Shravanabelagola

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Shravanabelagola (Kannada: ಶ್ರವಣಬೆಳಗೊಳ) is a city located in the Hassan district in the Indian state of Karnataka and is 158 km from Bangalore. The statue of Gomateshwara or Bahubali, at Shravanabelagola is one of the most important Jain pilgrim centers. It reached a peak in architectural and sculptural activity under the patronage of Gangas of Talakad.

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Location

It is located at 13 km to the south-east of Channarayapatna in the Channarayapatna taluk of Hassan district of Karnataka state. It is at a distance of 51 km south-east of Hassan, the district centre. It is situated at a distance of 12 km to the south from the Bangalore-Mangalore road (NH-48), 78 km from Halebidu, 89 km from Belur, 83 km from Mysore, 233 km from Mangalore, 17 km from Hirisave and 157 km from Bangalore the capital of Karnataka. It is well connected with State Highways and District roads.

Etymology

Shravanabelagola which is also known as "the white pond of the Sravana" or "the Jain monk" is named with reference to the colossal Jain image of the place and its prefix Shravana that also serves to distinguish it from other Belgolas with the prefixes Hale and Kodi. The derivation of the word 'Belagola' appears to have been from the two Kannada words Bel (white) and Kola (pond) in allusion to the beautiful pond in the middle of the town. The Sanskrit equivalents Sveta-sarovara, Dhavala sarovara and Dhavala-saras used in the inscriptions that support the derivation of this word from the two Kannada words. Some inscriptions mention the name of the place as Belgula (or also Belugula and Belagula) which have given rise to another derivation from the plant called white gulla (Solanum ferox). This derivation is in allusion to a tradition which says that a pious old woman completely anointed the colossal image with the milk brought by her in a gullakayi or gulla fruit. The place is also designated as Devara Belagola (Belgola of the God) and Gommatapura (the city of Gommata, the name of the colossus) in some epigraphs. Further, the epithet Dakshinakasi or southern Kasi is applied to it in some modern records.

History

There are two hills, Chandragiri (Chikkabetta) and Vindyagiri. The last shruta-kevali, Bhadrabahu Swami, and his pupil, Chandragupta Maurya (formerly the King), is believed to have meditated there.[1] Chandragupta Basadi, which was dedicated to Emperor Chandragupta Maurya, was originally built there by Emperor Ashoka in the third century BC. Chandragiri also has memorials to numerous monks and shravakas, who have meditated there since the fifth century AD, including the last King of the Rashtrakuta dynasty of Manyakheta. Chandragiri also has a famous temple built by Chamundaraya, who was a disciple of Acharya Nemichandra Siddhanta-chakravarti.

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