A historic town and a very important Jain pilgrim centre, Shravanabelagola is located in Hassan district, about 155 km away from Bangalore. The image that almost all who know or have heard a little about this Jain pilgrim destination would visualise the 57-foot monolith statue of Gommateshwara or also popularly known as Bahubali, standing tall atop a hill! The place is characterised by two popular hills namely, Vindhyagiri, where the Bahubali statue can be seen and the other being the Chandragiri, where again there are Jain shrines and memorials to the monks and Sravakas.
A perfect weekend trip destination this combined with the other two most popular travel destinations Belur and Halebeedu closeby, Shravanabelagola is a must visit a place. Picturesque view of the verdant natural beauty of the town, the swaying tall coconut trees and the pond (bela gola – White pond) around which the town is named, is unmissable. The place sees travellers of all ages visiting the temple and offering their prayers.
Carved out of a single rock, this much-admired sculpture of Bahubali is considered one of the 7 wonders of India. Bhagwan Bahubali, the son of the first of twenty-four Jain Tirthankaras, is revered and worshipped by the Jain community. He is believed to have given up all the worldly pleasures and stood in meditation to achieve self-restraint and complete dominance of ego by renunciation and attain salvation! The Digambara (nude) form is a characteristic feature of Jain tradition which symbolises one’s dominance over the earthly desires, attachments and acquisitions.