Gommateshwara statue

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Gommateshwara ಗೊಮ್ಮಟೇಶ್ವರ, Bahubali
Gommateshwara statue ಗೊಮ್ಮಟೇಶ್ವರ
The 57ft high monolithic statue of Bahubali
LocationShravanbelagola, Hassan district, Karnataka, India
Gommateshwara statue is located in Karnataka
Gommateshwara statue
Shown within Karnataka
Geographic coordinates12°51′14″N 76°29′05″E / 12.854026°N 76.484677°E / 12.854026; 76.484677Coordinates: 12°51′14″N 76°29′05″E / 12.854026°N 76.484677°E / 12.854026; 76.484677

Gommateshwara Statue ಗೊಮ್ಮಟೇಶ್ವರ is a 57-foot (17 m) high monolithic statue located on Vindyagiri at Shravanbelagola in the Indian state of Karnataka. Vindyagiri Hill is one of the two hills in Shravanabelagola; the other is Chandragiri, which is also a seat of several ancient Jain centers, much older than Gommateshwara statue.

The Gommateshwara statue is dedicated to the Jain figure Bahubali. It was built around 983 A.D. and is one of the largest free standing statues in the world.[1] 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. Chandragiri is dedicated to the Jain figure Bharat, the brother of Bahubali and the son of the first tirthankara Adinatha.

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.[2] The Mahamastakabhisheka festival is held once in 12 years, when the Gommateshwara statue is anointed with milk, saffron, ghee, sugarcane juice (ishukrasa) etc. from the top of the statue Heinrich Zimmer attributed this anointment as the reason for the statue's freshness.[1] The next abhisheka will be in 2030.[3]

In 2007, the statue was voted as the first of Seven Wonders of India in a Times of India poll; 49% of the total votes went in favor of it.[4]


Mahamastakabhisheka at Shravanabelagola

The statue depicts the prolonged meditation of Bahubali. The motionless contemplation in kayotsarga (standing still) posture led to the growth of climbing vines around his legs.[5] The image of Gommateshwara has curly hair ringlets and large ears. The eyes are open as if he is viewing the world with detachment. His facial features are perfectly chiseled with a faint touch of a smile at the corner of the lips that embodies a calm inner peace and vitality. His shoulders are broad, the arms stretch straight down and the figure has no support from the thigh upwards.

There is an anthill in the background which signifies his incessant penance. From this anthill, emerge a snake and a creeper which twine around both the legs and arms culminating as a cluster of flowers and berries at the upper portion of the arms. The entire figure stands on an open lotus signifying the totality attained in installing this unique statue. On either side of Gommateshwara stand two tall and majestic chauri bearers in the service of the Lord. One of them is a yaksh and the other one is a yakshini. These richly ornamented and beautifully carved figures complement the main figure. Carved on the rear side of the anthill is also a trough for collecting water and other ritual ingredients used for the sacred bath of the statue.

In the introduction to his English translation of the Gommatsāra, J. L. Jaini writes:


The tableau of Karnataka depicting Mahamastabhisheka of Lord Gommateshwara, passing through Rajpath during the Republic Day Parade in 2005

The event has been attended by multiple political personalities including Krishna-Rajendra Wodeyar in 1910, and Narendra Modi and Ramnath Kovind in 2018.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Zimmer 1953, p. 212.
  2. ^ Official website Hassan District
  3. ^ "Mahamastakabhisheka to be held in February 2018". The Hindu. Retrieved 2017-06-14.
  4. ^ "And India's 7 wonders are..." The Times of India. August 5, 2007.
  5. ^ Jain, Champat Rai (1929). Risabha Deva - The Founder of Jainism. Allahabad: K. Mitra, Indian Press. p. 145.
  6. ^ Jaini 1927, p. 7-8.
  7. ^ "Bahubali Mahamastakabhisheka Mahotsav: Here is the history of the Jain festival PM Modi attended today", The Indian Express, 19 February 2018


External links[edit]