SHRAVANABELAGOLA TRAVEL GUIDE

Historical & Heritage | Pilgrimage

Photo Credit: Flickr

Ideal Trip Duration: Half Day to Full Day

Base Station: Shravanabelagola, Hassan (50 Kms), Bangalore (140 Kms)

Nearest City to Shravanabelagola: Mysore (83 Kms), Bangalore (140 Kms)

Best Time to Visit Shravanabelagola: September to March

Peak Season: April to May & September to January

State: Karnataka | District: Hassan

Shravanabelagola Weather: Maximum - 38°C
Minimum - 20°C

At a distance of 140 Kms from Bangalore, 50 Kms from Hassan & 83 Kms from Mysore, Shravanabelagola is one of the most popular Jain pilgrimage center in South India. This place is named after the pond in middle of the town (Bela-Kola means White Pond). This is one of the popular one day trip from Bangalore and a major heritage / historical site in Karnataka.

Shravanabelagola is famous for the Bahubali Statue which is supposed to be the tallest monolithic stone statue in the world with a height of 58 feet carved out of a single block of granite. The Gomateswara temple is built on top of a hill at an altitude of 3347 feet, called as Vindhyagiri hill (also known as Doddabetta or Indragiri). About 620 steps provide access to this temple from bottom of the hill. The nude statue of Bahubali is carved carefully with much perfection.

Lord Gomateshwara (Lord Bahubali) was son of the first Jain tirthankara named Lord Adinatha. Lord Adinatha had 99 other sons and when he renounced his kingdom, there was a big fight between the two brothers, Bahubali and Bharatha, over the kingdom. Bharatha lost this battle, but Bahubali did not feel any happiness on seeing his brother's defeat. He then gave the kingdom to his brother and then attained Kevalagnana.

The statue was carved during the period of Chamundaraya, a minister of the Ganga King Rajamalla between 982 and 983 CE. The town of Shravanabelagola is famous with several Jain temples and historical sites.

Shravanabelagola is famous for two hills called Vindhyagiri and Chandragiri where most of the monuments are located. These two hills are spread on both sides of Temple Pond. There are several historical basadis within the town as well. The main temple of Gomateswara is located on Vindhyagiri hill along with Odegal Basadi, Tyagada Kamba, Siddhara Basadi, Chennanna Basadi, Akhanda Bagilu, etc. Chandragiri is home for about 14 shrines among which Chamundaraya Basadi, Chandragupta Basadi, Chandraprabha Basadi, Kattale Basadi and Parshwanatha Basadi are important.

It usually takes one full day to visit all the historical monuments in Shravanabelagola. For those who can't trek the hill, Dolis are available at the entrance of the temple that charge about Rs. 800 including return. Once in 12 years, Shravanabelagola celebrates the Mahamastakabhisheka festival which attracts thousands of devotees and tourists from all over India. The next Mahamastakabhisheka will be held in Feb 2018.

The great emperor of Mouryan Dynasty Chandragupta Mourya has spent his last days in Shravanabelagola after becoming a follower of Jainism. His grandson Emperor Ashoka has built a basadi for him on Chadragiri hill in 3rd Century BC. There are more than 800 well preserved inscriptions dated between 6th and 19th century in Shravanabelagola.

Accommodation is available in Shravanabelagola with few private lodges and Yatri Nivas. Shravanabelagola is well connected by bus from Bangalore, Mysore & Hassan.

OTHER INFO
Internet Availability: Poor
STD Code: 08176
Languages Spoken: Kannada, English
Major Festivals: Mahamastakabhisheka - once in 12 Years (Jan/Feb - next one in 2018)
Notes/Tips:
None

HOW TO REACH SHRAVANABELAGOLA


By Air

Nearest Airport: Bangalore - Bengaluru International Airport (165 Kms)

By Train

Nearest Train Station: Hassan Railway Station (50 Kms)
Bangalore City Railway Station (140 Kms)

By Bus

Nearest Bus Station: Sravanbelagola (0 Kms)

16 PLACES TO VISIT & THINGS TO DO IN SHRAVANABELAGOLA


Historical & Heritage | Pilgrimage

At a distance of 0.5 km from Shravanabelagola Bus Station & 1.5 km from Bahubali Gomateshwara Temple, Chamundaraya Basadi located on Chandragiri Hill is a wonderful structure dedicated to Lord Neminatha built in Jaina architecture of Dravidian style. It was built by Chamundaraya, the minister of Ganga king Marasimha II in 982 AD. The construction of this basadi was completed in 995 AD. It is one of the prime places to visit in Shravanabelagola, the holy site of Jain pilgrimage.

