Gommateshvara Statue or Bahubali statue and Emperor Chandragupta Maurya

Gommateshwara Statue is situated at ShravanaBelagola near Channarayapatna of Hassan district, in Karnataka state. It is one of the most important pilgrimage destinations for Jains. It is also one of the most sought-after places for the pilgrims to Karnataka.

Lord Gommateshwara or Lord Bahubali Statue at ShravanaBelagola

There are two hills at Shravanabelagola, namely Chandragiri and Vindhyagiri. 58 Feet monolithic statue of Gommateshwara at Vindhyagiri is the main attraction here. Chandragupta Maurya and his spiritual teacher Bhadrabahu were believed to have meditated in these hills. Chandragiri has many memorials to numerous Jain monks.

Gommateshwara Statue (known as Lord Bahubali to Jains) has inscriptions in Kannada and Marathi, which mentions the rise and growth of many dynasties which existed in the region. The inscriptions in Marathi are the oldest existing proof to written Marathi in Devnagari script, dating back from 981 A.D. These inscriptions relate to Western Ganga Dynasty (which ruled from 350 to 1000 A.D.) , the Rashtrakutas dynasty (ruled between 6th and 10th centuries), the Hoysala Empire (ruled from 10th to 14th centuries), the Vijayanagar Empire (ruled from 1336 A.D. to 1646 A.D.) and the Wodeyar dynasty (ruled Kingdom of Mysore from 1399 to 1947).

Mahamastakabhisheka, the main festival, which is a spectacular festival event for the Jains, is held once in twelve years here. The next Mahamastakabhisheka is to be held in 2018.

Architectural and sculptural activity was its peak in and around ShravanaBelagola during the Western Ganga Dynasty of Talakad. Jainism existed for more than 2000 years in Shravana Belagola and nearby areas. The great Maurya Emperor, Chandragupta Maurya, was believed to have died here in 298 B.C.

Chandragupta Maurya was the first emperor to unify most of the small states of the Southern Asia into a Larger Greater India. His empire spanned from Bengal to Afghanistan and Balochistan, to Deccan Plateau in South India. His empire consisted of the most of the current Indian states except Tamil Nadu, Kerala and North Eastern states of India. Emperor Chandragupta Maurya and his chief adviser, Chanakya, were known for their strong central administration, characterized by its efficient and well organised bureaucrats. Buddhism along with Jainism became increasingly prominent during the time of Chandragupta Maurya, who was a Jain by faith.

Silver Coin of Seleucos I, likely depicting a posthumous portrait of Alexander the Great.

Chandragupta Maurya is known for defeating the one of the most powerful emperor of these times, Seleucus I Nicator, immediate successor to the Great Emperor Alexander. Chandragupta Maurya subsequently married Seleucus’s daughter and established friendship with the Hellenistic kingdom, which enabled trade relations between India and the Western world.

Chandragupta Maurya’s son, Bindusara, became the King in 298 B.C., on Chandragupta Maurya’s death. Great Emperor Ashoka, was the grandson of Chadragupta Maurya (son of Bindusara).

How Do I Go to Lord Gommateshwara or Lord Bahubali Statue?

ShravanaBelagola is at around 50 kilometers south-east of Hassan’s district capital. Channarayapatna town, the head quarters of Shravanabelagola legislative constituency, is at around 13 kilometers distance from Shravana Belagola on the Bangalore – Mangalore National Highway, NH 48. Bangalore is at around 157 kilometers, Mangalore at 232 kilometers and Mysore at 83 kilometers from Shravanabelagola.

Is There Good Accommodation Facilities Available Near to Gommateshvara Statue Site?

Decent accommodation facilities are available to Jain pilgrims near to the Gommateshvara Statue site at Shravanabelagola by the Jain Mutt at “Vindyananda Yatrinivas”. There are other hotels also, which offers good accommodation at ShravanaBelagola.

About Author: George