The 57ft high monolithic statue of Bahubali
|Location||Shravanbelagola, Hassan district, Karnataka, India|
|Part of a series on|
Gommateshwara Statue is a 57-foot (17 m) high monolithic statue located at Shravanbelagola in the Indian state of Karnataka. The statue is dedicated to the Jain god Bahubali. It was built in around 983 A.D. and is one of the largest free standing statues in the world. The construction of the statue was commissioned by the Ganga dynasty minister and commander, Chavundaraya. Neighboring areas have Jain temples known as basadis and several images of the Tirthankaras.
One can have a beautiful view of the surrounding areas from the top of the hill. An event known as Mahamastakabhisheka attracts devotees from all over the world. The Mahamastakabhisheka festival is held once in 12 years, when the Gommateshwara statue is anointed with milk, saffron, ghee, etc. to maintain its freshness. On August 5, 2007, the statue was voted as the first of Seven Wonders of India; 49% of the total votes went in favor of it.
The statue depicts the prolonged mediation done by Bahubali. Motionless contemplation in kayotsarga (standing still) posture lead to the growth of climbers around his legs. In the introduction to his English translation of the Gommatsāra, J.L. Jaini writes:
|“||The grandeur of the Image, as also its serene-looking and peace-inspiring presence, are well-known to all Jainas and non-Jainas who have had the good fortune of visiting it. When I visited the sacred place in 1910, I met some English men and women missionaries, who out of respect for the Holy Image took off their shoes and visited it in their bare feet. They also held the opinion which I have given above. The Image is about 57 feet high and still every limb and minor limb thereof is in exquisite proportion. It is impossible to convey its glory and artistic excellence by words. Any one who has the chance of seeing it personally will easily agree with the hitherto general opinion. This gives an answer to some critics also who call the Jainas Idolatrous. The Jainas do not worship the stone, silver, gold or diamond of which the Images are made. They worship the qualities of Total Renunciation of the World, the Acquisition of undisturbable Harmony with the Infinite, and the Identity of the Liberated Soul with Peace everlasting, which these Images represent.||”|
There are 5 monolithic Gommateshwara statue in Karnataka measuring more than 6 m (20 feet) in height.
- 57 feet at Shravanabelagola in Hassan District in 981 CE
- 42 feet at Karkala in Udupi District in 1432 CE
- 39 feet at Dharmasthala in Dakshina Kannada District in 1973 CE
- 35 feet at Venur in Dakshina Kannada District in 1604 CE
- 20 feet at Gommatagiri in Mysore District in 12th Century CE
Bahubali monolith of Karkala (1432 CE)
Bahubali monolith of Venur (1604 CE)
Bahubali monolith of Dharmasthala (1973 CE)
Statue of Bahubali at Gommatagiri (12th Century CE)
- Jaini, Jagmandar-lāl (1927), Gommatsara Jiva-kanda, archived from the original on 2006
- Rice, B. Lewis (1889), Inscriptions at Sravana Belgola: a chief seat of the Jains, (Archaeological Survey of Mysore), Bangalore : Mysore Govt. Central Press
- Zimmer, Heinrich (1953) [April 1952], Campbell, Joseph, ed., Philosophies Of India, London, E.C. 4: Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd, ISBN 978-81-208-0739-6
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gommateshwara Statue.|