Tuesday, 3 January 2012

The statue of Gomateshwara, Sravanbelagola, Karnataka, India

The statue of Gomateshwara at Sravanbelagola in Karnataka is the tallest statue in India. The statue is 17m (55 ft) high and is visible from a distance of 30km. The gigantic monolithic statue is carved out of a single block of granite and stands majestically on top of a hill. This statue of Lord Gomateshwara was created around 983 AD by Chamundraya, a minister of the Ganga King, Rajamalla. Lord Gomateshwara was a Jain saint, hence the place is an important Jain pilgrimage center. The statue of Gomateswara shows the recluse completely nude, in the Jain custom. The neighboring areas have Jain bastis and several images of the Jain Thirthankaras. At Sravanbelgola the Mahamastakabhishekam festival is held once in 12 years, when the image of Gomateswara is bathed in milk, curd, ghee, saffron and gold coins.

Srava?a Be?go?a has two hills, Chandragiri and Vindhyagiri. Acharya Bhadrabahu and his pupil Chandragupta Maurya are believed to have meditated there. Chandragupta Basadi, which was dedicated to Chandragupta Maurya, was originally built there by Ashoka in the third century BC. Chandragiri also has memorials to numerous monks and Sravakas 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 Chavundaraya, who was a disciple of Nemichandra.

The 57-feet tall monolithic statue of Gommateshvara is located on Vindyagiri Hill. It is considered to be the world's largest monolithic stone statue. The base of the statue has an inscriptions in Kannada and Tamil, as well as the oldest evidence of written Marathi, dating from 981 AD. The inscription praises the king who funded the effort and his general, Chavundaraya, who erected the statue for his mother. Every twelve years, thousands of devotees congregate here to perform the Mahamastakabhisheka, a spectacular ceremony in which the statue is covered with milk, curds, ghee, saffron and gold coins. The next Mahamastakabhisheka will be held in 2018.


No comments:

Post a Comment