Sravanabelagola is one of the oldest and most important Jain pilgrimage centres in India and the site of the huge 17-metre-high statue of Lord Bahubali(Gomateshvara), said to be the world's tallest monolithic statue. It overlooks the small town of Sravanabelagola from the top of the rocky hill known as Indragiri. The word Sravanabelgola means the Monk on the top of the hill. Gomateshvara Statue : The statue is the subject of the spectacular Mahamastakabhisheka ceremony, which takes place once every twelve years, when the small town of Sravanabelagola becomes a Mecca for thousands of pilgrims. The climax of the Mahamastakabhisheka involves anointing of Lord Bahubali's head with thousands of pots of coconut milk, yoghurt, ghee, bananas, jaggery, dates, almonds, poppy seeds, milk, gold coins, saffron and sandalwood. Other Temples : In addition to the statue of Lord Bahubali there are several very interesting Jain's bastis (temples) and mathas(monasteries) both in the town. The Bhandari basti and the Akkana basti, are in the Hoysala style and also there is the Chandragupta basti. The well-preserved paintings in one of the temples are like a 600-year-old comic strip of Jain stories.



GETTING THERE AND AWAY There are direct buses from Sravanabelagola to Arsikere, Hassan, Mysore and Bangalore. If your time is short and you have to see Belur, Halebid and Sravanabelagola in one day, your only choice is the very rushed KSTDC tours from Mysore.

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