Chandragiri Hill, Shravanabelagola, Hassan District
Chandragiri hill has basadi’s (tombs/shrines) of Jinalayas. The name Chandragiri is named against the great emperor Chandragupta Maurya who fasted here with purity of thought until he attained salvation. The earliest temple on this hill is dated back to 04th century BC.
The Chandragiri hill becomes sacred because of the arrival of the fifth and the last Shrutakevali Bhadrabahu, who remained here until his last breath, fasting in the caves with purity of thought until salvation.
The Basadi’s and Manasathambhas (flagmasts) constructed are mirror to the architectural excellence prevailed in the early days in the Indian subcontinent. The stone inscriptions found on the rocks date back to 06th century AD and 12th century AD and are the largest in terms of numbers as compared to inscriptions found at other places in the state of Karnataka
The Chavundaraya Basadi is a great example of Dravidian engineering when compared to the time it was built. There is a first floor to this Basadi led by narrow stairs from the ground. A standing idol of Tirthankara is installed here, dating back to 10th century AD.
Tha last Basadi has the beautiful Parshwanath Tirthankar standing tall with a seven head serpent becoming a crown to him. The idol is made of soap stone. Infront of the Basadi is a beautiful manasathambh erected on a high raised platform. One can also visit the caves were Emperor Chandragupta Maurya and his teacher Shrutakevali Bhadrabahu, meditated until their last breath.
Chandragiri hill is approximately 3052 feet above sea level and around 350 – 400 steps to reach the hilltop. Please note that one has to walk barefoot, keeping the sacredness of the place. In summers it’s like walking on a pan. Carry socks along with you, or else you can buy a pair of socks at the premises or walk bare foot, after few steps you should feel normal. Also on the way, notice the inscriptions on the granite hills.
Opposite to this hillock is Vindyagiri Hill, here is the famous Gommateshwara Statue of Shravanabelagola.
This place is located at 137 Kms from Bangalore.
Buses are available from Bangalore to reach this place.
For people who can’t walk the steps, there is a Doli (Palnquin) service at a cost of Rs 200 /- per person.
Doli Timings: 07:30 AM to 12:30 PM and 03:00 PM to 05:30 PM.
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