Shravanabelagola or the white pond of the Sravana or the Jain monk is so named with reference to the colossal Jain image of the place and its prefix Shravana also serves to distinguish it from other Belgolas with the prefixes Hale and Kodi. The derivation of the word ‘Belagola’ appears to have been from the two Kannada words Bel (white) and Kola (pond) in allusion to the beautiful pond in the middle of the town.
The Sanskrit equivalents Sveta-sarovara, Dhavala sarovara and Dhavala-saras used in the inscriptions support the derivation of this word from the two Kannada words. Some inscriptions mention the name of the place as Belgula, Belugula and Belagula, which have given rise to another derivation from the plant, white gulla (Solanum ferox) in allusion to a tradition which says that a pious old woman completely anointed the colossal image with the milk brought by her in a gullakayi or gulla fruit.
The place is also designated as Devara Belagola (Belgola of the God) and Gommatapura (the city of Gommata, the name of the colossus) in some epigraphs. Further, the epithet Dakshinakasi or southern Kasi is applied to it in some modern records.