Standing proud within the list of World’s Largest Free-Standing Statues, the monolithic of Bahubali at Shravanabelagola in the Hassan district is a massive crowd puller amongst divine destinations. Constructed in 978 – 993 AD, this statue is a monolithic that is said to have been carved at the spot under the monitoring of Chavundaraya, the Prime Minister and Commander-in-Chief of the Talakad Kingdom. He ventured into constructing this statue according to his mother Kalala Devi’s wish, who dreamt of a large monolithic statue of Bahubali. Chavundaraya brought this dream to reality and contributed to the world an unparalleled symbol of peace.
The statue located at Vindhyagiri makes for a splendid sight, amalgamating in itself the essence of religion and architectural value. The statue is 57 feet in height and is the largest monolithic in the world. Standing over the pilgrim town, the Bahubali statue overlooks a number of other Jain tourist attractions such as Akkana Basadi, Chandragupta Basadi, etc.
Karkala is a prominent pilgrimage for Jains as it houses over 18 Jain temples in close proximity. Towering over all of them and the entire town is the 42 feet tall statue of Bahubali, located at Daanshale since 1432. The statue was consecrated by Veera Pandya Bhaira Arasa Wodeyar. The second tallest statue of Bahubali in the country, the special attraction of this statue at Karkala is that it has been erected exactly opposite to the Chaturmukha temple located down the hill. The Bahubali at Karkala attracts tourists all through the year and is amongst the most sought after pilgrimages in the country, not just for Jains.
Established in 1604 AD by Thimmana Ajila from the Ajila dynasty, the statue at Venur stands tall at a height of 38 feet. This statue has an endearing feel to it as it is the only statue with a very noticeable smile, and is situated almost at ground level, unlike the other statues located at hilltop. The Gurupura River flowing alongside the shrine makes the destination even more appealing.
Resembling the Shravanbelagola statue in form, the statue at Gommatagiri near Mysore is a miniature version of the same as it measures about 20 feet. The statue is over 700 years old, as historians claim that it belongs to the early Vijayanagar Empire in Mysore. The statue was carved out of granite and has been erected on top of a 160 feet high hill named Shravana Gudda.
The 38 feet tall monolithic of Bahubali situated at Ratna Giri is one of the greatest accomplishments of the modern era. Established in 1975, this statue was carved at Mangalapaade in Karkala and transported to Dharmasthala through difficult yet glorious means, and consecrated with equal splendour. This Bahubali was a vision foreseen by Late. Shri. D Ratnavarma Heggade, and brought to life by Dr. D Veerendra Heggade. The statue is located close to the famous Dharmasthala Shri Manjunatheshwara Temple which attracts lakhs of devotees every year. Alongside the Bahubali hill, Dharmasthala also houses other Jain temples such as Chandranatha Basadi and attractions such as Manjusha Museum and Car Museum.