Bahubali At Shravanabelagola

A couple of weeks back we were at Shravanabelagola, 158kms from Bangalore. It is a religious spot, a Jain pilgrimage centre. The place is famous for 58ft. 8in.tall colossal statue of Bahubali. One has to climb 620 steps to reach the top of the hill.The huge statue of Bahubali and the view around is stunning.


The story of why and how such a statue got built here goes like this:

Bhagwaan Rishabh Dev the first Tirthankar of Jains had two sons, Bharat and Bahubali. When Rishabh Dev renounced all worldly desires, he passed on his kingdom to his sons. However Bharat was more demanding and desired that Bahubali should concede his share, so that he could become the supreme ruler of the world. Bahubali refused, but before their armies attacked each other, their intelligent ministers suggested that both of them should engage in hand to hand combat to avoid unnecessary bloodshed of the soldiers. (I wish today’s world leaders took a lesson from this.)



There were a series of duels, like the water duel where he brothers stood in knee deep water and sprayed water on each other, the sight duel when they had to stand in sun and stare at each other. The one who blinked first lost. Bharat was constantly losing the duels. In the final round of wrestling Bahubali picked up Bharat, whirling him around in the air, he was about to throw Bharat down.

Just that moment a thought crossed his mind, “Such pride is false. What good is being a king or a supreme ruler of the world? Such desires are endless. Fulfillment of such desires cannot lead to peace of mind.” He gently put his brother down on his feet. He renounced his kingdom and setout to seek true happiness. He spent many years in meditation and penance. According to legend, he stood meditating for such a long time that anthills formed on the ground where he stood, snakes lay coiled at is feet, and creepers grew around them.


Chamundrai, the prime minister of King Rachmalla II of Ganga dynasty, built a colossal statue of Bhagwaan Bahubali. It was consecrated under the guidance of the great Acharya Nemi Chandra Siddhant Chakravarti in 981 A.D.

I will not add my thoughts here, certain experiences are silencing!

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58 Responses

  1. quite a history behind this amazing statue. the trek to it is most rewarding obviously.

    reminds me of a stairway i took to a temple in china that went on and on and on. but once at the top it was the most spectacular view ever and the temple was pretty amazing too.

  2. Sylvia K says:

    Marvelous shots, Indrani! And I love reading the history behind the shots that you share with us. A great post as always!

    Have a great week!

    Sylvia

  3. James says:

    That's amazing! Really awesome post. When I look at the bottom picture I can't help but think that it would make a very interesting fountain.

  4. Rajesh says:

    Beautiful snaps. This is one place near Bangalore that I have not seen yet.

  5. ewok1993 says:

    620 steps? That would deter me from seeing that in person. But who knows, right?

    Great post. Fascinating as always.

  6. Babooshka says:

    Absolutely fascinating narrative and as always the images are beautiful.

  7. Swarna says:

    You're right, that entire Shravanabelagola experience is special. And I heartily echo your wish too.

  8. Nessa says:

    Wow, that is some amazing statue. i love the story behind it. Wouldn't it be nice if our leaders could be so wise.

    * * *
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  9. T.R. says:

    Seldom hear much about the Jain culture. Thank you so much for sharing Your World.

  10. Rush says:

    i love the story behind..have heard it a 100 times and still wanna hear it more, just doesnt suffice.

  11. What an amazing place! And such lovely photographs you've shared.

    I recently went to Portugal where a wealthy man created a fake Buddhist garden, with gigantic imported garden statues.

    Your site is the real thing. I wish I could visit there.

  12. alicesg says:

    Wow that's a whole lot of steps to climb but am sure the bonus of the view up there is worth it. Very beautiful post.

  13. ical says:

    fabulous photos! It is really a huge statue. I like the unique last photo, as i see it.

  14. Arija says:

    Very interesting moral story, well illustrated as well.

  15. Ebie says:

    That would be an interesting climb. The people are dwarfed by the big statute. Love the details.

  16. Wonderful pictures. I have been visiting your blog for a while and I'm very much inspired by the way you are clicking the shots.

    Keep snapping and blogging (-:

  17. Gattina says:

    What an interesting world to me ! and these statues they are sooo huge !! Very impressive !

  18. Gaelyn says:

    What a great story. Those stairs look a little intimidating. But the statue is magnificent. Great captures.

  19. Wolynski says:

    That's a huge statue – great photos. Love the tiny (in proportion) organ.

  20. Hi Indrani
    Nice post and beautiful pictures.Once we happened to drive into Sravanabelagola – but it turned out to be some festival day and the crowds were humongous. Hence we totally missed seeing the statue. Hope to make it again some time again in future.Isn't Bahubali also known as Statue of Gomateswara? Once I saw the live proceedings of the Maha Mahamastabhisheka on TV.That was really awesome.
    Rgds Ram

  21. Jo says:

    What an amazing story. Huge statue. Thanks for visiting my blog. I'll be back here. (((Hugs))) Jo (South Africa)

  22. I've been there years back Indrani. To read about it from you is nice. Thank you for sharing.

  23. Hazel says:

    Wow that's one huge statue. India is really amazing. One of these days…hmmm…soon I hope I can visit India.

