Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hassan Travel 1 - Shravanabelagola

One of my friends was getting married on August 15th (what a co-incidence!) at Hassan. We planned to go by car on 14th morning itself and visit some places near Hassan. Since all of us had been to Belur and Halebeedu, we finalized on 3 places to visit. Shravanabelagola, which is just a few km off Bangalore - Mangalore highway (NH48), was the first one.

Shravanabelagola town is situated between two hills Vindhyagiri and Chandragiri with a tank in between, namely, Belagola meaning Bili Kola or white pond. Shravana or Shramana means Jain ascetic, meaning, lifestyle practiced to pursue religious and spiritual goals avoiding worldly pleasures. The town is named after this Jain ascetic and pond. The place is a Jain pilgrimage center as there is 57 feet monolithic statue of Gomateshwara on southern hill, Vindhyagiri facing North.

The statue, center of attraction, is the tallest monolithic statue in the world. The statue is carved beautifully as if anthills surround it and creepers encircle up to thighs. According to the information available, it was installed by Ganga King Rachamalla Sathyavaka's minister Chavundaraya in 988 AD. Gomateshwara or Bahubali was a son of first Jain Thirthankara, Purudeva. He was transformed after he won the fight for kingdom fought against his brother Bharatha.

When we left Bangalore it was 9 am and we stopped for breakfast at Hotel Mayura, Ballur cross. It was very expensive and the service was slow. From NH48, we turned left to Shravanabelagola at Hirisave, roughly 125 km from Bangalore. From there, it is 18km.

We trekked amid hot Sun and visited Basadis on top of the hill and tried our luck to encircle Thyagada Kamba, a pillar and if one encircles by his hands it is believed to be a lucky symbol. On our way up, we saw a lot of people climb up 2-3 times to offer some religious vows, many a times, holding children. After circling round the statue, seeing all 24 Thirthankaras and overwhelmed by the Majestic statue, we took some snaps of the inscriptions and started back.

We climbed down, had tender coconut water and started towards Channarayapatna, at a distance of 11km, (different road than the one towards Hirisave) and from there to Hassan.


Saru Singhal said...

Looks like a beautiful place, love the view of the pond from above. Thanks for sharing!


Gowtham said...

@Saru, Thanks. One surely enjoys climbing there.

sappy said...

Heard about Shravana Belagola.Think it has a captivating history.Nice post.

AmitAag said...

Enjoyed!...thanx Gowtham!

magiceye said...

nicely captured
brought back memories of my visit a few years back :)

Gowtham said...

sappy, AmitAag and magiceye, Thanks :-)

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