BAHUBALI Gomateshwara Sravanabelagola

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The day after Mysore Dussehra visited Sravanabelagola. Took bus about 6 am, reached about 9.30ish. Post breakfast started climbing the Vindyagiri Hill that you see. Centre of pic u can see small moorthi of Bahubali, the first Jain Tirthankara to attain moksha. Pic taken from Chandragiri Hill.

Close up of Bahubali - pic from Chandragiri Hill. Center is temple with moorthi of Rishabh Dev, the first Jain tirthankara. To right of this temple take more steps for darshan of Bahubali. Temple is surrounded by two walls. One is external that you see fort like and another internal.

U have to remove your footwear. There is a place to leave them. Some wear socks others go barefoot. It is 600 odd steps. Not too difficult. Railing all along makes it easier.

This is temple that I spoke about earlier. U are actually walking on rock as you see. Walls seems of recent origin.

Pranams to Rishabh Dev - murthi inside temple. This yatra was a dream come true.

Opposite stairs that lead u to Bahubali is this structure. Black bit that you see is Kalpvraksh. It is a tree of wish fulfilment. The upper floor has a Yaksha moorthi I think.

Pranams to Bahubali. Between internal and external wall is a corridor for parikrama. Took pic from one corner.

Temple entrance in centre. Bahubali on your right. Centre structure is interesting. Behind that is a structure made by the Wodeyar Kings of Mysore - you will read board later.

The board tells you about a lady wearing a stylish sari period 12th century.

U see the image Gullekai Alli wearing a blouse and pleated sari. According to tradition Yakshi Padmavati transformed herself into an old women to humble the pride of Chavundaraya, a general who made the 57 foot tall moorthi of Bahubali around 983 CE.

Bahubali was made by the Ganga sculptors. Image sculptured around 982 by sculptor Arishtanemi. Height is 18 metres. Made out of uniform fine grey granite. Depiction of ant hills with snakes peeping out and the ascending Madhavi creeper hide the fact of bold relief of the lower limbs. He stands in a Kayothsarga posture on a full blown lotus pedestal flanked by ornate but dwark chauri bearers of Hoysala period.

Pranams to Gomateswara / Bahubali. Note the madhavi creeper round the moorthi. The broad shoulders, long arms dangling on the sides, faithful delineation of the joints, rounded face, dimple chin, high cheek, long lobbed ears speak volumes of the mastery of the artist.

Devotees offering water at the feet of Bahubali. Notice the feet design - speaks volumes of the artist. I could spend hours looking at Bahubali.

Notice Madhavai creeper, hands and nails. Amazing work. In case of any errors in caption details write back.

The stark nudity of the sculpture indicates the renunciation of a Kevalln (one who attains supreme knowledge) and the stiff erect stance (Prathimayoga) suggest determination and a self-control - a Jina.

Close up. The head is decorated with Dakshinavrutha curls, the long doze and half contemplative eyes with gaze turned towards the tip of the sharp nose and well shaped lips bearing a serene smile which can be viewed from any angle.

Opposite Bahubali is entrance and 5 sculptures. Left to right their names are Kushmandini, Padmavathi Devi, Chakreshwari Devi, Saraswati Devi, Jwalamalini Devi.

Close up of centre image ie Chakreshwari Devi. Note the lady playing musical instrument, Devi in dancing posture with foot on elephant, she has 6 hands. Centre above image is image with animal face. It is called Kirti Mukha, meant to ward away evil. It is found in Hindu and Jain temples including Bodh Gaya Mandir.

Left is Saraswati Devi, has musical instrument in her hand. There are cows on either side. Right is Jwalamalini Devi. Bottom left is exotic image and right is man woman. Kirti Mukha above images.

One end is Bahubali. There is a 3 sided enclosure around Bahubali. Above pillars in enclosure are images of I think Tirthankaras as you see.

The enclosures around Bahubali have moorthis of many Tirthankaras. Read board for more.

