Sravanbelagola is 51 km southeast of Hassan and 160 km from Bangalore. This is the most important Jain pilgrimage center. The name of the place translated as naked ascetic (Sravana) and white pond (belgola), is known for the greatest monument of Jain art. The colossal statue of Gomateshwara (17 meter high) situated on the summit of Indragiri hill is one of the two giant sculptures in the world after the colossus of Ramses II in Egypt. Chamundaraya, General under the King Rachmalla, had commissioned the carving of this huge statue during the 10th century.
is a little township tucked away between Indragiri and Chandragiri hills. Its antiquity dates back to 3rd century B. C. when the great Mauryan Emperor Chandragupta Maurya handed over his empire to his son Bimbisara and sought the serenity of Sravanabelagola.
Chamundaraya, the general, and the minister of Ganga, King Rachamatta, created the symmetry in stone around 983 AD. This giant statue was carved out of a single block of stone. It is regarded as one of the largest monolithic statues in the world. Lord Bahubali or Gomateshwar; the gigantic monolith statue is situated at the famous Manjunath Temple in Dharmasthala.
The statue symbolises renunciation, self-control, and subjugation of ego as the primary steps towards salvation. The naked Digambara form of Bahubali represents complete victory over earthly desires.
Rice of course, millet, eggplant, radish, cucumbers, salad, carrots, leak, and last but not least, sweets and sweets and sweets. This was a very busy one.
There was a constantly come and go from men carrying heavy sacks from and to the market stalls
Shravanabelgola has been patronized ever since it was founded, and continues in importance today.
Next to this beautiful Hoysala sculpture, attendant of god, a priest is waiting to give you a blessing in exchange of a small offering.
For the non sportsmen or those who like comfort and spending money, porters can take you up in a kind of a sedan chair. Take care though, they maybe halt half-way to ask you more money and no elevator is available :-))
I love strolling on local markets, for the unposed contact with the locals and trying to find out more about their living and cooking habits.
From here the road leads us to Belur and its Chennakeskava temple in Hoysala style
You have to be in a good shape though, as you have to climb 550 stairs without your shoes before admiring the statue. Be aware that the granite stairs can be very hot under the sun, so put on a pair of old socks to provide your feet from blisters.
A 148 kms. drive from Bangalore takes us to Shravanabelagola, a prominent Jain pilgrim centre in the Hassan neighbourhood in the Karnataka state. Shravanabelagola, which means the monk of the white pond, is home to Asia’s largest monolithic statue of Lord Gomateswara which towers almost 18 m., looming atop the picturesque Vindhyagiri Hill. Every 12 years, (next is in 2006). Jain pilgrims gather here to participate in the colourful and splendid head-anointing ceremony of the Lord. From specially erected scaffolding, priests pour hundreds of pots containing milk, honey, coconut water and even gold and jewels over the statue’s head.While flowing downwards over the body of the statue these sacred offerings are believed to acquire a powerful charge of spiritual energy from the great deity.
(a) Nice backwaters of the Sri Ramadevara Dam
(b) Water sports, coracle rides, etc.
(c) Pristine greenery around, paddy fields, coconut grooves, etc.
(e) Picnic on the bank of the lake
Nice sculptures of "The Five Sarasvatis" goddesses (only two of them are on the picture) decorating the walls of the patio, are surrounding the Lord Gomateswara,
En route for Belur we picked a local market for the atmosphere, the colours and the “couleur locale”. Loads of vegetables as oignons, tomatoes, chilli peppers, beans, potatoes,
Isn't she beautiful ? What a pity though, she stands there and can't even see the Lord. Life can be hard, even to goddesses.