An isolated structure draws the attention of visitors at Chandragiri Hill or Chikka Betta. Reason: this monument has the engraved footprints of revered Jain monk Bhadrabahu and is called Bhadrabahu cave. The footprints symbolize the stay of Bhadrabahu who lived and died here. His footprints are worshipped even now.
Jainism in South India started with Bhadrabahu. He came down to Shravanabelagola along with his 12,000 disciples during the last quarter of the 3rd century from Magadha in north India along with Mauryan Emperor Chandragupta Maurya. Chandragupta Maurya was a great devotee of Bhadrabahu and gave up his empire to his son Bindusara to travel with his guru to the South.
The reason for migrating to the South was that the Maurya Empire was about witness a long drought and fearing that Jain monks would be in trouble, Bhadrabahu decided to move to Shravanabelagola. At Shravanabelagola, he was responsible for converting an arid region into a habitable centre and ensure the spread of Jainism in the south. He spent his last days here and accepted “Sallekhana” or willing submission to death at the age of 76. After the death of his guru Bhadrabhau, Chandragupta Maurya lived for 12 more years and then took “Sallekhana.” He was about 62 when he died.
Note from Kannada.Club :
This story has been auto-generated from a syndicated feed from http://www.deccanchronicle.com/lifestyle/viral-and-trending/160218/2018-mahamastakabhisheka-bhadrabahus-footprints-a-hallowed-spot-f.html .