In Karnataka, Shravanabelagola is one of the most famous Jain centres. However, there are many Jain religious places which has an interesting history. Gommatagiri in Mysore is one of the Jain religious places in Karnataka known for its history.
Gommatagiri is famous for the statue of Bahubali (Gommateshwara) which is located on a hillock named 'Shravana Gudda'. This 700-year-old granite statue of Gommateshwara belongs to the early Vijayanagara style of architecture.
Shravana Gudda is one of the offbeat destinations in Mysore District. The granite statue of Gommateshwara looks similar to the statue in Shravanabelagola. However, this figure of Gommatagiri is much smaller in size when compared to the other.
Therefore, Gommatagiri serves as one of the prominent Jain religious places in Karnataka.
The annual Mahamastakabhishekha is also celebrated at Gommatagiri. A plaque will be fixed behind the statue where priests will stand and perform the Abhishekha (holy bath) to the idol. Although, it is not as famous as the Shravanabelagola's Mahamastakabhisheka which happens every 12 years. This is one of the big events at Gommatagiri and many people around the state come here to witness this festival. You can see many Jain pilgrims coming here to seek the blessings from Bahubali.
PC: Rajan Thambehalli
Actually, there are a few similarities between Gommatagiri and Shravanabelagola. One has to climb a hillock at Shravanabelagola and here also the visitors have to climb up to visit the temple.
The granite statue of Bahubali looks similar to Gommateshwara at Shravanabelagola. However, this statue is small, yet splendid. Unfortunately, this heritage is threatened due to lack of preservation and illegal land activities happening in the area.
Tourists have to climb several stairs to reach the summit. A footprint of Bahubali can be seen up the hill before the temple. As you climb, the statue of Gommateshwara becomes clearer to the vision. He is in the standing posture and emanates a rustic charm. In fact, one can see the KRS Reservoir standing on top of Shravanagudda. Except for the time of the festival, this place is really calm and peaceful. So, you can enjoy a heritage surrounded by greenery and spend a quality time at this hill.
How to Reach Gommatagiri
Gommatagiri is around 15km from Mysore city. It is situated in a place called Bilikere Hobli at Hunsur Taluk. It is better to go in private vehicle or autos from Mysore.
Other Places to Visit in Mysore
Mysore is one of the top destinations in Karnataka. Hence, most places are well-known and gets visitors through-out the year. Mysore Zoo, Mysore Palace, KRS, Brindavan Gardens, etc. are some of the places to visit in Mysore.
However, it is sad that an ancient site like Gommatagiri is not getting enough efforts for preservation. Unfortunately, cracks are also appearing on the statue because of that. So, it should get attention from the concerned authorities, otherwise we might lose an age-old structure.