Amidst the piety and frolic of the temple town of Dharmasthala, situated at a kilometer from the Manjunatha temple and led by a beautiful pathway, is the majestic shrine of lord Bahubali standing at a height of 39-feet. It was sculpted in 1973 by the famed sculptor Renjala Gopalkrishna Shenoy under the aegis of Shri Ratnavarma Heggade. The statue was then positioned atop the Ratnagiri Hill in February 1982 by Dr.D.Veerendra Heggade, after Shri Ratnavarma Heggade left to the heavenly abode.
This shrine can be reached by climbing steps of the hill for about 20 minutes or by road. The hilltop renders a heart-throbbing view of the temple town Dharmasthala with a lush green background in the mornings and lamp-lit in the nights.The best time for the tourists to visit this statue is in the morning to get away from humidity and sunny weather. On top of the hill, there are shelters and drinking water facilities for the pilgrims. The mahamastakabhisheka of lord Bahubali has since been performed thrice in 1982, 1995 and 2007, with a grand spectacle that brought together many jain monks and people from all over the country and beyond.
The monolithic stone sculpture of Lord Bahubali symbolizes renunciation, self control and subjugation of the ego as the first step towards salvation. The digambara form of Bahubali represents complete victory over earthly desires and needs, which forms the edifice for spiritual ascent towards divinity.