabelagola:
1. Channarayapattana - 12 kms
2. Hassan - 52 km
3. Bangalore - 146 kms
4. Mysore - 83 kms
5. Arasikere - 63 kms
Nearest Rail head: Hassan
Nearest Airport: Bangalore
How to reach Shravanabelagola:
Shravanabelagola is well connected by roads from major towns and cities of Karnataka. Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) operates regular bus service to Shravanabelagola.
One should divert from Hirisaave to Shravanabelagola, and cover 18 kms to reach Shravanabelagola on Bangalore - Mangalore National Highway
Where to stay:
Hotels are available at Channarayapattana. It is suggested to stay at Hassan.
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