Shravanabelagola is a Jain pilgrimage situated in the Hassan district of Karnataka state of India. It is a hilly terrain housing a giant statue of Lord Gomateshwara towering over the town. The place famous for its innumerable temples, is also blessed with greenery and serene ponds. Its Kannada name Shravanabelagola translates to ‘a white pond of Sravana’ as ‘bel’ means white and ‘kola’ means pond, which points to a beautiful pond in the town. Shravanabelagola, also known as Jainakashi, bears ancient and religiously important scripts carved on different sides of the hill. The Karnataka Archeological Department has excavated around eight hundred unique inscriptions from the site that belongs to Jainism, which originated in the 600 to 1830 A.D.
The town accommodates two hills, namely Chandragiri and Vindyagiri. Here the statue of Gomateshwara is erected on the Vindyagiri Hill by King Chandrayana of the Ganga Dynasty. It is believed that monks used to seek sanctuary at the site to meditate and attain salvation. Standing 58.8 feet tall, Lord Gomateshwara, also called as Bahubali, is adorned with thousands of liters of milk, panchamruta, sandalwood, turmeric, saffron, vermilion, and holy water, every twelve years as part of their grand celebration called Mahamastakabhiseka. This ceremony is believed to shower eternal happiness to humankind.
There are two hills which are Chandragiri and Vindyagiri making up the area. Chandragupta Maurya is reputed to have stayed there with his mentor, and the temple there dedicated to him was built by Emperor Ashoka in the third century B.C. There are plenty of monuments and shrines dedicated to other sanyasis and saints in Chandragiri.