Friday, August 25, 2017

A one day drive to Shravanabelagola - Hassan district Karnataka

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes
 - Marcel Pronst

I was under the impression that travelling could be an experience only if I travel solo. I was completely fascinated by the tales of solo travelling. But my trip to Shravanabelagola in Hassan at Karnataka broke that myth.

Well! Solo travelling might work for many but for me, a trip with somebody who would just like to travel can work. I have cautiously and deliberately avoided the words ‘share the same passion’. After this trip, I firmly affirm the above-mentioned quotes. Travelling is not about seeking new places but new perspectives.

When I look back, this trip proved to be the most wonderful trip ever.

The experience and that ‘so good feeling which you feel from inside’ could not have happened if I had travelled solo. The 600 steps to reach the biggest monolithic statue would have been a big hurdle if I had travelled alone. I could not have managed them by myself.

Those hours, we spent under the shade of a rock after climbing majority of the steps chatting about personal, professional and worldly things made the experience more personal. A slight breeze that blew during those hours made it more memorable.

Neither am I against solo travelling nor am I making a sweeping generalisation. My point is: if you love travelling, grab any opportunity that comes on your way. Whether it is solo or group does not make a difference. It’s all about you and your personal experience.

We travelled to Hassan from Bangalore. As it was an unexpected trip, we started off a bit late. It took around four hours to reach Hassan. Once you are out of the chaos of city traffic, the rural landscape will make your drive a pleasant experience. When you reach Shravanabelagola, you can see the statue from afar.

As I am a person who do not love being amidst a crowd, the month of September proved to be the right time.

At the entrance, I saw her.

As footwear are not allowed, you can buy socks from the local vendors for Rs 60. After the visit, most of us discarded them in a dust bin kept there.

If you think you cannot handle the steps, there is chair - carrier like a palanquin.The views are different and mesmerizing after climbing each step. It’s all about rocks.

This white pond and the view is majestic. 

When you think that you have finished the Herculean task of climbing the steps, this appears. You can sit for a while here and start the next phase of climbing.There is no doubt that you will get thirsty after climbing all those steps. There are big tanks set up for drinking water.

Every 12 years, thousands of devotees come here to perform the Mahamastakabhisheka, a spectacular ceremony in which the statue is anointed with water, turmeric, rice flour, sugarcane juice, sandalwood paste, saffron, and gold and silver flowers. It is called 'Statue of Gommateshvara' by Kannadigas, but Jains refer to it as "Bahubali". The next Mahamastakabhisheka will be held in 2018. 

 24 Thirthankara's are kept in individual rooms in a circled roof around the statue.

Some inside views of the temple

The descent was much easier. The coconut water tasted like ambrosia. We just drank and drank.

We returned by around 6 pm.


Dee said...

Dear Shalet, thank you so very much for letting me travel--via your blog--with you to places I've never heard of, much less seen. You are providing me a keyhole into a world beyond any I've ever studied.

When I was able to travel, I often did so on my own. Solo. I came to miss being able to turn to another person and say, "Isn't this magnificent?" I came to miss sharing the wonder of my discoveries.

Thank you for so ably writing about the difference between solo and duo! Peace.

Shalet Jimmy said...

Thanks a lot, Dee.... Such an encouraging post...

Rajagopalan said...

Nice pics. very informative post. Climbing 100 steps without a companion would have been boring ordeal.
have a great day!

Shalet Jimmy said...

Thank you Rajagopalan. It was 600 and not 100. It would definitely have been an ordeal without a companion.

Ekanthapadhikan said...

This left me wanting to read more. The write up was informative, but I could not feel the traveller and the companion was almost a faceless ghost. Seems like you wrote this in a hurry.

Waiting for more travelogues from you.

Shalet Jimmy said...

Thanks Ekanthapsdhikan for stopping by.

No...I did not write it in a hurry. I never thought I would write a travelogue after visiting the place. It was just a casual trip. Then one day, I felt like writing and I wrote it.

One of the best trips I ever had...