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Gomateshwar near Udupi

Gomateshwar statue near Udupi

In the district of Udupi lie the town of Karkala; a spot of historical importance and a pilgrimage centre for the Jains. It is home to a 42- feet tall single stone statue of lord Bahubali also known as Gomateshwara; the first Tirthankara. The statue is carved out of black stone which is abundantly available in the area. The town got its name from ‘kari-kal’ meaning ‘black stone’ in ‘Tulu; local language of the town. Just a 35 km drive through the lush landscape of the Udupi and you will find yourself standing awestricken looking at the whooping 42-feet tall statue of Gomateshwara. What makes the statue more astonishing is the fact that the colossal size statue is mounted on a 300 feet high granite rock.  It is said that that 18 temples in Karkala and the Gomateshwara is the nucleus of them all.

If you are on a trip of Karnataka you will find five such statues all over the state the most famous one being at Sravanbelegola, 230 kms from Mangalore city. If you have already seen the striking statue at Sravanbelegola then you might opine that the one at Karkala is of no match but you can not ignore the artistic finish with which this statue has been worked upon. It has an aura of its own and perfectly reflects the essence of Bahubali; renunciation and triumph of man over physical and materialistic desires. Bahubali has a monarch and yet he renounced all his pleasures and wealth to be a servant of God and to spread peace. This statue was erected in 1432 by a Jain King to commemorate his sacrifices and so that the world would remember him for years to come.

You can make your way to the famous statue by simply booking bus tickets by KSRTC- Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation from Bangalore. It will take you just three hours or you can take a 230 km bus ride from Mangalore city too. Bus tickets prices are reasonable and frankly quite affordable. The serenity of the outskirts and green landscape all the way will keep your engrossed all the way through your journey.

There is a tourist guest house in the town of Karkala for the pilgrims who visit the town to pay their respects to the great lord. If you decide to take a halt at the town and enjoy the taste of pure Karnataki cuisine then this is the place to stay. You can also find budget hotels around the town.

The Gomateshwar statue is just one of the many magnificent statues you will get to see in Karnataka. So, if you find yourself mesmerized by this one itself, then you are be prepared because you are going to see a host of them. The Gomateshwar is worth the visit to get the feel of what Karnataka has in store for you.

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