Monday, August 5, 2013

Stepping towards Lord Bahubali's fane - Shravanabelagola in rains

27th July 2013

It was all pre-planned this weekend for maiden visit to Shravanabelagola which is around 120kms from Bangalore. There were lot plans earlier which could not be materialized due to invalid reasons. This time I was persistent enough to travel to Shravanabelagola and that materialized too!

The plan was to start early as 8AM since people in Internet mentioned that it would taken an hour to reach top of hill. This time we delayed by 2 hrs i.e. we started around 10AM from majestic. Meanwhile we skipped bike journey since it was too long and public transport was ample. In majestic, we caught Karnataka Saarige (aka red bus) bus destined to Hassan. He started 10mins after gathering few passengers. The bus was relatively empty and we converted 3 seater to 2 seater ;-). We had feeling of entire bus was for us :D. The bus was speeding within town roads while jerking along four lane highways :-). They also halt for small tea break en-route and the shops nearby overprice everything. The bus also enters many towns en-route deviating from NH. Cumulatively this adds 20-30 mins overhead especially in Kunigal town.

It was around 1:00PM when we reached Hirisaave. When enquired with locals, they asked us to take an auto since buses are very rare. The auto is a mass transit system and waits until becomes jam packed. This is main source of transport even for locals who travel interiors. We sat at the back of auto rickshaw :). I felt nostalgic and remembered those days when we used to travel on similar lines. The travel to Shravanabelagola was fabulous with monsoon rain dripping from sky as well as beautiful rural landscape. There were majorly coconut and sugarcane fields with numerous buffaloes :D. Since we were sitting at the backside (having open sight), we could get good glimpse of the landscapes.

After nearly 40mins of auto journey here we are at Bahubali's place. Watching the Vindhyagiri hills, we could easily guess that it would take hardly 15mins to step. As mentioned in Internet, it does not take 45 minutes to step up the hills. We were relieved to see the simplicity of stepping since our presumption was based on Internet sources. Also our fear was that we would reach late on our return journey. The sight gave us big relief and decided to step after having lunch. We had nice lunch in one of South Indian veg restaurant. It costs 50/- for meals. There is a Jain hotel too, which people had good feedback about. Not sure since we did not eat at that place. I am not narrating mythology behind the construction of statue. There are plethora of articles in regard to this around Internet world. I am writing only travelogue of mine :-).

Relatively easy to step!
The overcast sky made our climbing more easy due to absence of SUN. One has to leave foot-wears before stepping towards the peak. The presence of scorching mid-day SUN would have burnt our toes since rocks heat up so intensely. Also littering of place and having eatables is prohibited. There seems to be around 500 steps to reach Bahubali's sanctum-sanatorium. Fortunately no monkeys here (may be because no eatables are allowed :D). We were stepping slowly to avoid side effects of having lunch just before start. Some people were seen taking the neighboring rocky surface to climb the hill rather than using steps. The sight of kid climbing on the rock surface was hearty to watch. He was angry when his father picked him up after sometime :D. After 20 mins of stepping, we reached the Bahubali's place. En-route, there are various Basadis with crisp and clear description both in Kannada and English. Also you can see the scriptures on rocks.

We are ready to STEP!





In 20mins we easily reached sanctum-sanatorium. What a sight to watch. I believe the statue was built under supervision of Chavundaraya for his mother. The temple is somewhat similar to Hindu temples with full of rocks being used. The surrounding of temple has statues of all 24 Jain teerthankaras. I also took some shots along the corridor behind the statue. One good thing here is photographers have full freedom ;-). You can shoot anywhere you wish without any objection. I grabbed as much as I could. Since it was Saturday, not many people were seen. We spent some time at temple premises enjoying the breeze and surroundings. I also kept camera in intervalometer mode for short timelapse.





After spending few hours, we wandered around the temple outskirts. There were really delightful landscapes including the distant rains. The approaching distant rains would have been great for timelapse however I did not have tripod. The small pond beneath the hillock named Kalyani was magnificent to watch. As we were getting down, we saw kids climbing faster and with ease than elders :D. The kids can easily climb such hillocks. I remembered my 7year old nephew who climbs faster than us without any difficulty. There is also one more hillock named Chandragiri where a Chandragupta Basadi is located. Due to lack of time, we could not visit the place. Probably next time when we visit, we will first step in to Chandragiri


We stepped down in matter of 10-15mins. It started raining as we reached foothills. We had come fully prepared and had individual umbrellas. Since it was raining, we decided to skip auto transport. The buses are present only for Channarayapattana and we took the bus despite being detour. CR Patna is around 13kms from Shravanabelagola. The landscape in this route is more beautiful than Hirisaave one. There were lot of Lotus on one of lakes but could not take any snap; only my eye  enjoyed it. It was around 5PM when we reached CR Patna. We could get Bangalore immediately after alighting the local bus. The bus slowly started moving towards Bangalore. As we entered outskirts, I was delighted to see the completed construction of brand new Channarayanapattana bypass. They did construct it so rapidly! The Devihalli-Hassan section four laning was already delayed and cost escalation would have prompted them to execute the work quickly. Whatever may the reason, it's a good news! Saves again around 15mins for Mangalore travelers :-) [But to buy tasty cucumbers you have to enter town ;-)]. In middle of journey I had 20 mins power nap which was refresher. After that, it was time to enjoy beautiful landscape along NH-75. It was around 9:30PM when we reached Majestic due to hectic traffic jams. In the end, one more travel and one more blog :-).

How to reach:

If you are traveling by bus, catch Hassan bus at Majestic and alight at Hirisaave. From there you can catch autos which take you to Sharavanabelagola. Note that autos wait until they are jam packed. If you want to avoid autos, you need to travel 21km ahead and get down at CR Patna in same bus. From there, one can get frequent KSRTC buses to Shravanabelagola. The distance from Hirisaave to Sharavanabelagola is 18km while from CR patna 13kms. So effectively there is 16kms of overhead traveling via CR Patna. Also the total cost for former is 120+20 while the latter route is 135+13 which is Rs.8 more

If you are traveling by personal vehicle, Hirisaave is best option. The road from Hirisaave is in good condition with seldom damages however road from CR Patna is very good. You need to pay toll at 3 booths and one more is coming up near Hirisaave. So it will be 4 in few days. I am not familiar with any interior routes. The road till Hirisaave is fantastic. If you wish to travel via CR Patna, you need to travel along town road. Do not take the bypass. Watch out for the signboards just before town, which leads to Shravanabelagola.

When to visit:

During overcast days since  scorching SUN will heat up rocks so intensely. For people who cannot step, there is manual lift facility available from base of hill. Not sure how much it would cost.

Whats up this time!

1) Did shoot a HDR of Bahubali but did not come out well. There were certain fringing at the edges. Tried to remove by decreasing saturation but in vain. It might have been because of hand-held bracketing which caused slight misalignment. Nevertheless, I turned it to Black & White :D and here is picture. The HDR looks are only felt in color picture but one can see clouds properly in image ;-).

2) TimeLapse of clouds hovering behind Lord Bahubali. As said earlier, will club most of them into single one.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...