A very important “tirtha” i.e. a pilgrimage center in Jainism known as Shravanabelagola is located in the Hassan district in Karnataka. This pilgrimage site is renowned for the statue of Gommateshvara Bahubali. It apparently also is the site where the great king of the Maurya Empire Chandragupta Maurya is said to have lived a monk’s life before he died in 298 BC. Important travel information about this “Jain pilgrimage center” is as follows.
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a. Best time to visit:
The ideal time to visit this important pilgrimage center is during the winter months which begins in October and ends in March when the climate is pleasant with, the temperature ranging from a maximum of 30 degree Celsius to a minimum of 15 degree Celsius.
b. How to reach Shravanabelagola ?
1. By train:
The nearest major railway station to this pilgrimage site is located in Bangalore. The Bangalore Railway Station is well connected to major cities in the country. Taxi services from the Bangalore railway station to this pilgrimage site are available.
2. By road:
There are number of state transport bus services i.e. KRSTC that are available from major cities and towns in the state that connect to Channarayapattana, the closest destination to this pilgrimage site. Furthermore, there are state transport bus services from Channarayapattana that connect directly to this pilgrimage site.
3. By air:
The nearest airport to this pilgrimage site is located in Bangalore. The Bangalore Airport is well connected to major cities in the country.
c. Religious significance:
The religious significance of this Jain pilgrimage site is closely associated with the legend of Gommateshvara Bahubali, who was the second son of the first Tirthankara Rishabdev/Adinath of the Jain religion. According to legend a battle ensued between Bahubali and Bharatha his brother for the Empire. Although Bahubali won the battle he felt disheartened by that fact that his relationship with his brother had soured due to the war. As a result in response to this feeling of guilt he gave up the kingdom in favour of his brother and went in search of absolute knowledge i.e. Kevala Jnana.
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