Outside the walled area, on the south-east, there is a cave with a recently erected portico known as the Bhadrabahu cave. According to tradition the Srutakevali Bhadrabahu came to Shravanabelagola and lived in the cave. The cave enshrines the engraved foot-prints of this Srutakevali who died here. The foot-prints are worshipped even now. It is also stated that the Maurya Emperor Chandragupta came here on a pilgrimage and having received diksha or initiation from Dakshinacharya, was worshipping the footprints until his death. The tradition regarding the migration of Srutakevali Bhadrabahu to Shravanabelagola along with his disciple Chandragupta, the Maurya Emperor, briefly runs thus:
Bhadrabahu, the last Srutakevali, predicted at Ujjain a twelve years drought and famine in the north, where upon the Jaina community migrated to the south under his leadership. Chandragupta abdicated and accompanied Bhadrabahu. On reaching Shravanabelagola, Bhadrabahu perceived the approach of his last moments, ordered the community to proceed on their journey and remained there until his death with his disciple Chandragupta. Chandragupta also lived there for some years as an ascetic, wroshipping the foot prints of his guru and ultimately died by the Jaina rite of sallekhana or starvation.
The evidence of local history, literature and inscriptions of about the 7th century A.D. and later supports this tradition. The literary works which give varying accounts of it are the Sanskrit works Bhihatkathakosa of 931 A.D., Bhadrabahucharita of the 15th centuiry, the Kannada works Munivamsabhyudaya of circa 1680 A.D. and the Rajavalikathe of Devachandra. In front of the cave there is another pair of foot prints and on a large boulder behind these foot prints are engraved some relievo images of tirthankaras with a guru and his disciple. The inscription found below the imagers is an epitaph of Mallishenadeva.