What’s Unique About Karnataka’s Shravanabelagola & Lakkundi, Proposed UNESCO World Heritage Sites?

Two sites from Karnataka are proposed for the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. Here is why these sites are important.

by Shreya Rathod
What’s Unique About Karnataka’s Shravanabelagola & Lakkundi, Proposed UNESCO World Heritage Sites?

UNESCO is a special agency of the United Nations which is responsible for promoting education, science, arts and culture. A significant site or region that has been granted legal protection by an international agreement overseen by UNESCO is known as a World Heritage Site. Recently, Shravanabelagola and Lakkundi in Karnataka were proposed for the UNESCO World Heritage Site list.

Karnataka: Shravanabelagola & Lakkundi Are Proposed UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Shravanabelagola Karnataka UNESCO
Credits: Wikimedia

The esteemed UNESCO World Heritage list is considering two prominent Karnataka structures for inclusion. Lakkundi in the Gadag district and Shravanabelagola in the Hassan district are the two locations. The State Department of Archaeology, Museums, and Heritage (DAMH) selected these.


One of the main Jain pilgrimage destinations in Karnataka is Shravanabelagola, which is well-known for the Gomateshwaraa statue. It is one of the world’s tallest free-standing monolithic monuments! It must not be widely known that the statue was dedicated in 981 CE and sculpted from a single stone.

The enormous statue can be seen for almost 30 miles, but visitors must ascend roughly 700 stairs to have a good, up-close look. The location is about 150 kilometres from Bengaluru. It is easy to go to Shravanabelagola, and the closest airport is located in Mysuru, around 87 kilometres away. Additionally, there is a railroad station at Shravanabelagola with regular trains to Bengaluru.

The Archaeological Survey of India has designated the Gommateshwara statue, Akkana Basadi, Chandragupta Basadi, Chamundaraya Basadi, Parshvanath Basadi, and the inscriptions of the Shravanabelagola group of monuments as Adarsh Smarak Monuments. The sacred monuments are spread over Chandragiri and Vindyagiri hills and around villages at the foothills.

Also Read: Unmarried Women Cry During Diwali In This Village In Karnataka; Here’s Why

Another Important Location In Gadag District

Lakkundi karnataka UNESCO
Credits: Wikimedia

Lakkundi was a significant city before the fourteenth century. It was already a significant hub of trade and business by the tenth century, with mint operations serving South India and being referenced in Sanskrit and Kannada writings. Numerous Hindu and Jain temples, as well as public works like step wells and water reservoirs, had been dedicated here by the 12th century.

The Brahma Jinalaya (oldest), Mallikarjuna, Lakshminarayana, Manikeshwara, Naganatha, Kumbheshvara, Nanneshwara, Someshwara, Narayana, Nilakanteshwara, Kasivisesvara, Virabhadhara, Virupaksha, and other notable temples are among the important ones. Lakkundi rose in prominence and richness to become one of the Hoysala Empire’s major cities.

During the 14th century, the city was targeted and subjected to looting and invasion. The village is home to more than 50 temple ruins which are in poor conditions. However, the main temple was restored by the ASI and is maintained by them.

Lakkundi is a major research centre for the architecture of the Kalyana Chalukya period. The 19th-century British archaeologists were instrumental in the rediscovery of Lakkundi and its importance in Indian art history. With part of the remains on exhibit at a nearby sculpture gallery and sheds close to the temples, the Lakkundi ruins today serve as a showcase for the history of Indian art in museums.

Also Read: A Proposed UNESCO Heritage Site, Karnataka’s Lakkundi Is A Hidden Gem; 3 Things To Do There

Comment below and share your thoughts about these Karnataka sites and tell us if you have ever visited them.

Cover Image Courtesy: Wikimedia

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