  24. Indrani,
    What a beautiful story. Loved reading it.
    Sorry have been MIA for a month now. Work + vacation + house guests are my excuses. Hope to be more regular from now on.

  25. I wish today’s world leaders took a lesson from this. 🙂

    wonderfully written…

  26. sujata says:

    Such a gigantic statue!! Loved the story behind it and most of all your last line.."certain experiences are silencing!"

  27. That's quite a story and lesson, too bad modern world leaders don't study it carefully! Love the photos, too, especially the robed man at the feet. Beautiful!

  28. Sharodindu says:

    amazing post…great description with great photographs as always

  29. Prospero says:

    Excellent post, Indrani. The photos are magnificent and the text is well written. I also wish that other world leaders would learn from this.

  30. Very nice and informative, as usual and lovely pictures. The suggestion that world leaders should copy the idea of putting off war is an excellent one.

  31. Martha Z says:

    What a great story and photos. I enjoyed the post.
    Thanks for stopping by my site.

  32. bindu says:

    This statue is so beautiful. I remember visiting more than 20 years ago!

  33. LadyFi says:

    Amazing statue! And I like it all the more for the wonderful Story behind it.

  34. Anya says:

    Did you climb so many steps 😉
    Wonderful shots !!
    Lovely and clear words written.
    That statues is soooo BIG 🙂

  35. Pietro says:

    Beautiful pictures, Indrani!
    Our leaders should learn very much from this story.
    Have a nice week!

  36. radha says:

    Nice account. And well, we make so many statues of gods and people that we forget the significance of their greatness. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

  37. magiceye says:

    beautifully narrated and glorious images!

  38. Philip says:

    Beautiful images and commentary.
    Thanks for sharing and for providing some insight about the country, people and culture.

  39. Nice to know about this Jain Site !

  40. Janie says:

    Bahubali was a wise man and deserves a fitting monument.
    Yes, I wish our leaders would duel to solve things instead of having wars. They would be much more likely to find peace without bloodshed.
    Fascinating information and photographs.

  41. Marju says:

    Beautiful photos!

  42. kallu says:

    Fantastic Indrani. As you say, sometimes, words are too much

  43. Kamini says:

    Such a lovely story. I went to Shravanabelagola over 3 decades ago – and I don't remember the nice steps that you have shown in your picture. I remember it was blazing hot, and we practically ran up the hill non-stop, so that our bare feet did not get burned.

  44. GMG says:

    Hi Indrani!
    Interesting post! I'm always learning any time I come here!!
    Excellent pictures also!

    Blogtrotter is now showing that Reykjavik is not entirely grey… ;)). Enjoy and have a fabulous weekend!

  45. Splendid series of photographs and a great lesson: the ability to stop the roller-coaster ride to try the Truth.
    A beautiful post, really thanks!

  46. amazing post indrani … I liked the photos and also the way you have described your visit .. great work boss.. kudos ….

    aabhar

    vijay

    pls read my new poem "झील" on my poem blog " http://poemsofvijay.blogspot.com

  47. Onkar says:

    The story is quite interesting and the pictures are great.

  48. It looks like seeing the statue was worth that climb.

  49. Many steps to get to the statue but am sure it's worth the climb 🙂 An interesting story.

  50. Kcalpesh says:

    Initially, while trying to post a comment in a hurry, I missed out on the story as well as was mistaken that this was the statue of budhha. But that's a really interesting story you have in this post with some great pictures. Thanks for sharing this nice post.

  51. Maddy says:

    Maybe you could tell me – why did they make these massive Buddha statues, like the one here and the ones the talibs destroyed in Afghanistan? any relevance to the huge size? Typically Buddhists are not for a huge show, this aspect has confounded me…

  52. What am amazing, awe inspiring work of art and with what a legend behind it…

    Reminded me of the beautiful Budhdhas that the Taliban destroyed… 🙁 Can't imagine how somebody could destroy something so beautiful and of such historical value! If only some of these rulers could feel like Bahubali did… 🙁

  53. marcaval says:

    Really interesting pictures in both your sites!! I visited India many times and now i often are visiting your blog to see good indian pictures.
    Ciao Marco

  54. Babli says:

    I have visited Shravanbelgola 3 years before and liked the place very much.Good to see your post and feel like visiting again.

  55. Aniruddha says:

    Hi Indrani,

    All post are excellent.
    Good Work, Keep it up.
    Superb writting!

  56. Frans54 says:

    Beutifull pictures, and a beautifull story to go with them (I support your suggestion to current world leaders)

  57. Shobha says:

    Read about it in my school days..
    Lovely clicks.

  58. Bikramjit says:

    OH wow that is BIGGGGGGGGGG

    thanks for sharing and telling us all about it

    Bikram's

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