Three of us (me, my hubby and a friend) planned for a weekend trip. Accordingly, we boarded Bangalore Express from Kacheguda Station on 16-07-2015. After a long time, I was about to enjoy train journey, so I was quite thrilled about it. I enjoy train journey quite a lot as you get to enjoy the scenery as well as get to befriend with your co-passengers. The train was supposed to reach at 5:58 am. But, it’s INDIAN RAILWAYS! How on earth can it be punctual? The train was late by 1.5 hrs and we finally reached Bangalore Cantonment Station at 7:30 am. We had already booked a cab and our driver was waiting eagerly for us.
Around 8 am we started from Bangalore Cantonment station. Our plan was to explore the history and the ruins of Karnataka on our way to Chikmagalur and we chose our first stop at Shravanbelagola.
Shravanbelagola is around 150 kms away from Bangalore, situated at Hassan District. The national highway is superb and we thoroughly enjoyed our smooth journey. The greenery along the highway was so eye-catching and refreshing! The weather was cloudy, windy and very romantic! We reached Sharavanbelagola within 2 hrs.
Shravanbelagola is an important pilgrimage destination for Jains. The monolithic statue of Lord Gomateshwara, a Jain saint, standing atop one of the hills (Vindyagiri Hill) is 57 feet high and is considered to be one of the tallest and most graceful monolithic statues in the world. It has been rated as one of the seven wonders of India by public poll conducted by Times of India in 2007.
As far as the history is concerned, Lord Gomateshwara, also known as Bahubali, was the son of first Jain Tirthankara, Lord Adinatha. Being challenged by his brother over the succession to the throne, Bahubali took on his brother and evolved victorious. Having earned victory, Bahubali realized that the pursuit for material wealth is setting brother against brother and he then renounced his kingdom and all his worldly pleasures and went for deep meditation and earned spiritual tranquility. Apart from the monolithic statue of Lord Gomateshwara, there was number of small statues of other Tirthankaras in the Temple complex.
|| The entrance before the Temple compound ||
|| Stairs leading to the Temple ||
|| View from top ||
|| Entry Gate ||
|| View from the top ||
|| View from the entry gate ||
|| A Temple ||
|| Stairs leading to Main Temple where the Monolithic Statue stands ||
|| Temple Compound ||
|| Statues of Other Tirthankaras ||
|| 57 ft tall Monolithic Statue of Lord Gomateshwara ||
One has to climb about 640 steps to reach the hill top to get the glance of the statue. We did climb! It isn’t that troublesome to climb so many stairs! The view of the landscape as you climb higher will mesmerize you and motivate you to climb further to get a better view. The beauty of the monolithic statue will make you feel that all your effort of climbing the hill was worthy! The Temple was very calm and quiet. The picturesque beauty of the surroundings viewed from the hill top added to the charm of the place. There is a pond in front of Vindhyagiri hill. Another hill- Chandragiri hill is right in front of the hill. Small temples are built on Chandragiri hill. We didn’t explore the Chandragiri hill however. One needs nearly 1.5 hours to properly explore the place. We spent nearly 1.5-2hrs and enjoyed Shravanbelagola. The place is so serene that you can spend hours sitting on the hilltop. As we had other places to visit, we couldn’t afford to stay longer. May be some other time..!