Well its over a year now and time just flew like a Hayabusa
Its always more relevant when we talk about spiritual places, no matter when things happen.
Diving into my one day journey to Shravanabelagola, its about 145 kms from Bengaluru and I am that lucky chap where I can just think of a good place and I am already there, just for the fact that I live in this dynamic city, Bengaluru
This entirely is a motorcycle journey, its obvious to create some interest for those adventurers here, and it might little matter to you if you are a occasional traveler.
4.00am it was when I had already kept my stuffs ready to leave my home, joined with me were other 2 young friends (with a brotherhood of adventure), hence my journey was partially solo as a rider. The NH75 (National Highway) is so well maintained, anyone would love to vroom on those bump less roads, my Royal Enfield was thirsty to taste its real thump and this road exactly did that!
We took few breaks for a morning tea followed by a breakfast. It was just the beginning of summer, since it was a morning ride, the heat did not much get us drench, it all started when the sun rose up shining and we reached Shravanabelagola. Just to tell you we did not come here on the main day event of "Mahamastabhisheka", since this happens once in 12 years, we had to be quiet prepared for the crowd and we were lucky enough that it was okay that day.
As we reached Shravanabelagola we could already sense the kind of arrangement done for the event while entering this town, be it tents, cold water facility, etc.
We parked our bikes and quickly started to climb the stairs. Guess what? it was a rock hill and the stairs were crafted out of it, so you imagine how the Sun have roasted the rocks to make our climb even more adventurous;-). All the struggle and adventure mode was switched off by looking at those old and young pilgrims, hence the divine mode was activated.
As we reached the top of the hill, the crowd was slightly getting rich and we had to snuggle our ways to have the right view the mighty Bahubali, what more?- I have captured my entire journey in a video, its just below and a click away, see it might probably get you a dive!
You can see more of the history and significance of this place online, me telling that will only be a brief showcase, Google will definitely help, so the research can happen there.
Now lets talk about my experience. I have been here during my infancy, all I remember is I somehow climbed up the hill but while coming down the stairs, my Mother had carried me.
Now during a event like this, one would expect water supply on the hill top (the earlier one I told was about the beneath the hill) at-least for drinking, nope there was none, at-least I did not see any. I could observe humongous money spent to arrange the tents, lights, the backdrop of Bahubali, but all I saw is a bit disturbing, people literally were competing to pay more money to get on to the backdrop of the Bahubali statue to perform 'Abhishekam' (Pouring holy water on the sacred idol), and that did not come cheap, 1,000 was the most affordable offer, and in exchange you get ignorant volunteers, misbehaving security etc. Having paid so much one at-least expects to carry back a pinch of sacred water, NOPE, nothing. I was expecting prasadam (not because I am foodie), people came up the hill sweating, there were old people, kids that were hungry, and looking at the arrangement I was looking forward for more, but all that came was disappointment. This was organized by Sanghs and Society, and my observation was they were literally minting money in the name of Mahamastabhisheka with a poor and unsatisfactory arrangements on the hill top (A proper government administration could have helped).
I don't blame anyone for this, no one raised a question if they (me) did, the people were clueless and blind.
Uff after having the glimpse we started back and headed to Channarayapattana, as my other mates wanted to meet their friend.
Wasting not much time, we headed back to Bengaluru.
One can visit this place in anytime of the year, my visit here was to check my bucket list of events I wanted to attend since long.
I recommend you wear socks if you are allergic or afraid of sun-burns. Carry a lot of water, if possible some lite food. If you are visiting anytime within next 12 years, there are no tent arrangements so you will find minute places with shelter and be prepared for it.
One thing you will fall in love is the Bahubali idol itself, crafted out of a single stone, standing naked and high. It is a must visit as a traveller, this place carries a proud heritage of Bahubali (also known as Gommateshwara).
My video blog (Vlog) might sure interest you, just have a watch.