Shravanabelagola is a historical town located in the Hassan district of Karnataka, wedged between the two rocky hills, Vindyagiri and Chandragiri. The town is most famous for the statue of ‘Gommateshvara Bahubali’, an important ‘tirtha’, a place of pilgrimage, for the Jains. This 57 feet tall monolithic stone statue is considered to be the largest of its kind in the world and is a great tourist attraction, thereby located in the Vindhyagiri hill. The statue, an architecture marvel, has inscriptions in its base, in both Kannada and Devnagiri scripts from as early as 981 AD, and was voted as one of the ‘Seven Wonders of India’ by a modern survey. This hill is separated by a pond from the Chandragiri hill, which stands out for its inscriptions, depicting histories of Empires and dynasties as well the evolution of languages, in a number of languages, from Kannada, Sanskrit, to Tamil and Marwari. Every twelve years, devotees flock to this holy town for the ‘Mahamastakabhisheka’ ceremony, a sacred event. The historical relevance of this town is drawn from the transformation of Chandragupta Maurya to a Jain Monk.
Shravanabelagola, natively meaning “White Pond of the Shravana”, is named in reference to the colossal statue of Gomma, wherein it refers to the beautiful pond in the middle of the town called ‘Belagola’. Located at a favourable distance from Bangalore, there are several monuments of rare excellence and skill in and around Shravanabelagola, which enhances its old world essence. There are several temples atop the two hills of which the beautifully constructed ‘Odegal Basti is the most prominent. There are also the Cave of Bhadrabahu, a spiritual entity and several pillars with images of deities and holy personalities.
Shravanabelagola has the perfect ambience of an amalgamation of religion and history, the town mostly earmarked by inscriptions with a plethora of stories and knowledge which adds to its charm. The town further showcases the grandeur of Art and Culture, prominent in its architecture.