- Founded By
- Founded In
Tallest Monolithic Sculpture of the World
- Architectural Style
Asian Indian Architecture
Bahubali was an Arihant and was referred to as Gomateshwara. Out of hundred sons of Rishabha, Podanpur’s king, the first Tirthankara, he was the second one as per Jainism. In the Adipurna, more information about the ten lives of Rishabha, the first Tirthankara and his two sons, Bahubali and Bharata. This Kannada text was written by Adikavi, a Jain poet in the 10th century. It is written in Champu style with an eclectic mix of verse and prose that is spread over sixteen cantos. Attaining liberation in half time cycle, he was the first human as per Digambaras.
In Shravanbelagola, Bahubali’s gigantic monolithic statue has been erected by commander Chamundaraya and the Ganga minister. The statue is perched at a height of 18 m or 60 feet on a hill. Shravanbelagola is located in the Karnataka’s Hassan district. In 10th century, this statue was built. Not only devotees and pilgrims but tourists in large numbers come here from different parts of the world in every 12 years to attend an event called “Mahamastakabhisheka”. Indian voters voted for this statue as one of the Seven Wonders of India on 5th day of August, 2007. In this marvel’s favour, 49% votes were secured.
In 998 AD, Chavundaraya installed the image. He was Ganga King Rachamalla Sathyavakya’ minister. There is a story behind the existence of this statue. As per Indian mythology, Bahubali was Adinatha’s son who was the first among 24 Jain teerthankars. Rishaba decided to hand over Ayodhya, his capital city to Bharata, his eldest son when he decided to go on a spiritual journey. Paudanapura, another province went to the younger son, Bahubali. By waging wars and carrying out annexing other provinces, Bharata decided to extend his empire. He became supreme commander in his time. Bahubali was not in favour of this idea as it entailed colossal lives loss and blood shedding. Even kingdom’s other wise men were not in favour of this decision. This led to a combat situation between Bahubali and Bharata. This instance was probably the first one in the history of humankind about avoiding unnecessary bloodshed and voluntary disarmament.
Different fight types- malla yuddha and drishti yuddha took place between Bharata and Bahubali. As a last resort, chakra, a lethal weapon was used. The chakra circled Bahubali and came to settle on his right side and entire assemblage was amazed.
A divine presence was felt by Bahubali and in this particular moment he decided to abandon all worldly possessions as an unsurpassed renunciation moment. For one complete year, Bahubali stood in meditation in a pose of Kayotsarga. He also left water and food. He was highly dedicated to gain complete and perfect knowledge that is the state of Kevali Arihantha. He stood in this pose for so long that anthill came into existence at his feet and his body was swirled around his body. Huge or “Gommata” and Sri Bahubali Swami or Gomateshwara Bhagwan came into existence.
Located about 158 kilometers from Bangalore, Bahubali’s colossal staue came into existence at Shravanbelagola. Bahubali’s statue who was considered a Siddha was carved from a single granite block and today on a hill, this statue stands majestically. It has become a pilgrimage center and pilgrims in large numbers come here to see this gigantic statue. Saint has been shown completely nude as is the rule in the Jain custom. This statue is visible from about 30 km distance.
The statue of Gommateshwara stands tall at 58 feet height. This statue was carved out of a granite block and depicts Bahubali without clothes. A single rock was used for carving this statue. One has to climb about 614 steps to reach closer to the statue. This Gomateshwara Monolith was built according to Jain architectural style and it reflects Indian artisan’s excellent craftsmanship.
Since it is situated on a hill, one has to climb around 614 steps to reach the statue. The Monolith of Gomateshwara has been built as per the typical Jain architecture and beautifully represents the exquisite craftsmanship of the Indian artisans. Perfectly proportioned saint’s body has been sculpted with great care and a subtle calmness reflects on his face.
Mahamastakabhisheka, an event that is organized every 12 years is celebrated here. Coconut milk, curd, jiggery, bananas, poppy seeds, milk, saffron and sandalwood is used to anoint saint’s body.
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