“THERE IS NO ENEMY OUT OF YOUR SOUL. THE REAL ENEMIES LIVE INSIDE YOURSELF; THEY ARE ANGER, EGO, PRIDE, CURVEDNESS, GREED, ATTACHMENTS AND HATRED” :- Lord Mahavir
According to Jainism, Bahubali is considered the ideal of the man who conquers selfishness, jealousy, pride and anger. The 57 foot monolithic statue of Gomateshvara (Bahubali) at Shravanabelagola is one of the most important pilgrimage destinations for the followers of Jain Religion.
Shravanabelagola literally means “White pond of the ascetic”, which lies between two hills. The bigger hill is Indragiri/Vindyagiri (Doddabetta) and the smaller one is Chandragiri ( Chikkabetta).
One could witness 2000+ years of Jain history in this place. Emperor Chandra Gupta Maurya (340 – 298 BC) spent his final years as a Jain monk at Chandragiri. He had conquered several parts of Indian peninsula inclusive of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Balochistan and the Maurya kingdom flourished well under the guidance of great philosopher Chanakya and as well through their alliance with Macedonian king Alexander and his successors.
In his later years, Chandragupta decided to embrace Jainism with the help of his spiritual guru Bhadrabahu and relocated to Shravanbelgola in 298 BC after renouncing the throne to his son Bindusara. Chandragupta Maurya led the life of a hermit in Shravanabelagola and in 298 BC, he attained salvation using a Jain ritual called Sallekhana (fasting to death). Bhadrabahu cave, the place where he ended his life could be still found on top of Chandragiri hill.
Emperor Asoka built the monuments for several Tirtankaras (Jain Saints) at Chandragiri during 3rd century BC. Chandragiri hill is 3052 feet above sea level and there are around 350 to 400 steps to reach the hilltop. Jainism was at its peak during the rule of Western Ganga dynasty of Talakkad between 4 to 10th century AD. ( Read about Talakkad here ).
Bahubali was the son of King Adinatha . Bahubali had fought fierce battles against his brother Bharata for their kingdom . After his victory, he realized the shallowness of the materialistic world, gave away the kingdom to his brother, left his worldly possessions and became a saint. As a part of his penance, he stood still in meditation for such a long time that anthills formed at his feet and vines grew around his body. The Bahubali statue symbolizes the simplicity of human life and the supreme awareness attained through penance. The nudity of the statue indicates firm determination and self-control.
Right before the entrance to the Gomateshwara temple, one could find a mandap with an elegantly carved pillar (stambha) called Tyagada Brahmadeva pillar inside it The pillar contains exquisitely carved relief work of four creepers surrounding it. The pillar that dates back to 983 AD was erected by Minister and Commander named Chamundaraya, of the Western Ganga kingdom.
Shravanabelagola is situated in the Hassan district of Karnataka.
- Bangalore – Nelamangala – Channarayapattana – Shravanabelagola (143 Km)
- Mysore – Srirangapatna – Pandavapura – KR Pet – Kikeri – Shravanabelagola (82 Km)