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Adarsh Smarak Scheme is introduced for the better preservation of monuments/ sites under the protection of Archaeological Survey of India. Out of the 3680 Monuments/ Sites being protected by ASI, 25 Monuments have been identified for inclusion under Adarsh Smarak Scheme. An additional list of 10 Monuments/ Sites are also included in the scheme. The Monuments included in the list would have all the tourist facilities as per International Standards including Wi-fi, signages, security, encroachment free area, interpretation centres etc. The Group of Monuments at Sravanabelagola, Hassan district, Karnataka under the jurisdiction of ASI, Bangalore Circle is included in the Additional List of Adarsh Smarak Monuments. The Group of Monuments at Sravanabelagolaconsists ofAkkana Basti, Chandragupta Basti, Chavundaraya Basti, Gommateswara statue, Parsvanatha Basti and Inscriptions that are located at the twin hills Vindhyagiri and Chandragiri.
Sravanabelagola is set picturesquely in between the two rocky hills namely, Vindhyagiri and Chandragiri (locally called as Doddabetta and Chikkabetta respectively.Sravanabelagola derives its name from the tank in the middle of the town called as Velgola, Shveta or DhavalaSarovara in inscriptions. The inscriptions also mention this place as Gommatapura, DakshinaKashi etc. The place seems to have had some religious significance in the early centuries of the Christian era as evident from the traditional accounts of the migration of Bhadrabahu, a Shrutakevalin along with his celebrated pupil Chandragupta Maurya from the north, which finds attestation in an inscription of 7th century AD at Chandragiri. Although the information available regarding the glory of this Jaina center prior to 6th century AD is very scanty, it emerged in to greater distinction and popularity from about 7th century AD onwards under the Gangas of Talakad as well as the Hoysalas of Dvarasamudra. Some of the eminent Ganga rulers responsible for the establishment of and patronage to important edifices in the place are Shivamara II (791-819 AD), Rachamalla II (870-907 AD), Marasimha II (962-974 AD) and Rachamalla IV (974- 985 AD). However the place attained prominence as a DigambaraJaina center when Chamundaraya, an illustrious minister and general of Rachamalla IV got installed the colossus of Bahubali in around 982 AD to fulfil the cherished desire of his mother. Many members of the royal family and feudatories of the Hoysalas, who succeeded the Gangas, evinced keen interest and patronized constructional activities at Sravanabelagola. The devotion of Shantaladevi, the queen of Vishnuvardhana, is extolled in several inscriptions.
It was an active Jaina center even during the Vijayanagara rule as evident from an inscription of Bukkaraya (1358-1378 AD) mentioning the settlement of a dispute between the Srivaishnavas and Jains. The place continued to enjoy royal patronage under the Wodeyars of Mysore, who made munificent grants for the worship and offerings to Bahubali and to other religious institutions.
As a result of the religious importance and the royal patronage, this place and its environs are dotted with a large number of Jain Bastis (of the Digambara sect). Of these, 12 are on Chandragiri, 7 on Vindhyagiri, 7 in the township and 7 in Jinanathapura, Bastihalli and Halebelagola. There are many nishidimandapas (memorial edifices), arched doorways, pillars and columns which have been certain architectural significance. These monuments date from 9th to 19th century AD. The anointing ceremony of Bahubali known as Mahamastakabhishekha held at regular intervals is the most important religious function of the place.
The entire town of Sravanabelagola, consisting of Chandragiri and Vindhyagiri hills is of archaeological and historical importance, mainly related to Jainism. The group of Centrally Protected Monuments located on the top of Chandragiri are AkkanaBasti, Chandragupta Basti, ChavundarayaBasti, ParsvanathaBasti and Inscriptions, while those in Vindhayagiri are Gommateswara statue and Inscriptions. The Akhandabagilu – a doorway, bearing an elegant relief sculpture of seated Gajalakshmi, carved out of a single rock(10th century AD), the minutely embellished TyagadaBrahmadeva Pillar also installed by Chamundaraya, the Trikuta(Odegal) Basti (14th Century AD), ChennanaBasti (1667 AD), ChauvisaTirthankaraBasti(1667 AD), SiddharaBasti (17-18th century AD) etc. are the other significant edifices on Vindhyagiri. The State Protected Monuments MangaiBasti, Kalyani and BhandaraBasti are the other historical vestiges from the area. The place also has many ancient mandapas and water tanks located in different parts of the hills.