00:27 • Landscape and stairs
01:19 • Odegal Basadi temple
01:38 • Sri Bharateswara temple
02:46 • Statue of Gomateshwara
06:40 • Sri Bhandara Basali temple
Shravanabelagola, Statue of Gomateshwara, Karnataka • India: A historical and geographical jewel
Nestled in the heart of the state of Karnataka, India, Shravanabelagola is a destination renowned for its historical eloquence, its geographical significance and its most precious treasure: the majestic Statue of Gomateshwara. Rising into the sky like an imperturbable guardian, this gigantic statue is a symbol of history, religion and art.
Geography of Shravanabelagola
Shravanabelagola, a small town in Hassan district, is located about 158 km from Bangalore, the state capital. This locality is distinguished by the presence of two hills, Vindyagiri and Chandragiri, which surround it, offering a unique topography and an unforgettable panorama.
The city is best known for its huge pool of sacred water (Belagola in Kannada means "white pool"), which gave it its name. The pool offers a tranquil reflection of the surrounding environment, an idyllic mirror of the centuries-old history of Shravanabelagola.
A trip down memory lane: the story of Shravanabelagola
The history of Shravanabelagola is intimately linked to the practice of Jainism. The city is an important stop in the Jain pilgrimage, attracting many followers every year. It was also a center of learning for Jaina philosophy and literature since the Ganga era in the 3rd century.
The hills of Vindyagiri and Chandragiri are home to a wealth of Jain bas-reliefs, inscriptions and temples that have survived the test of time, testifying to the historical and cultural richness of Shravanabelagola.
The Statue of Gomateshwara: a sculptural masterpiece
The Statue of Gomateshwara, also known as the Statue of Bahubali, is the jewel of Shravanabelagola. Measuring approximately 17 meters high, it is one of the largest monolithic statues in the world. It was erected around 983 AD by King and General Chamundaraya, honoring Bahubali, a Jain prince who had abandoned all his earthly possessions in search of spirituality.
The statue, perched on top of the Vindyagiri hill, depicts Bahubali in the state of kayotsarga meditation, symbolizing complete renunciation of all material attachments. Her serene face, the vines climbing up her legs and arms, and the image of a snake coiling around her body are all powerful symbols of her asceticism and her quest for spiritual enlightenment.
Shravanabelagola is much more than just a tourist destination. It is a sanctuary of history, a mosaic of art, culture and spirituality. Whether it's the incredible landscape that surrounds the city, the enormous pool of sacred water that reflects its centuries-old past, or the majestic Statue of Gomateshwara that dominates the skyline, every element of Shravanabelagola offers a glimpse into the rich heritage of the city. 'India. A visit to this historic city will not only allow you to explore an important part of India's history, but also to discover the values and teachings of Jainism that have passed down through the centuries.
Another Jain temple in Shravanabelagola
If the temple of Gomateshware of Shravanabelagola is one of the main Jain sanctuaries of India and a high place of pilgrimage, the small town also has more modest temples, like the Sri Bhandara Basadi temple in town.
This modest (compared to other Jain temples) temple is however important too, among the magnificent ancient frescoes that adorn its walls.
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about the place, Shravanabelagola:
Shravanabelagola, located in the state of Karnataka in India, is an important Jain pilgrimage site. It is famous for its colossal monolithic statue of Bahubali, or Gomateshwara, which is one of the largest of its kind in the world. This historic site is nestled between two hills, Vindyagiri and Chandragiri, offering stunning panoramic views. Every twelve years, a great ritual called "Mahamastakabhisheka" takes place, where the statue of Bahubali is bathed in religious offerings. Despite its apparent tranquility, Shravanabelagola is filled with a rich history that dates back over 2000 years, making each visit a true immersion in Jain culture and spirituality.
Spoken comments in the film:
Shravanabelagola has been an important place of pilgrimage in Karnataka for over 1000 years, as the largest monolithic statue in the world, that of Gamateshwara, also known as Bahubali, was built by by the Ganga king, Chamundaraya between 978 and 993.
This statue is remarkable, both from an aesthetic and technical point of view. This monolithic statue is more than 17 meters high, but has to be earned... To reach it, you have to climb almost 700 steps, barefoot, since the staircase is part of the sanctuary, and if it rains, like this is often the case in the monsoon season, the ascent and descent are to say the least, sporty.
Halfway towards the top of the hill where the imposing statue of Gomateshware sits is the Odegal Basadi temple, a 14th century temple, without external decorations, housing the statues of some Tirthankaras.
Then, finally a last temple before arriving at the statue, the Sri Bharateswara temple...
At the top of the hill stands the huge statue of Gomateshwara, a monumental icon that transcends the surrounding temples built on the hill. For the Jains, it is not so much the temples, but precisely this imposing statue which is at the heart of their devotion and which constitutes a destination of pilgrimage of paramount importance.
A mandapa, a kind of open gallery where the faithful can perform ceremonies and rituals, surrounds the main courtyard. This mandapa also hosts alcoves containing the statue of several Tirthankaras.
Shravanabelagola is one of the holy cities of Jainism, especially since King Chandragupta Maurya erected the giant statue of Gomateshwara at the end of the first millennium. This explains the presence of other Jain temples in this city of Karnataka, among others Sri Bhandara Basali, a much more modest temple but which is renowned for the quality of its frescoes.