Gommatagiri is a Jain pilgrimage center located close to Mysore (24km). The main attraction of Gommatagiri is the 20 feet or so tall Gomateshwara ( hence the name Gommatagiri ). This ancient monolithic statue stands over a massive hillock.
Though a lot shorter in size compared to the massive and much popular Bahubali statues at Shravanabelagola , the resemblances of the two are pleasantly surprising. Similar to Shravanabelagola, you need to climb a series of steps carved on this massive granite boulder to reach the shrine atop. The status stands inside the compound wall over the hilltop.
The festival season draws large number of Jain devotes to this place. The annual "Maha Mastakabhisheka" in September is the main attraction among the pilgrims. Baring the busyness of the festivals , this place is unusually calm and the ambient is surreal , like the location of any major Jain Basadis. It is so empty that your's would be the only other family present at the shrine. You can ask locally about the opening time, if the gate to the compound closed. The priest lives nearby, you can check it out.
As you climb up , you can see a footprint image on top of another smaller boulder near the one where the statue of the Gomateshwara is standing. This footprint carved on the rock is attributed to Neminatha, the 24th Jain Tirthankara (spiritual guru) .
From the hill top you can see the sprawling backwaters of KRS towards the north.
There are different opinions about the age of the statue of Bahubali at Gommatagiri. On stylistic grounds it is similar as the statue of Bahubali at Shravanabelagola, and hence of comparable age. In any case the statue of Gommatagiri is easily 7 centuries old.
How to reach Gommatagiri?
Gommatagiri is about 24km northwest of Mysore.
Public transport to this site is not frequent. There are only some odd bus services covering this locality. The best alternative for a quick access is to have your own private vehicle.
It's about 30-45 minutes drive from Mysore. Get to the Hunsur Road ( SH88 ) that radiates out of Mysore City center towards Madikeri ( Coorg). At about 12 km out of the city you'll reach Yelwal, an industrial suburb. Immediately after crossing Yelwal , on your right side will appear a road with arch. Take this narrow winding road. Another 12 km drive will take you to the base of Gommatagiri.
Another alternative is to continue ahead on SH88 towards Hunsur, without taking that left turn mentioned above. A few kilometers later you'll see the board of RMP (Rare Materials Plant) on your right. Continue straight on SH88. On your right will appear a similar arch as before. The SH88 has a few humps at this junction. Take the right road into the arch. It's another 15-20 minutes drive through the countryside till you spot Gommatagiri on your left.
You may have to ask for directions on the way, however if you've not missed those arches from the highway and took the right turn, it is unlikely that you would lost the way.
There is also a road that goes from Gommatagiri to KR Nagar ( SH117). If you are heading to Mysore from KR Nagara, take this route to reach Gommatagiri.
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