Examples of images of Tirthankaras - missed taking down names. Please help.

Image of Sri Kushmandini Devi in the enclosure.

At feet of Bahubali is a small moorthi. Devotees offering water. Note to enter this area, ie next to statue, u have to wear to dress like dhoti etc. Like in other temples there are Dwarpals or doorkeepers on either side of temple entrance.

This board in temple tells how the Wodeyars, rulers of Mysore, supported the temple. This structure is close to temple entrance, remember the image of lady in a pleated sari. Jain temples called bastis (known as basadi in Kannada).

Before you enter what is the entrance to the temple complex, is this sculpture above entrance. It is Gaja Lakshmi flanked by elephants on either side. It seems the elephants are holding urns in their trunks.

Temple has fort like wall. Took couple pic in open area outside. This seems like the earlier way to walk to the temple.

Mysore Palace all lit up for Dussehra. U see entrance, centre is palace. I was exhausted after up down of Vindyagiri. Whilst trying to take a pic put my foot in cow dung - looked like a flat slab. Was energised thereafter and decided to see Chandragiri Hill.

Chandragiri Hill is 3052 above sea level, has many monuments, Brahma stambha, moorthi of Bharata, tomb of Bhadrabahu Muni. Jain temples called Bastis. There is a cave where Bhadrabahu. Muni meditated - missed seeing that.

View of Chandragiri Hill whilst coming down after darshan of Bahubali. The climb to Chandragiri Hill is not as steep and takes 10 odd minutes. Am glad I went there. U see water body at bottom of Vindyagiri hill. Per Outlook traveller it is The White Pond of the Jain ascetic.

Pic 32 has the Kuge Brahmadeva pillar. Board says it all. Climb uphill is about 240 steps.

Right you see pillar. It is considered a commemorative column and a Manasthambha. It is 30 feet high and has a Sarvahna Yaksha at the top. Temple on left of pillar is Parsvanatha Basti. It follows.

From entrance took left turn. U see moorthi of Shantinatha Tirthankara.

Pic 35 is of Bharata, elder brother of Bahubali. Images ascribed to the 10th century.

Pranams to Bharata. It is mutilated below the thighs.

Chavundaraya Basti or Temple has typical Dravidian features. When I saw the temple looked like the many temples I saw in Tamil Nadu. It was made in the 10th century, houses a murthi of Neminatha carved by famous Hoysala artists Gangachari.

External view of temple. Every temple has a number so if you see temple number wise you will cover every temple.

Pranams to Neminatha.

Extreme left is Parsvanatha Basti, next is Savatighandhavarana Basti, Sasana Basti and last is Chandragupta Basti.

Please read gives you information about temple.

Image of Parsvanatha is 14 feet and 6 inches tall and stands on a lotus pedestal. The main image as well as the serpent body and canopy are carved out of a single block of chist.

Please read gives information about the temple whose pic follows.

This structure derives its name from the Hoysala queen Shantala. It was built in 1123. Image is tirthankara Shanthinatha.

Board explains about next temple picture.

Pranams to Adinatha whose murthi you see. He is seated in a typical yogic posture.

Board tells about next temple which you shall se.

Am not sure which tirthankara moorthi this is. Please help.

Lattice windows have engraved episodes from the life of Chandragupta Maurya who is said to have accompanied Bhadrabahu Muni to this place.

Whilst walking up Chandragiri Hill. Something about this woman which got me to take her pic. After I clicked she put her hand around hubby`s neck and said my husband. Perhaps a way to reassure him considering the attention I had just given her.

Wherever there is a prominent Hindu, Buddhist, Jain place of pilgrimage there must be a mosque. Seen it in Bodh Gaya, Kanchipura, Khatu Shyamji Rajasthan, Bageshwar in Kumaon etc. Loudspeakers disturb the serenity of the place.

View of devotees climbing Vindyagiri Hill, Holy Tank and importantly BAHUBALI have now become a permanent part of my consciousness.

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