Shravanabelagola Temple Of Lord Gomatheeswara

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India >> Karnataka >> Shravanabelagola >> Attractions >> Shravanabelagola Temple Of Lord Gomatheeswara

Shravanabelagola Temple Of Lord Gomatheeswara

History

The popular Shravanabelagola Temple of Lord Gomatheeswara is one of the most important Jain pilgrimage sites in Karnataka, which is renowned for its tallest monolithic statue of Lord Gomatheeswara. The statue of Lord Gomatheeswara or Lord Bahubali is a huge statue with approximately 17mts of height that towers over everything else in its vicinity. The statue was installed by one Chavundaraya in 989 AD, who was apparently a minister of Ganga King Rachamalla Sathyavakya, and is situated at the top of Indragiri hill.

Depicting superb craftsmanship, the statue of Lord Gomatheeswara is a colossal rock cut statue of Saint Gommata, which has been described as the mightiest achievements of ancient Karnataka in the sphere of sculptural art. The statue is also known as Lord Bahubali and is a nude sculpture in an upright position of meditation that is known as ‘Kayotsarga’. The statue is accessible through a flight of more than 500 steps and offers a picturesque view of the plains as well as nearby hills.

The eyes of the statue are open and are viewing the world with a detachment that only a learned man can possess with perfectly chiselled facial expressions. A faint smile is visible at the corner of his mouth that embodies a calm vitality. The amazing part of the statue is that the statue is standing without any support from thigh upwards and the whole figure is standing on an open lotus. The statue is accompanied by two opulently ornamented and intricately carved royal servants named yakshi complimenting the main figure.

The best part of the Shravanabelagola Temple of Lord Gomatheeswara is the special festival called Mahamastakabhisheka or head anointing festival. The highlight of this festival is that the statue of Gomatheeswara is bathed with a sacred blend of thousands of gallons of milk, honey and some special herbs, which is then distributed amongst the devotees and pilgrims. The whole sight of bathing the huge statue of Lord Gomatheeswara is awe inspiring; however the best part of the festival is in the end when the statue receives a flower shower from a helicopter.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Shravanabelagola Jain Temple is between October and March, when the weather is pleasant enough to explore the beauty of Shravanabelagola Temple.

Trivia

Interestingly the major festival of the temple –the Mahamastakabhisheka of the Gomatheeswara statue in Shravanabelagola or the head anointing ceremony of the Lord Bahubali, is held once in 12 years with the next ceremony scheduled for 2018.

Timing

There are no particular timings to visit the temple, however if you want to capture a beautiful sunrise then it is advisable to reach the top of the temple before 6:30am. This is the time when you can catch some impressive sunrise from the top of the hill along with some stupendous views of the plains. It is also an awesome sight to catch the sun's first beams on the statue.


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