Asia: Processed stones / Sravanabelagola

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PHOTO: hemanthkumarkp 1251'15.84" 7629'3.24"

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Shravanabelagola is one of the most important Jain tirth (a sacred place) of the Jains in South India. It is a place of great importance from the point of pilgrimage and also archeological and religious heritage. The place derives its name from the point that Shravana or Shramana means a Jain ascetic and Belagola or Biliya Kola means white pond. Shravanabelagola is well-known for its senic beauty as well as for its religious sanctity. The two hills, the tank between, and the entire surroundings of Shravanabelagola are so enchanting and pleasing that they invariably attract the attention of all kinds of persons. The place is also important from the view of the regions history. Shravanabelagola flourished and cherished in the background of royal patronage and enjoyed the supremacy of religious fervour. The place was the key centre for all the activities of Jainism. It was more a religious capital than the political arena. It laid down the firm foothold for the spread of Jainism throughout south India. It was the sun shore for the propagation of religion to every nook and corner of society. Religion was an inducing factor influencing the effect of religion. It has played a pivotal role in the political history of Karnataka. The kings, samanthas, chieftains and palegars have ruled the place with valour and religious fragrance. The ensuing pages in this section will try to focus on the history, heritage and other details of Shravanabelagola. The 57 feet monolithic statue of the Bhagavan Gomateshwara Bahubali is located on the Vindyagiri. It is considered to be the world's largest monolithic stone statue and was erected by Chamundaraya, a general of King Gangaraya. 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.