A day outing from Bangalore – Gomateshwara Bahubali temple, Shravanbelogola

India has a rich cultural and historical heritage to offer, thanks to its glorious past and influence from different cultures. Each and every monument/heritage site has its own fascinating story to tell.

From past 2 months, my focus is on exploring the historical places in and around Bangalore and its amazing that there is so much to explore, which I never knew existed before or simply dint pay much attention to. So now we are trying to utilize weekends to explore heritage of Ancient India surrounding us.

Few weekends ago, we visited two beautiful temples in Kolar – Kotilingeshwara and Aavani.  Last weekend, we decided to visit yet another popular destination around 144 kms from Bangalore – Shravanbelgola.

 

Screen Shot 2018-01-03 at 9.12.06 pm.png
Beautiful view of Shravanbelgola

Shravanbelgola is a small town and an eminent heritage site located near Hassan district in Karnataka state. Shravanbelgola is the most renowned Jain pilgrimage in South India. Major attraction at Shravanbelgola is the 10th Century Bahubali or Gomateshwara statue, which is the world’s tallest monolithic statue made from single granite stone with the height of 58ft.

 

Bahubali statue -shravanbelgola.png
Gomateshwara or Bahubali Statue

Vindhyagiri and Chandragiri are the two mountains that surround the entire town with a beautiful pond at the centre. Both the mountains enshrine beautiful temples at the top.

 

Famous Gomateshwara temple is located at the top of Vindhyagiri Mountain at an altitude of 3347 feet. You have to climb around 620 stairs to reach to the top but the splendid view makes the whole effort absolutely worth. Before I share our experience and other details. Here’s a bit of history about the temple.

 Brief History 

Bahubali means ‘One with strong Arms’ was the son of first tirthankara of Jains, Adinath. A tussle took place between Bahubali and his brother Bharatha for the empire. Although Bahubali defeated his brother, he was not happy. Thus, he decided to give his kingdom to Bharatha and went to achieve moksha. He is said to have meditated motionless for one year in a standing posture and during this time, climbing plants grew around his legs. Bahubali is also called Gomateshwara. The Ganga dynasty minister and commander Chavundaraya built this statue in 983 AD 

Our Day trip Experience 

Our real plan was to start by 6 a.m. but we could hit the road only by 7 am, it’s always better to start as early as possible to avoid the heat and strong Sun. On the way, we stopped for breakfast at Kamat restaurant. Being a long weekend all the restaurants was very crowded and we had to wait for our turn to come.

However the roads throughout the journey were in good shape; we enjoyed the picturesque view of countryside during our drive. Sight of scattered green fields, ponds and palm trees on either side of the road under the clear blue sky was very relaxing and compels you to put the holiday cap on!

 

On the way, shravanbelgola.png
On the way to Shravanbelgola

It took us around 4.5 hours to reach Shravanbelgola.We reached there around 11.30 a.m. In spite of it being the last week of December, it was quiet sunny and warm outside. Although clear blue skies offered a perfect set up for some amazing pictures but the thought of climbing, what looked like a steep flight of never-ending steps clouded our minds. And that too with a naughty toddler!

However since we were there already, there was no other way but to reach till the top.

entrance gate-Bahubali temple.png
Entrance to Vindhyagiri Hills

Being a Holiday, entrance was very crowded especially with lot of school children. There was no entry fee. However once we reached near the stairs we realized that one has to climb the stairs without shoes (even for the kids). I panicked a little at this moment but then socks are available at the entrance for as less as INR 20.

stairs-Bahubali temple, Shravanbelogola.png
flight of stairs to the top

Finally we gathered all the courage and started climbing, it was not very easy considering the steepness but not as difficult as we thought it would be. The only fact, which made it difficult for us, was that our 2-year-old decided to make it DIY experience and insisted on climbing on his own.

There are around 620 stairs, we stopped at couple of places to catch up some breath and enjoy the beautiful view of the city, the pond and Chandragiri hills. It took us around 20-25 mins to reach to the temple just below the main Gomateshwara temple. After visiting this temple, we reached an open area at the top of the mountain. Sitting here and admiring the spectacular view was one of the best parts of the trip. There are a couple of temples and structures on this mountain, along with the captivating view of the temples on the opposite hill.

