The Gomateshvara Statue
Sravanbelagola , India
The Gomateshvara Statue Sravanbelagola Reviews
Exhausting to get there, but well worth it Sep 27, 2008
The small town of Shravanabelagola is one of the most important Jain pilgrim centers in the world.
Jainism is an ancient Indian religion that prescribes a path of non-violence towards all living beings. Its philosophy and practice emphasize the necessity of self-effort to progress the soul towards divine consciousness and liberation.
On top of a high hill, stands the 57 feet high Gomateshwara Statue (representing the second of the one hundred sons of Lord Rishabha, the first human being who achieved enlightenment).
A temple-like structure is erected around it, and in order to reach it you much climb hundreds of steps.
It is quite an exhausting effort to get to the top of the hill, but the temple and statue can’t be compared to anything else. Not alone is the statue considered to be the world’s largest monolithic stone statue, the base of the statue has inscriptions in Kannada and Tamil, as well as the oldest evidence of written Marathi, dating back from 981 AD.
More than 800 inscriptions have been found at Shravanabelagola, dating to various times from 600 to 1830. A large number of these inscriptions are found on the hill that holds the statue. Most of these inscriptions date back before the 10th century. They include Kannada, Sanskrit, Tamil, Marathi, Konkani, Marwari and Mahajani languages.
Make sure you visit the Gomateshwara Statue as early in the morning as you can, so you beat the worst heat. You have to take off your shoes at the bottom of the hill, but you are allowed to keep your socks on.
Part of the Southern India 2008 travel blog
Part of the list The essentials of Southern India
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