SHRINES OF SRAVANA BELAGOLA
As the Tirtha Sravana-Belagola has been the ancient and prominent center
of spiritual activities, the hallowed center of attraction for the
Emperors, Kings, Queens, Ministers, Generals and other dignitaries, the
sacred center of meditation for the Acharyas, Sadhus and other members of
the ascetic order, the encouraging center of inspiration for literary and
cultural activities, the major seat of Bhattaraka and the most popular
place of pilgrimage of the common people in South India, it has got a
large number of shrines or sacred structures of different kinds specially
designed and constructed on the two hills, in the village and in the
1. ON THE VINDHYAGIRI
The entire area of the Vindhyagiri hills has been divided into two parts
by a heavy wall at some distance around the colossal image of Gommatesvara.
This long, high and solid wall was erected in 1147 A. D. by the able
minister Ganga-Raja with a view to protecting the image from possible
injuries. The wall has thus made the area around the image into a compact
A) In the enclosure :
The religious structures in the
enclosure are as follows :
i) The colossal image of Gommatesvara in the center of the west of the
enclosure and facing the North.
ii) In all 43 Images in the cloisters around the image of Gommatesvara.
Of these images, 2 are of Yakshi Kushmandini, 1 of Bahubali and 40
Tirthankaras. The distributions of
these 43 images is as under :
a) Eastside clositers : 14 Images.
1 of Kushmandini, and 13 of Tirthankaras.
b) Southside Clositers : 16 images of 16 Tirthankaras.
c) Westside clositers : 13 Images 1 of Kushmandini
1 of Bahubali ( 6ï¿½ High), and 11 of Tirthankaras.
iii) Two images of Dwaraplakas i.e. door-keepers, about 6 feet high, at
the sides of the entrance to the enclosure.
iv) One Brahmadev a Pillar, about 6 feet above the ground level enshrining
a seated figure of Brahmadeva. It is situated just near the enclosure and
was caused to be made by Chamunda-Raya.
v) One figure of Gullakay aji, about 5 feet high, facing the image of
Gommatta and holding a ï¿½ gulla kayiï¿½. This figure is situated just near
the enclosure and was caused to be made by Chamunda Raya.
B) Outside the enclosure :
Similarly, in the vast area outside the enclosure also there are
Important religious structures as given below: -
i) Siddhara-Basti : It is small temple enshrining a seated figure of a
Siddha, about 3 feet high. On both sides of the figure stand two fine
inscribed pillars, each about 6 feet high. These pillars show elegant
workmanship, especially in their tops which are in the form of beautiful
ii) Akhanda-Bagalu : It is a door-way entrance carved out of a single
rock, and on both sides of the entrance there are shrines containing the
figures of Bahubali and his brother Bharata. According toitradition this
fine doorway entrance was caused to be made by Chamunda-Raya.
iii) Tyagada Brahmdeva Pillar : It is an elegantly carved pillar supported
from above in such a way that a handkerchief can be passed under it. It
was the place where gifts were distributed and hence it is popularly known
as ï¿½ Chagada Kambha, i.e. pillar of gifts. The elegant pillar was caused
to be made by Chamunda-Raya as recorded in inscription No. 281.
iv) Chennanna- Basti : It is temple built in honour of Chandratha
Tirthankara by Shri Chennanna. A ï¿½ manastambhaï¿½ stands in front of it. To
the north east of the Basti is a ï¿½mandapaï¿½ of pillared hall situated
between two natural ponds.
v) Odegal-Basti : It is a temple containing the images of Adinatha,
Santinatha, and Neminatha. Due to ï¿½Odegalsï¿½, i.e., stone props used
strengthening the walls of the temple, it is known as Odegal-Basti. It is
also known as ï¿½TriuktaBastiï¿½ by reason of its having three cells facing
different directions. It is fine a structure, though with a plain
exterior. It stands on a lofty terrace with a high flight of steps leading
up to it.
vi) Chaturvinsati-tirthankara Basti : it is small temple containing the
images of 24 Tirthankaras.
vii) Brahamadeva-Mandira : It is a small shrine at the foot of the hill
near the beginning of the ascent. The daity is called Brahma or Jaruguppa
Appa. It is a flat stone daubed with vermilion. The shrine has an upper
storey, evidently a later addition, which has a figure of Parsvanatha in
viii) Siddhara- Gundu : It is a big boulder of stone, ( named after ï¿½
Siddhasï¿½, i.e. liberated souls ), on which are inscribed several
incriptions, the top portion being sculptured with rows after rows of
seated figure representing Jaina Gurus, i.e. ascetic teachers.