The world renowned monolithic stature of Lord
Bahubali can be visited while in Dharmasthala, near River Nethravathi, on the
Ratnagiri Hill. Bahubali is a historical figure in Jain religion, being known
for his magnanimous personality, strength and Intelligence. This is a 57 ft
tall statue carved out of a single stone and is an architectural wonder. It is
where many people get peace and offer reverence.
It is one of the world’s largest statues
carved out of a single rock, and is said to be a depiction of the ‘tapasya’
that he went through, too attain enlightenment. It also depicts patience and
self-control that is needed for tapasya. There are two motion pictures made
about his story, and there are also various books written about him, the most
notable one being the Sanskrit poem Adi Purana, penned by Jinasena. It talks
about Bahubali, his father Adinath and their 10 life stories. The route to the
statue is very serene and calming. You can take the road or the steps, both
will take you to the shrine. It never fails to amaze people. It is a must
More on Bahubali Statue
History and Religious
Importance of Bahubali Statue
Bahubali, son of Rishabhanatha (Adinath) and his second wife,
Sunanda, was born in Ayodhya. After his father renounced the world, as per the
Jain religion, he inherited the Kingdom of Asmaka. He had 99 step-brothers, the
oldest of which was Bharatha, who received the kingdom of Vinita in Ayodhya.
It is believed, when Bharata was moving towards Ayodhya with his army and
chakra-ratna (which is a divine disc-shaped super weapon), he had won six
divisions of the earth in war. He reached the entrance of Ayodhyapuri, and the
chakra-ratna stopped spinning which meant that his brothers had to declare him
king. Bharata’s 98 brothers accepted this and became monks, except Bahubali,
who had powers as well. He possessed superior extraordinary amounts of
strength. He challenged Bharata to a fight for authority. The ministers did not
approve of the fight. .Both the brothers
were in their last in the lies and had extraordinary powers. They decided to
resolve the fight through a Staring Match, Water fight and a Wresting Match.
Bahubali won without competition.
After this match, Bahubali decided to denounce the world and society to protest
against the ways of mankind. He left everything, including his clothes and
meditated in a standing position, as depicted by the statue, for an entire
year. Plants grew around his leg. He finally attained enlightenment and
liberation. He is considered the first Tirthankara of Jainism and the first
savior of Dharma on earth.
A tirthankara is someone who has attained salvation and found the answers of
life. He has found the path which takes us to freedom from the mortal cycle. He
has attained this through tapasya and focus and denouncing worldly pleasures
and now can help people find a way. After his brother Bharatha worshipped him
with devotion, Bahubali became conscious to this world again and attained the
final freedom at Mount Kailash and was then known as being Siddha.
The Lord Bahubali statue was sculpted in 1973 under Sri
Ratnavarma Heggade by a Renjala Gopalkrishnan Shenoy. After Sri Ratnavarma
Heggade died, the completed statue was inaugurated on the Ratnagiri Hill by Dr
D Veerendra Heggade in February 1982. A 64-wheel trolley took it to the top of
the hill. This statue depicts the meditation period and the creepers, his
expression and insects show just that. It also shows his massive stature, his
focus and serenity. It is truly a masterpiece. It shows how beautiful
meditation is in a sculpture.
Best Time to Visit
One should visit the Bahubali Statue between months of November
and April. At this time, the rains are over, and the weather is amazing. It is
just right for a trek on the Ratnagiri Hill.
Tips for Visiting
1. Women need to wear covered clothes and men need to take their
2. Visit in early hours to avoid crowds thronging the statue.
3. Wear hats and sunscreen. Keep a lot of water on hand, you can get hydrated.
4. Do not drink, smoke or eat guthka and do not litter.
How to Reach Bahubali
One can take the road from Kukke Subramanya. This is a
60-kilometre drive to Dharmasthala. Kukke Subramanya has buses too. But you can
also see the carved temple in Subramanya. You can take one of pathways to
Ratnagiri Hill also.