Chamundaraya Basadi is the most attractive and largest structure on Chandragiri hill. This structure resembles the Dravidian two-tier temple architecture introduced by Badami Chalukyas. The basadi is a rectangular structure facing east. The complex consists of a garbhagriha, a pradakshina path, open sukanasi, navaranga and a mukhamandapa. The garbhagriha houses the image of Lord Neminatha.

There is another small structure on the first level of Chamundaraya Basadi which can be accessed by a set of narrow .....


Historical & Heritage | Pilgrimage

At a distance of 700m from Shravanabelagola Bus Station, Bhandara Basadi is the largest temple built in the center of Shravanabelagola town at a distance of about 300m from the entrance of the Vindhyagiri hill which houses the famous Bahubali Gomateshwara Temple. It is one of the popular sacred places to visit in Shravanabelagola.

Built in 1159 CE, this temple was erected by Bhandari Hullamayya, a general of Hoysala King Narasimha. The temple is a large structure measuring 155 ft x 232 ft. The temple exhibits great artistic skills of Hoysala rulers. The temple has a large manasthamba and an ornate mandapa in front of the entrance. The tower on entrance of the temple is small but nicely designed. The temple tower is erected on a pillared mandapa that houses few wooden carvings of a Jain Thirthankaras.

The main shrine is a rectangular structure with a 12 pillared sanctum, a rangamandapa and another mandapa called Saraswathi .....


Historical & Heritage | Pilgrimage

At a distance of 1 km from Shravanabelagola Bus Station, Bahubali Gomateshwara Temple is very famous for the Bahubali Statue which is the tallest monolithic stone statue in the world with a height of 58 feet. The temple is built on top of a Vindhyagiri Hill at an altitude of 3347 feet. A flight of 620 steps provide access to this temple from the entrance near the pond. Gomateshwara Temple is among the prime places to visit in Shravanabelagola.

This image was created during the period of Chamundaraya, a minister of the Ganga King Rajamalla between 982 and 983 CE. The eyes of the statue are open as if viewing with work without any detachment. The statue has an ant hill behind, representing Gomatha's long penance. Creeper emerges from the ant hill adorning his legs and arms. The entire figure stands on an open lotus.

On either side of Bahubali, two standing figures of Chauri bearers called Yaksha and Yakshi appear in his service. There is a large pillared mandapa around the statue .....


Historical & Heritage | Pilgrimage

At a distance of 1 km from Shravanabelagola Bus Station, Odegal Basadi also known as Vadegal Basti or Trikuta Alaya is a wonderful 14th century basadi situated on Vindhyagiri hill on the way to Bahubali Gomateshwara Temple.

The Odegal Basadi is named so because of the stone proportions placed against its basement. It is the only trikutachala in Shravanabelagola. The basadi is built on a highly elevated platform supported by huge blocks of stone pillars. It is impressive for the commanding position it occupies. The temple has a small mukhamandapa followed by a large mahamandapa with circular pillars. The mahamandapa has three sanctums facing different directions with beautifully statues of Tirthankaras housed inside.

The Odegal Basadi is the first structure one encounters after entering the main fortification on the hill top of Vindhyagiri. The main sanctum of Adinatha Thirthankara is a beautiful sculpture carved out .....


Historical & Heritage | Pilgrimage

At a distance of 0.5 km from Shravanabelagola Bus Station & 1.5 km from Bahubali Gomateshwara Temple, Chandragupta Basadi is situated to the north of Kattale Basadi on Chandragiri Hill. Chandragupta Basadi is dedicated to Emperor Chandragupta Maurya. This was originally built by Emperor Ashoka, the grandson of Chandragupta Maurya. It is one of the prime places to visit on Chandragiri Hill in Shravanabelagola.

The Chandragupta basadi is a triple celled structure where three cells are arranged in a row fronted by a verandah. The cells on either side have small towers over them resembling the chole type. To this was subsequently added an ornamental doorway in front with perforated stone screens at the sides. The screens are pierced with square openings are carved with minute sculptures as the scenes from the lives of the Srutakevali Bhadrabahu and the Maurya Emperor Chandragupta. A sculpture of Parshwanatha is housed in the central shrine while the two side shrines house Padmavati and .....


