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Chandragiri Hill Shravanbelgola

Shravanbelgola is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Karnataka.  This place is located in Hassan district of Karnataka State. There are two hills in Shravanbelgola. They are known as Chandragiri and Vindhyagiri. The famous Statue of Bhagwan Bahubali is situated on Vindhyagiri hill.

Chandragiri hill has fourteen temples related to Jainism. The hill is composed of massive granite rocks. Visitors would find the rocks and huge boulders as they make their upward journey. A huge water pond between two hills is an added attraction for visitors.


Emperor Chandragupta Maurya had visited this hill around year 300 BC. The very name Chandragiri is derived from Chandragupta, giri in the Sanskrit language meaning hill. Chandragupta Maurya and his mentor Acharya Bhadrabahu have meditated and fasted till death here on this hill to attain salvation.  Chandragiri has many structures built in memory of various Jain monks, who visited this place and spent a substantial part of their life in meditation.


The Jain temples, also known as Basadis in local language, showcase the excellence in contemporary engineering in Indian subcontinent. The skill used in the design and execution of the structures built on Chandragiri Hills can be appreciated. Another marvel is the presence of flag masts. The craftsmanship in the creations speaks volumes of skill involved. In one of the temples, a narrow stair is also found to rise to the upper storey. Jain temples dedicated to Shantinatha, Parshwanatha, Shasana, Chavundraya, and Shantishwara are found in the complex. Other structures in the complex are pillars, mantapas and caves. These structures have their own significance in terms of deity, carvings and inscriptions. They are specific to the deity. Every temple has a separate history and a special significance. Many temples have their own pillars in front of the main entrance. The pillars, also known as stambhas have their unique place in elaborating history of the temple. The Figures, moldings and inscriptions together denote the significance of the shrine. Researchers spend hours of patient observation into minute details of all structures to fully understand the import of each aspect.

A decorative pillar is part of the huge expanse of structures. A small figurine of Brahma, facing east, is located at the top of the pillar. A temple housing idols of Suprashwantha and Shantinatha is part of the temple complex. Inscriptions on stones are found in abundance at this place. Their existence dates back to 6th century. Many Historians and Indologists study the inscriptions to understand the civilization prevalent then.

A temple is dedicated to Parshwanath Tirthankar. It has a tall statue of the deity, with a sculpture of seven headed serpent as a crown. A tomb of Chandragupta Maurya is located in the upper heights of the hill. All the shrines except one are found in an enclosed space. A wall takes the contour of the enclosure. Bahubali’s elder brother, Bharatha is also depicted here in the form of an unfinished image. The oldest temple belongs to Adishwar. There is also an idol of Bharat Chakravarti on this hill.  This idol is half buried in the ground.

Chamundaraya basadi would find a special mention in the history of this temple complex. This is the largest temple in the group. It also has decorative pillars. The moldings are very attractive. Many devotees find the ambience fascinating. They are overawed by the sheer multitudes of skills and efforts that must have gone into making this huge temple complex so memorable. The serenity of these ancient sculptures makes lasting impressions in the minds of devotees and researchers alike.

Best Time to Visit

Devotees and tourists visit this place throughout the year, barring a couple of months in the rainy season. Some devotees try to reach the hilltop by using steps carved in the hill rocks.  The steps number about 400. In summer, the stone steps become very hot. Visitors are expected to protect their feet from heat by appropriate means as the use of socks.

Lodge and board facilities are available at the foot of the hill. A special service to carry people in a palanquin from the ground to the hilltop is available on payment.  Elderly or disabled persons, who find difficulty in climbing 400 steps by themselves, can avail the service.

How to Reach

By Train

Hassan is the nearest railhead for Chandragiri Hills, the distance being 52 kms.  Hassan is well connected to other important cities like Bangalore and Mysore through railway. Travel from Hassan to Chandragiri can be undertaken by bus.

By Bus

Chandragiri Hills is 160 kms from the city of Bangalore and 128 kms from the city of Mysore. Travel by regular bus service is available. Private taxis also ferry visitors to and from Chandragiri Hills.

Related Image

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