Colossal Jain statue at Sravana Belgola.
Photographer: Padmarajiah, S.Y.
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the Jain statue at Sravana Belgola in Karnataka from the 'Album of architectural and topographical views, mostly in South Asia' taken by S.Y. Padmarajiah in 1906. The village of Sravana Belgola is situated between the Vindhyagiri and Chandragiri hills. On the summit of Vinhyagiri hill, there is a colossal granite statue of the Jain Tirthankar (saint) Bahubali, who is also known as Gommateshvara. Bahubali was the son of the Emperor Vrishabhadeva, who became the first Jain Tirthankar Adinath. Although Bahubali had defeated his elder brother Bharata for the right to succeed their father, he renounced the kingdom to Bharata and withdrew from the material world. He then sought enlightenment in the forest. The statue dates from 981AD and was made by the sculptor Aristenemi. At over 17 metres high, it is the tallest free-standing sculpture in India. It was carved at the behest of Chamundaraya, a minister in the court of the Western Ganga king Rachamalla IV (ruled 974-99). The statue portrays Bahubali standing upright, with vines growing about his limbs.