Historical & Heritage | Pilgrimage

At a distance of 0.5 Km from Shravanabelagola Bus Station & 1.5 km from Bahubali Gomateshwara Temple, Parshwanatha Basadi is located on Chandragiri Hill. The basadi contains a garbagriha, a sukhanasi, a navaranga and a porch. This is a beautiful structure with decorated outer walls. The doorways are lofty and the navaranga as well as the porch have verandhas at their sides. The pillars in the navaranga are of round Ganga type with bell, vase and wheel mouldings. The image of Parshwanatha is the tallest on the hill which is 18 feet in height.

The manastambha (pillar) in front of the Parshwanatha basadi has a pavilion on the top containing standing Jain figures facing four directions. This pillar is sculptured on all the four sides of the base and contains the figure of Padmavathi on the south, Yaksha on the east, seated Kushmandini on the north and a galloping horseman on the west. It was built by a Jain merchant Puttaiya between 1672 & 1704 AD.


Historical & Heritage | Pilgrimage

At a distance of 0.5 km from Shravanabelagola Bus Station & 1.5 km from Bahubali Gomateshwara Temple, Kattale Basadi is situated to the left of Parswanatha Basadi on Chandragiri. It is the biggest of all the Basadis on Chandragiri hill.

This basadi is dedicated to Adinath, the first tirthankara. An image of the Goddess Padmavathi is also found in the verandah. It was constructed by Ganga Raja, the general of Vishnuvardhana. This structure was recently renovated by the Government of Karnataka.

The basadi has garbhagriha, pradakshinapatha, an open sukanasi, a navaranga of 16 pillars, a large rangpmandapa. The garbhagriha houses the seated image of Lord Adinatha. As per the inscriptions on the pedestal of this image, the temple was funded by Pochavve, the mother of Gangaraja.


Historical & Heritage | Pilgrimage

At a distance of 0.5 km from Shravanabelagola Bus Station & 1.5 km from Bahubali Gomateshwara Temple, Chandraprabha Basadi is located on Chandragiri Hill.

It consists of an open Garbagriha, a sukhanasi, a navaranga and a porch and enshrines a seated figure of Chandraprabha, the 8th tirthankara. In the sukhanasi are placed the images of Shyama and Jwalamalini, the yaksha and yakshi. The pedestal of Jwalamalini image shows a lion with two riders seated one behind the other.

The basadi is a brick structure raised over a stone base. It is said to have been constructed by the Ganga king Sivamara II.


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 1 km from Shravanabelagola Bus Station, Tyagada Kamba is a wonderful 10th century monument situated on Vindhyagiri hill on the way to Bahubali Gomateshwara Temple, past Odegal Basadi.

Tyagada Kamba is a small, open pavilion with an elaborately carved stone pillar which is an unmatched artistic beauty. Built on an elevated platform, the pillar has elaborate carvings from bottom to top. It is believed that Chavundaraya, minister of Ganga Dynasty distributed gifts to needy people from this pavilion. This pillar brings out the best workmanship of Ganga rulers.

It is believed that the original inscription at bottom of the pillar was erased by Heggade Kanna in 1200 AD. He installed an image of Yaksha at the top of the pillar and added inscriptions on the pedestal. The upper mandapa of the pavilion was built using brick and mortar in 15th century.


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 1 km from Shravanabelagola Bus Station, Tyagada Kamba is a 17th century Jain basadi situated on Vindhyagiri hill near Tyagada Kamba on the right side while going to Bahubali Gomateshwara Temple.

The basadi is a small shrine with a small pillared madapa and sanctum with a small tower over the sanctum. Built on an elevated platform, the doorway of the main structure has is accompanied by dwarapalakas. The shrine is built against a large boulder which form southern wall of the basadi. The image of Chandraprabha, 8th Jain Thirthankara is carved on the boulder attached to the temple.

There is a large open hall with 24 pillars opposite to the basadi. Also, a large 30 feet manastambha is placed near the open hall. The basadi, hall and manasthambha are built by Chennanna, son of Puttaswamy Setti in 1667 AD.

This place offers panoramic view of the other side of Shravanabelagola town.


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 1 km from Shravanabelagola Bus Station, Tyagada Kamba is a 10th century Monilithic Gateway situated on Vindhyagiri hill between Bahubali Gomateshwara Temple and Tyagada Kamba.

The doorway has a large stone carving of Gajalakshmi panel above the door. Goddess Lakshmi seated on lotus flanked by two elephants with pots in their trunks. The panel has crocodile and lion images carved on the upper part. This is one of the finest and largest Gajalakshmi reliefs in the country. It is one of the best arts that exhibit the workmapship of Ganga period.

