Gomateshwara (Bhaubali) colossal monolithic nude statue at
Shravanabelagola is among the wonders of the world. It is undoubtedly the
most remarkable of the Jain statues and largest free standing
statues in Asia. At Shravanabelagola it stands about 56 feet in
height, with a width of 13 feet across the hips, and is cut out of a
solid block of gneiss.
Lord Bahubali was the younger son of the first
Tirthankar, Rishabhdev. He was the king of Podanpur. His elder brother Bharat tried to attack Bahubali's kingdom. Their ministers
negotiated and agreed that instead of war, there would be three
contests between the brothers. In all three contests (Drisht
Yudha, Jal Yudha, and
Wrestling) Bahubaliji defeated his elder brother.
Lord Bahubali had
been very much hurt by the behavior of his elder brother. He decided to
surrender his kingdom to Bharat and left for the path of meditation. He
did not want to bow before his other brothers who had already accepted
ascetic life. This ego of Bahubaliji deterred him from visiting his father's
court. Hence he went on meditating but could not attain the Keval Jnana,
the supreme knowledge.