When I was in Bangalore, I wanted to visit this place because you know how I love to see places that holds unique architectural styles. And in India, every temple holds something interesting. My visit was before the release of movie Bahubali – and I dont think the movie is related to the Bahubali of Shravanbelgola, but the name of both Bahubalis come from their perfect manly physique.
So here is what I saw and hear from Shravanabelgola…
Shravanabelgola is a village in Karnataka which is almost 160 kms from Bangalore. This place is famous for the Jain temple, which has world’s biggest monolithic statue, the status of Gommatheshwara Bahubali who stands as tall as 57 feet.
Bahubali was the son of Adinatha, the first teerthankara. We saw his temple in Ranakpur didn’t we ? If you missed find it here – Ranakpur. When Adinatha enbraced spirituality, he divided his kingdom and gave one portion to his elder son Bharata and the other to his second son Bahubali.
Bharata was not happy about the partition and wanted to be the emperor of whole kingdom. Bahubali was not ready to give away his people. Thus Bharata decided to conquer Bahubali’s region and Bahubali was ready to defend it. Thinking of the immense blood shed that a war causes, some ministers suggested having duel just between the two brothers. Bharata and Bahubali accepted that and agreed on 3 fights which were – Drishtiyuddha, Mallayuddha and Jalayuddha.
Bahubali won first two fights. A desperate and angry Bharata used his Chakra(a lethal weapon) on Bahubali but the Chakra didn’t hurt him. At that moment, Bahubali was stuck by the thought of how physical desires can lead someone to have even fraternal conflicts.
At that moment, he woke up spiritually, abandoned everything but his soul. He stood in meditation for one full year in standing posture, without water or food. It says, even anthills grew at his feet.
He was one with the physique of a perfect man. Gommata in kannda means ‘huge’. Because of this great spirituality that he attained from meditation and the way he looked, people started calling him Gommateswaa Bhagvan or Bahubali Swami.
Other than the great architectural piece of Bahubali, thee are small sculptures made on rocks, and beautifully designed pillars inside the temple.
We saw people doing pooja ta Bahubali’s feet. The temple also has poojas where milk, sandal and gold coins will be poured over the statue from top. It happens once or twice in an year and unfortunately we couldn’t see that. But the picture of a 57 feet Bahubali being drenched in milk would have been an amazing view. To get an idea of the size of statue, see the picture below 🙂