It had been around 6 months, since we went for a trip. It was even more exciting as we were going to travel around 140km on bike. We had a holiday on Maha Shivarathri and we thought any Shiva temple would be overcrowded, so we headed to Sravana Belagola.
G (hubby) and me started from our place at 6.45. We are pretty close to NECE road, so we took that, toll upto Tumkur Road. Other way you can go is via mysore road... But I felt this was better.. Straight nice roads...
We were near Nelmangala and then from there we took the NH-48. It’s a straight forward road after this. Though the construction going on there might result in some narrow lanes, but the condition is really good. Around 8.00 we took a break on the highway. We stretched a little bit, after a 5 min break again continued on NH-48. We reached Mayura Veg Hotel around 9. Stopped there for breakfast. I had plans of taking pics of what we ate... But as soon as our spl.Masala Dosa, vada came we just digged in. I remembered about pics, much later :). We were there for nearly an hour.
We were 32 kms from Sravana Belagola. I was pretty excited, since I had never been to this place. Enroute, we saw so many coconut groves, it can easily be mistaken to be Kerala. By 10.30 we reached the place. After searching for parking, we finally entered the temple.
It’s a pretty huge rock, with some 500+ steps. There, we got to know, we had to leave the footwear below, you can wear socks though.
At the foot of the rock, I just asked God for some strength to climb those steps... I took breaks while climbing on the pretext of taking photographs, and we finally made it to the top. And what do we see there... more steps to see Gomateshwara. These steps were a little steep too, but since it was windy and not too hot, it wasn’t too difficult. Before going for these were saw few inscriptions which were from the 13th century, 16th Century, they were being preserved with Glass covering. since we dint understand much of it, we moved to see the World Famous, Gomateshwara.
As we entered, we saw a 60ft Monolith, we wouldn’t be as tall as the feet. But frankly, i wasn’t awestruck or anything like that.. Ofcourse it seemed huge etc, but dint have my jaw dropping. This is the highest Monolith in the world. And if you see it that way, its really amazing, what they have done with a rock. Anyway, the view outside itself made it worth climbing. We spent a lot of time clicking pics in the temple. Then we came out and again clicked lot of photos of the view from the hilltop.
As we came down from the main temple, on the left was something called Chennanna Basti. There was mantap kind of thing and a long pillar. Spent some time there and then went to the next Basti. We were on the top around 2 hours. We finally got down, freshen up and did a little shopping. Had some tender cocnuts and then saddled up to leave.
Actually, there is another hill, chandragiri, right in front of this, but you again need to climb this, and you can do all this if you have the whole day. We had to come back by 6(prior appointments), hence left the other hills for the next trip.
We had packed our lunch, but then thought we will have it in a hotel enroute.. We missed the Maura hotel which we went to earlier, now there arent many descent hotels on this route. So we then decided to finish off the packed lunch which we had got from home. There are certain farms enroute, else there are lot of empty bus-stands, if you want to have a picnic lunch. We stopped after an hour's ride, in one such place where there was water availability. It was good to have Chapattis and Tomato curry, on a highway, just the 2 of us. It was kind of romantic I must say. After the lunch, our next stop was on the NECE road for a short 5 min break, just to stretch ourselves. By,5.30 PM we were back home.
For those who are thinking if it’s worth going to this place… I would say, definitely, you won’t regret going to this place, just make sure you have the stamina to climb those 500+ steps, and ofcourse if you are going in summer bear the heat. But it’s pretty windy, so it’s still ok.
Go for it.