Paragraph on Sravanabelagola, Karnataka (336 Words)

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This is a well-known centre of Jaina pilgrimage, noted for Gomatesvara Bahubali. The tallest monolithic statue of Gomatesvara in the world.


Gomatesvara the 58 ft. height monolithic statue of the Jain saint Bahubali, sculpted at-Sravanabelagola by the Gangas in 983 A.D Inspite of its colossal size, it is remarkable for the artistic control of its sculptor.

“Nothing grander or more imposing exists anywhere out of Egypt…” says James Fergusson. Here the 12 yearly Mahamastakabhisheka or the great bath takes place, when tens of thousands of pilgrims congregate at Sravanobelagola.

According to a legend Gomateshwar, a prince lived in the first century of Christian era. His kingdom was usurped by his brother and Gomateshwar, who had embraced Jainism, even after he had wrested, his kingdom back, gave it to his brother and went to the south Shravanbelgola. The new king was extremely im­pressed with his brother’s behaviour and had a massive statue built in his honour.

In course of time, however, both the site and statue were forgotten. In the tenth century a pious Jain lady Kala Devi, mother of the minister of King Chamund Raya, hearing of the legend had a search made for the lost statue and the King himself patronised the search and took an interest in the proceedings. In a dream, the King was told to shoot an arrow at any of the rocks surrounding the capital and wait for the result. Next day he did as he was instructed and the arrow struck a rock on the Indrabetta hill.


The rock cleaved and showed a part of the huge statue of Gomateshwar. A monk struck the rock with a jewelled hammer and the statue was revealed in all its glory. Every twelve or fifteen years a ceremony is performed by the Jain monks when ascending scaffolds, the devotees anoint the head of the image. On this occasion the statue is given a ceremonial bath of sixteen precious things which include milk, gems, silver and gold.

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