Gommateshwara statue

Gommateshwara statue

The Gommateshwara statue (ಗೊಮ್ಮಟೇಶ್ವರ) is the tallest monolithic statue in the world, carved out of a single block of granite. It is 57-foot (17 m) high monolithic and located on Vindyagiri at Shravanbelagola in the Indian state of Karnataka. It is so tall that it can be seen from 30 km away.

It symbolizes Peace, Non violence, sacrifice worldly affairs, and simple living as followed by Jainism.

Vindyagiri Hill is one of the two hills in Shravanabelagola; the other is Chandragiri, which is also a seat of several ancient Jain centers, much older than Gommateshwara statue.

The Gommateshwara statue is dedicated to the Jain figure Bahubali. It was built around 983 A.D. and is one of the largest free standing statues in the world. The construction of the statue was commissioned by the Ganga dynasty minister and commander, Chavundaraya. Neighboring areas have Jain temples known as basadis and several images of the Tirthankaras. Chandragiri is dedicated to the Jain figure Bharat, the brother of Bahubali and the son of the first tirthankara Adinatha.

One can have a beautiful view of the surrounding areas from the top of the hill. An event known as Mahamastakabhisheka attracts devotees from all over the world. The Mahamastakabhisheka festival is held once in 12 years, when the Gommateshwara statue is anointed with milk, saffron, ghee, sugarcane juice (ishukrasa) etc. from the top of the statue Heinrich Zimmer attributed this anointment as the reason for the statue's freshness. The next abhisheka will be in 2030.

In 2007, the statue was voted as the first of Seven Wonders of India in a Times of India poll; 49% of the total votes went in favor of it.

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