Last October, I had the opportunity to visit a famous Jain temple in Karnataka state in India. The temple is in the town of Shravanabelagola, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) from where I was staying in Bangalore. Heading off at 7am on a Sunday, it was a pleasant three-hour drive to reach Shravanabelagola. There are two hills in Shravanabelagola, Chandragiri Hill and Vindhyagiri Hill. We were there to see the great statue of Bahubali also called Gommateshwara.
This is a very impressive statue. From Wikipedia:
Bahubali is also called Gommateshwara because of the Gommateshwara statue dedicated to him. The statue was built by the Ganga dynasty minister and commander Chavundaraya; it is a 57-foot (17 m) monolith (statue carved from a single piece of rock) situated above a hill in Shravanabelagola in the Hassan district, Karnataka state, India. It was built in around 981 A.D. and is one of the largest free-standing statues in the world.
One has to go up a long staircase, at least a half mile, to get up to the temple where the statue is located.
The decorations on all of the parts of the hill and temple area are very impressive.
Here is a view of the town of Shravanabelagola from about half-way up Vindhyagiri Hill. Chandragiri Hill is across the lake.
There are a number of Jain temples on Chandragiri Hill. Since I had arrived just the night before from the United States, I was not up to two hill climbs.
There are inscriptions carved in the stone of the hill, dating from 600 AD to 1830 AD.
The lower temple gate has an amazing carved stone just at the entrance.
This is the main entrance to the temple.
The huge Bahubali / Gommateshwara statue looms over the temple entrance.
The massive Gommateshwara statue is very impressive. Bahubali was known to be very ascetic, and is renowned to have stood still for a year, until the plants grew up around his legs.
The entire temple area is beautiful. It is an active religious site: This is not historic preservation but ongoing worship.
This small statue sits next to Bahubali.
Outside of the temple proper, you can walk out on the hill opposite the entrance.
There is an outer wall outside the main temple. There are carvings along the walls of the walkway between the walls.
If you visit, arrive as early in the day as you can. You cannot wear shoes but can buy inexpensive socks from local vendors that do fine before the day gets too hot.