Sunday, 4 November 2012

Shravanabelagola temple visit

This time, our trip to Shravanabelagola, Halebidu and Belur was not just a weekend trip; it was coupled with a photographic workshop. In this blog post we will try to portray the details of our travel. However, if you are interested to know about the workshop, here is the link

  We really started early from Bangalore. It was around 4:30 AM when we hit the road. Till one and half hour, there was no ambient light. But the roads were clear. When we reached Shravanabelagola temple, it was around 8 O' clock in the morning. 

   Shravanabelgola is one of the major Jain shrines. However, apart from being religiously important, this holy temple does not fail to attract huge amount of tourists throughout the year. While we are on the topic, it's a good time to mention that once every twelve year, a special ceremony called "Mahamastakabhisheka" is held at this temple. During this time, the number of tourists multiply to around 100 folds.

  The temple is on a small hilltop which one has to cover on foot. There are around 600 steps up the hill. So getting up there was a nice morning exercise for us. However, there is an option of human-carried-chair. If someone has difficulty getting up stairs, he/she can opt for this. Parking is available just before the entrance to the temple. And you have to keep your shoes at a shoekeeper before entering. So if you like, you can keep the shoes in the car.

  Although the target was to get to the shot and see the cluster of temples on top, we had to stop during our walk up the hill; well offcourse, to catch our breath. But these couple of stops gave us one unexpected thing, a slowly changing perspective of the whole city around the temple. As you go up your view changes and you get a panoramic view of the city. And the view is really beautiful.

  There is one temple just opposite this main temple and that is also on another hilltop. When you climb up the steps, you get to see this temple more clearly.

  When on top, we quickly found some seats on a sidestep and relaxed for a couple of minutes. Now it was time to explore the actual temple.

  This first stop itself has a couple of temples. You actually have to go around them (from your right) to catch a small set of staircase(around 20 steps) to get up to the actual temple. When you are in this first landing, observe the scattered glass covering all around the stone that makes the floor. These are made by the government to cover the ancient scriptures which were carved on the rocks. 

  When you get to the summit of the hill, you get to see the figure of Gommateshwara. This figure stand on a lotus and is around 17 meters high. It was carved around 1000 years back.

  All around the temple there are several statues and carvings which were carved with precise accuracy. When you enter the main temple, you can directly see the statue of Gommateshwara. There are several ceremonies that continuously go on at this temple. You can soon find a man on the left corridor guarding a door behind him. If you approach him, he would graciously open the door which leads to a chamber where 24 different images are installed one after the other; all carved in stone. When you get out of this corridor, you basically get out on the opposite side of Gommateshwara statue. And the door keeper asks for some donation for this guided tour. You can donate anything you may please; we did not find much persuasion there.

  This morning visit of Shravanabelagola temple was really worthwhile. While coming down we took it slow again, enjoying the beauty of the surrounding. 

  While at the bottom of the hill, we quickly devoured coconut water from a nearby shopkeeper. It worked well filling up the water that we lost during this excursion. If you ever visit this temple, it is perhaps best to visit during early morning. Because the warm midday would really juice out your energy a lot.

  As we were done with this fantastic piece of art and holy shrine, we headed for our next stop, Halebeedu. Halebeedu is one of the finest temple of the Hoysala dynasty. It was constructed during the 1121 AD and 1207 AD. Its work of art is legendary. So more on that in our blog post on Halebeedu.

  Here are the snaps from our Shravanabelagola trip:

The human-carried chair that can take someone to the top of the hill.

The staircase to the top.

The temple on the next hilltop.

Thyagada kamba. The central pillar is hanging from the top.

Modern art. LOL.

Pillar at the main temple

Some Jain ritual going on at the main temple

A priest is bathing the small idol.

Gommateshwar.

Gommateshwar.

Gommateshwar

The bells at the main temple.

Tirthankara. A total 24 idols are there in this chamber.

The main temple

Wall painting.

Ancient inscriptions.
  

22 comments:

  1. Your photos are always amazing! I myself like to visit these places. It is a pity that the name of the Slavic people Shravan ... Shravanabega ... Shravanabelagola sounds very hard. But I managed ... on the third attempt)))))

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    1. Thank you very very much for appreciating our photography. We always look forward for your endearing comments. You are always welcome to India. :)
      And yes that name is really hard to pronounce. :)

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  2. The name is hard to pronounce, and the hill is harder to climb. I had to abandon half way, as I refused to be carried!

    Lovely pictures, brought back the memories. The view is stunning.

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    1. We're really sorry to hear that you had to abandon half way. The place is really beautiful. Thank you very much for stopping by.

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  3. Hi Ankur & Soma,

    Wonderful clicks and a detailed account of the visit to this historical place.

    A 1000 year old 17 meter high statue sounds pretty huge and ancient. I guess the actual enormity of this statue can only gauged by seeing it in person.

    Thanks for sharing the superb clicks and the interesting description of your trip. :)

    Regards

    Jay
    My Entry to Indiblogger Get Published

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    1. Thank you very much for stopping by Jay. Yes, you need to be there to appreciate the place to its entirety.

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  4. Your photos have captured the serenity of the place. I wish I had the freedom to travel and visit this place myself. Unfortunately I can only live it through your experience. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. We're really glad that your post made you feel the place partially. Thanks for stopping by.

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  5. Dear Ankur and Soma ,

    As mentioned by Migalayte , the pictures are truly beautiful and clear .Even description was precise and upto the mark . This place now comes in my hit list. I had seen this one in discovery channel also. But your blog will help me more as I can see whenever i want . Thanks for sharing.

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    1. We're really glad that you liked our blog post. Thank you very much Vishal.

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  6. Replies
    1. Thank you very much for your kind words.

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  7. This is a place I hope to visit sometime. After reading this post and seeing these amazing shots, I'm desperate to go see it for myself.

    Waiting for the Halebidu post. :)

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    1. We're really glad that you liked the post. And you can already read about Halebeedu here: http://thetravellerweare.blogspot.in/2012/11/halebeedu-belur-hoysala-marvels.html

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  8. Beautiful pictures! I've been there but I was really small then... 4-5 years old, maybe. Don't remember much but I always remembered the huge statues and the dolees and the bells. Gomateshwar is a lovely and a peaceful place. I reminisced the past so clearly. Thanks for that! :)

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    1. We're really happy to know that our blog made you feel good. Thanks for stopping by Vaishali.

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  9. good snaps...i could see the place through your detailed writing..great job...keep blogging

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    1. We're really happy that you liked the blog so much.

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  10. awesome photography ... i am visiting this place in may last week,,, thanx for such great review...

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    1. Thank you very much Mangesh. Have a great trip.

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