 

City view-Shravanbelgola.png
Beautiful view of the city
Screen Shot 2018-01-03 at 9.05.00 pm.png
View of Chandragiri hills

rock.png

20171224_120520.jpg
Nature’s Balancing act

After climbing the next set of steps, we reached the Gomateshwara temple entrance, but that’s still not the highest point. On either side of the entrance were two temples dedicated to Bahubali and his brother Bharatha. On one side there was an interesting rock carving depicting Jain saints with their followers.

As we followed our way further through some more stairs, the curiosity to see the world’s tallest Monolithic statue kept on growing. We still could not see it from the outside as the area was covered due to the preparations for Mahamastakabhishekam festival. A popular festival, which is held once in 12 years. The main attraction of this festival is the anointing of Lord Bahubali’s statue with milk, curd, ghee, sugar, almonds, kesar and flowers. The next Mahamastakabhisheka will be held in Feb 2018 and I could see that preparations were in full swing.

However once we entered the main temple, we could see the feet of Lord Bahubali statue. Moving a little further, there it was standing tall in the open sky.

The magnificent, 58 ft tall white statue had an anthill behind, Creeper emerging from the anthill adorning his legs and arms. The entire figure stands on an open lotus and it’s surrounded by a beautiful Mandapa. The fact that such a tall statue made of single granite stone during those times surely depicts the exemplary craftsmanship and architectural excellence.

After admiring the beauty of the temple and the view, it was time to return back. I would have definitely loved to sit there and spend some more time but our naughty little one was running around and we had to come down.

By the time we could come down it was already 2.30 p.m. Presence of strong sun exhausted us and we couldn’t muster courage to visit Chandragiri hills.

Gomateshwara temple entrance.png
Entrance of Gomateshwara temple

entrance, Bahubali temple.pngEntrance gomateshwara temple, Shravanbelgola.png

rock carvings, Shravanbelgola.png
beautiful rock carvings
Gomateshwara temple, Shravanbelgola.png
preparation for the festival
Bahubali statue, Shravanbelgola.png
World’s tallest monolithic statue – Lord Bahubali

Bahubali temple, Shravanbelgola.png

20171224_123233
Mandapa surrounding the status

Screen Shot 2018-01-03 at 9.04.49 pm

Screen Shot 2018-01-03 at 9.04.38 pm.png
mesmerising view from the temple
20171224_125207
On our way back

On our way back, we decided to visit yet another beautiful place called Shri Adi Chunchanagiri math. I will share the experience of the same in my next blog.

Important Information 

  • Distance from Bangalore – 144 km 
  • Mode of travel – Buses, Cabs 
  • Temple timings – 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. 
  • Best time to visit – November to January 
  • Entry fee – none, small fee to keep your shoes (you have to climb the mountain bare foot)
  • Time required – A day trip is perfect 
  • What to carry – Since there is no shade, it’s better to carry hat, water bottle, socks, sunglasses, Camera 
  • What to see – Gomateshwara temple on Vindhyagirihill and Temples on Chandragiri hills. There are many other historical temples in the area that one can visit based on the time available.   A day outing from Bangalore- Bahubali temple,Shravanbelgola.png

 

 

 

Advertisements

29 thoughts on “A day outing from Bangalore – Gomateshwara Bahubali temple, Shravanbelogola

  1. It’s a very beautiful place. It’s our holy place. Whoever go there feel so fresh. In August we went there. It was an amazing experience. In February 2018 one amazing event is happening there. Please visit u will enjoy this place more at that time

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally agree Surabhi.. I felt so much at peace inspire of crowd..felt like keep sitting there. I would love to attend the festival in February since its once in 12 year.it would be one of a kind I am sure

      Like

  2. We went to Kalasa in the second week of Dec thinking we could get to Shravanabelagola on the way back but couldn’t. It’s sure on my list but will wait for the festival to get over. Great post Madhu 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. i really hope i won’t come across as being ignorant, but most of hindu temples that i’ve visited, they usually have so many stairs that i wonder whether there’s any particular philosophy behind it. it would be great if maybe you can give me some insights about it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thankyou Madhu. I enjoyed your day out and I have seen on DVD with Michael Wood – the ceremony where they pour rhe mild etc down the massive statue. It is very high but I did not realise you ahd to walk so far up the hill in th heat to get there. Your 2 year old son is a hero!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have less interest in temples as religious places but more for their architecture and history. I would like to see the large statue though. Also love climbing – the scenic views you get from the top are absolutely worth the climb. My recent day trip from Bangalore was a climb to Madhugiri hill.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s