Shravanabelagola

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The view of the mammoth Water tank from the Indragiri hill. `Shravana` means `Jain monk` and `belagola` means `white pond`.

A miniature idol, made of eight metals, of Bhagavan Gommateshvara Bahubali.

A view of the steps, about 500 of them, carved out of the rocks, which takes atop of the Indragiri hill, where the monolith statue is located.

Pilgrims showing reverence, by touching the foot marks of a Jain ascetic on the way to the top of Indragiri Hill.

A Jain layman offering prayers at the feet of the idol of Bhagavan Bahubali.

Pilgrims climbing to the top of the Indragiri hill.

Jain laymen getting ready for the daily ritual adoration of Bhagavan Gommateshvara Bahubali.

Digambara Jain nuns in observing the ritual lustration of the magnificient icon of Bhagavan Gommateshvara Bahulbali.

Photo of Jain bhattaraka Svastishri Carukirti, bhattaraka of the Shravanabelagola Digambara Jain Matha. A Bhattaraka is a Digambara Jain layman, who has taken certain vows which take him closer to monkhood.

Relief cut figures of Jain Tirthankaras in meditation, found on the way to the Indragiri hill top.

A relatively smaller icon of Lord Gommateshvara Bahubali, built on the Candragiri hill.

One of the ancient temples located on the Chandragiri hill.

A view of the mammoth monolith statue of Lord Gomatheswara. It is 57 feet high, was erected by Chavundaraya a general of King Gangarajya. Period is between 978-993 A.D.

Chavundaraya Basti was built in the 10th century CE by Chavundaraya. It is amongst the most beautiful granite temples in Karnataka. A row of large reliefs of Tirthankaras. Yakhas, Yakshis, Kings, Queens, animals and birds can be seen on the uppermost and outerportion of the temple. Jinadevana, son of general Chavundaraya, installed the image of Lord Parshvanatha on the upper storey.

You see reliefs of Kings, queens in the Chavundara Basti.

Image of Jain Tirthankara seated in the lotus position. Images of Tirthankaras are always found in meditation, either seated or standing.

Image of Tirthankara Parshvanatha, the 23rd Jina, standing in meditation in the khadgasana - sword position.

Reliefs in the Cavundaraya Basti, depicting the story of how Cavundaraya, at the behest of his pious mother, set about erecting the monolith statue of Lord Bahubali on the Indragiri Hill.

Candragiri is so named as Emperor Candragupta Maurya had come down to Karnataka from North India and lived there as a Jain ascetic, under the preceptorhood of Shruta. Kevali Acarya Bhadrabahu and Candragupta chose to die in Samlekhana - voluntarydeath taken when the body is no longer fit to live  - at the the very hill.

Auspicious feet of the Jain preceptor, Shruta Kevali Acarya Bhadrabahu.

Feet or Charan of Acharya Nemichand Siddhant Chakraborthy.

This is the cave in which Shruta Kevali Acarya Bhadrabahu meditated. On the right of picture are reliefs of his feet. Sunlight comes in through the door, as the Sun is bowing in veneration to the learned Acarya.

Young devotees climbing up the Indragiri hill in order to pay obeisance to Lord Gommateshvara. They carry on their heads fly whisks made of peacock feathers. These are known as Pinchis and used by Digambara Jain monks. Digambara Jain monks are naked and carry only the Pinchi and Kamandalu - water gourd made of coconut shell. The Pinchi is for ensuring that no minute forms of life are stamped on accidentally by the monk, and the kamandalu carries water for the purpose of cleanliness.

Shravanabelagola is the seat of the ancient Bhattaraka Matha, belonging to the Desiya Gana lineage of the Mula Sangh, of the Digambara Jain monastic tradition. The Bhattarakas of this Matha are all named Carukirti. In this picture, you see three Digambara Sadhus.