"Shravanabelagola" Shravanabelagola by bradbeaman

Shravanabelagola Travel Guide: 5 reviews and 45 photos

Largest monolithic statue

This is the 1025 five year old statue of Bahubali or Gommateshwara.

Shravanabelagola located 90 miles outside of Bangalore in the Hassan district of Karnataka where there is the 58 feet tall statue of Bahabali carved from a single piece of granite stone. This is the largest monolithic statue in Asia.

Mahamasakabhisheka the great anointing

Shravanabelagoala has a great anointing festival every 12 years called Mahamasakabhisheka.

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There are seven unctions used in the great anointing or Mahamastakabhisheka: Water, Milk, Coconut Powder, Safrin, turmeric powder, Sandlewood, Flowers.

In most festivals the whole thing is spread out on the ground horizontally. The Mahamasakabhisheka was more of a vertical festival. The stature is 58 feet and there were people from the foot of the statue to on the platform 12 feet above the statue. This was a festival that was more of a 70 foot vertical column of people.

The story behind Bahubali

Bahubali also called Gommateshwara defeated his elder brother in war and became full of pride. He later realized the vanity of his victory and gave back the kingdom to his defeated brother and went away to meditate. Bahubali is the expression of the Jain's pursuit of conquering selfishness and pride.

The statue shows Bahubali with a creeper vines growing on his legs and arms, an ant hill is around his legs and he is shown unconcerned about the snakes around him. This portrays the extent of his detachment and renunciation.

In 981 A.D., Chavundaraya, the minister of the Ganga King Rachamalla had this statue carved.

  • Last visit to Shravanabelagola: Feb 2006
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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  • May 29, 2006 at 9:23 PM

    It's funny that I should stumble across your tips because I saw the "Mystic India" film at an IMAX cinema today that talked about this festival and I was really intrigued! Too bad I'll have to wait twelve more years!


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