There are two cells built on both sides of the gateway which were built in 12th century by Bharatamayya, a general of Hoysala king Vishnuvardhana. These cells are dedicated to Bahubali and his brother Bharatha.

Beside Bharatha's cell, there is a huge rock with several carvings of Jain saints with their followers flanked across the rock in three levels. The .....


Historical & Heritage

At a distance of 1 km from Shravanabelagola Bus Station, Siddhara Basadi is a 14th century basadi situated just outside the main Bahubali Gomateshwara Temple on Vindhyagiri hill.

Dedicated to Sidda Bhagavan Thirthankara, the basadi has an attractive carved granite statue of Saint Sidda in sitting posture. The basadi has two wonderful pillars erected in 14th and 15th centuries with valuable inscriptions. These pillars are dedicated to the Jain saints Panditahradhya and Srtamuni. The text on one of the pillars was composed by a famous Kannada poet called Mangaraja.

The Wodeyar mandapa on the western side has inscriptions describing the donations made by the Mysore Maharajas to the temple in 17th and 18th centuries.

Few meters ahead of Siddara Basadi, Gullekayi Ajji Mandapa situated opposite to the entrance of Gomateswara Temple is a wonderful mandapa with a mansthamba erected in 12th century with inscriptions. The mandapa also has a beautiful carving of an old lady called .....


Historical & Heritage | Pilgrimage

At a distance of 2 Kms from Shravanabelagola & 2.5 km from Bahubali Gomateshwara Temple, Aregal Basadi is located in Jinanathpura. It is named so because it was built on a rock (Are in Kannada).

The structure was built by Hiri Achimayya the son of Barma (brother of Ganga Raja who was the general of the Hoysala king Vishnuvardhana) using brick and mortar. The original image of Parshwanatha of this temple was replaced by a marble image of Parshwanatha in 1889 AD. Idols of Navadevata, Panchaparameshti, Nandishwara and Chaturvimshati are also found here.

Near the entrance, an inscription of the memorial stone erected by the wife and mother of Achimayya is found.


Historical & Heritage | Pilgrimage

At a distance of 2 km from Shravanabelagola Bus Station and 2.5 km from Bahubali Gomateshwara Temple, Shanthinatha Basadi located in Jinanathpura was built in 11th century by Ganga Raja, the general of the Hoysala king Vishnuvardhana.

This temple is a fine example of Hoysala style of architecture. It consists of an entrance cell, a hall & garbagriha built over a star shaped base (similar to the temple of Belur & Halebid). The carved image of Shanthinatha, the 16th Tirthankara, is seated on a lion pedestal. The garbhagriha is guarded by two dwarapalakas. The hall has extensively carved pillars adorned with beaded work. The outer walls have a row of large images of Parshwanatha, Suparshwanatha and other Jain characters including Yakshas, Yakshis, Brahma, Saraswathi, Manmatha, Mohini, drummers, musicians, dancers, etc.

Jinanathpura is also known for Aregal Basadi.


Historical & Heritage | Pilgrimage

At a distance of 7 Kms from Shravanabelagola & 8 km from Bahubali Gomateshwara Temple, Halebelagola is well known for Jinalaya Basadi built in 1094 AD in the Hoysala style of architecture.

The Basadi consists of a garbhagriha, an open mandapa, a navaranga and a porch. The base of the structure is supported by figures of elephants. The outer walls are decorated with pillars and shallow niches. The central ceiling of the navaranga is beautifully carved with a standing figure of Dharanendra holding bow and conch in the centre and the Ashtadikpalakas around. There are damaged figures of two chauri bearers and a headless Jain figure in the navaranga.


Historical & Heritage | Pilgrimage

At a distance of 18 Kms from Shravanabelagola, Kambadahalli (also known as Kambapuri) is one of the important Jain centers in Karnataka and well known for Panchakuta Basadi. The place gets the name from the Brahmadeva pillar (kamba in Kannada) that exists in the famous Panchakuta Basadi.

Panchakuta is a beautiful monument built in Dravidian style by the Western Ganga Dynasty in 10th century. The temple which is oriented to the north towards the Brahmadeva pillar has five shrines. Three shrines are connected to a mantapa and consist of the main shrine of Adinatha, Neminatha and Shanthinatha containing a 3 meter tall idol of the tirthankara. The other 2 shrines which are disconnected and lie to the north of the trikuta cluster are dedicated to other tirthankaras.

The unique feature of the statue of Mahaveera found here is that striking a coin at different points of the statue produces different sounds. The intricate .....

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