GomateshwaraGomateshwarais a monolithic statue standing at 60 feet above a hill in a place called Shravanabelagola in the Hassan district of Karnataka state, India. The statue was built by the Ganga minister and commander Chamundaraya in the honour of Lord Bahubali. It was built in the 10th century AD and is the size Jains believe humans used to be. Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims, devotees and tourists from all over the world flock to the statue once in 12 years for an event known as Mahamastakabhisheka. On August 5, 2007, the statue was voted by Indians as the first of Seven Wonders of India. 49% votes went in favor of this marvel.
The colossal monolithic statue of Gomateswara is situated at Sravanbelgola, 158 km away from Bangalore. This gigantic statue of lord Gomateswara, the Jain saint, is carved out of a single block of granite and stands majestically on top of a hill. For centuries, Sravanabelagola has remained a great Jain center and thousands of pilgrims flock to see the magnificent, gigantic statue of the Jain saint, Lord Gomateswara. The statue of Gomateswara shows the recluse completely nude, in the Jain custom. This statue of lord Gomateswara is 17m. (55 ft) high and is visible from a distance of 30km.
This statue is regarded as one of the largest monolithic statues in the world. This statue is also historic as it is having oldest known Marathi (Devanagari) inscriptions on it. It says 'Chamundaraye Karaviyale' meaning built by Chamundaraya. This statue of lord Gomateshwara was created around 983 AD by Chamundraya, a minister of the Ganga King, Rajamalla. The neighboring areas have Jaina bastis and several images of the Jaina Thirthankaras. One can have a beautiful view of the surrounding areas from the top of the hill. At Sravanbelgola the Mahamastakabhishekam festival is held once in 12 years, when the image of Gomateswara is bathed in milk, curds, ghee, saffron and gold coins
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