Indragiri And Chandragiri
Shravanabelagola – DoddaBetta And ChikaaBetta
Radiating its brilliance in the sands of history, the rocky hills of Vindhyagiri or Doddabetta or Indragiri as it is called, located at Shravanabelagola in Karnataka, has become the destination of sea of humanity for obvious reasons. For long, the magnificent 57 feet tall monolith of Lord Bhagwan Gomateshwara Sri Bahubali has been attracting pilgrims from far and wide.Consecrated in 98 I AD, the mammoth idol of Bahubali is anointed every I2 years during the Mahamastakabhisheka festivities. To mark the historic occasion of Mahamastakabhisheka 2006, His Holiness Jagadguru Karmayogi Swastishree Charukeerthy Bhattaraka Mahaswamiji, the pontiff of Sri Jam Mutt, Shravanabelagola, blessed Sri Yajna, Mangalore to bring out a pictorial volume on the world famous Jam pilgrim center. That is the genesis of Vindhyagiri Darshan’. The volume throws light on the richness of tradition and culture of this holy place along with its socio-cultural activities which extends to a vast expanse of humanity.
Towards the end of the third century BC in an extraodinary event Shrutakevali Mahaswamiji along with his vast `Shishyagana’ arrived in Chandragiri. This day also marked begining of a new era in DigambarJain tradition and according to the Shilashasanas present even to this day on this hill the Chandragiri hill is a treasure house of histroical facts.
The Chavundaraya Basadi atop the Chandragiri hill had attained an age of 1000 years in 1996 and had subtly suggested that a befitting celebration should be arranged to commemorate this extraordinary event. Following this, an elaborate plan for the Chandragiri and Chikkabetta Mahotsava was charted with the guidance of the leaders of the society in Shravanabelagola.It was also decided in the various meetings that this utsav should be held every 12 years to record the history in the proper perspective between the Mahamastakabhishekas. The utsav held in 2001 was in conformation with wish of the Jain Bhattaraka.
A sight hard to forget
The historical town of Shravariabelagola is a treasure house of historical relics and shrines and temples. Belonging to the Jam era the natural stone formations coupled with greenery makes this place a unique tourist’s delight. The rare sense of town planning during the Jam religious era which has been proved to be scientific now stands as a testimony to the ingenuity that prevailed in that period.The Shrutakevali Bhadrabahu caves, Jam temples and Basadis speak volumes of the religious fervour and the architectural marvels clubbed together in this town. The monu mental Chandragiri and the imposing Chikkabetta hills are full of reminiscences of a bygonneera that kindles a million thoughts about life and times of the Jam kings and scholars who lived in a highly resourceful and altuistic society created by equally intelligent people.
The ‘Shasanas’ a top the Chikkabetta is a mirror to the justice and able administration that this hallowed land has experienced under a lineage of Jain chieftains. The Chikkabetta is full of such ‘Shasanas’ and could prove to be a researcher’s delight. The Chikkabetta is also a ‘Tapobhoomi’ of Jain munis and Karmabhoomi of the sculptors that has stood as a living monument to their works.