Travel Essentials: Sravanabelagola

Installment No: 1

In the Travel Essentials series, we will present before you authentic information regarding tourism in some of the lesser explored corners of the Southern Indian Peninsula. Having stood the ravages of time, these places take you on a voyage into the past, to share with you, the lores of royalties from days gone by. Isolated from the tediousness of mortal existence and untainted by the chaos named “modernity”, they invigorate you with a captivating charm of their own.

Location:  Approximately 157kms from Bengaluru

Channarayapatna taluk , Hassan District, Karnataka

Why Sravanabelagola?

  Sravanabelagola, which iterally translates into “White pond of God”, is also referred to as “Dakshinakasi” in popular texts, due it’s prominence as a centre of pilgrimage amongst certain sects of India, specifically Jains. The founder of the Mauryan Dynasty, Chandragupta Maurya, is believed to have resided here as a monk during the later part of his life, in his quest for nirvana.

The Gommateshvara Bahubali statute, which stands about 57 feet tall, is the world’s tallest man made monolithic sculpture. One needs to overcome a steep flight of nearly 614 stairs to reach the summit of the Vindhiyagiri Hill, where the Gommateshvara is situated.

The Gommateshvara Bahubali at Sravana Belagola

The Gommateshvara Bahubali at Sravana Belagola

Apart from the Gommateshvara, there are several other historic Jain temples in the neighbourhood. Emperor Ashoka, the grandson of Chandragupta Maurya, erected the Chandragupta Basti atop the Chandragiri Hill, opposite to the Vindhyagiri Hill. Also located south of the main township, is the Bhandari Basti, Sravanabelagola’s largest temple. The Chandranatha Basti has well preserved paintings, depicting popular Jain legends.

Look out for….

The Mahamasthakabhisheka is an important Jain festival held once every twelve years in the town of Shravanabelagola in Karnataka, India. The festival is held in veneration of an immense 18 meter high statue of the Siddha Bahubali. The anointing last took place in February 2006, and the next ceremony will occur in 2018. During the ceremony, the statue is bathed in milk, sugarcane juice, and saffron paste, and sprinkled with powders of sandalwood, turmeric, and vermillion.

Mahamasthakabhisheka at Sravanabelagola

Mahamasthakabhisheka at Sravanabelagola

Bed and breakfast!

The nearest hotels are available at Hassan, the district headquarter, which is about 52Kms away.

Hoysala Village Resort

Nestled in a quiet and secluded corner of Hassan, it’s a luxury resort especially renowned for promoting ecotourism, with an organic village of it’s own nearby, spanning over 200 acres.

The scenic ambience at Hoysala resort

The scenic ambience at Hoysala resort

Facilities and services available:

  • Well maintained pool
  • Indoor games facilities: carom and table tennis
  • Bullock cart ride
  • Horse ride
  • Yoga & Spa (Ayurvedic massage)
  • Conference halls
  • Volleyball and  badminton courts
  • Cycling
  • Trekking

They provide two types of accommodation, cottage and suite, which is slightly more expensive. The rent is of three types, based on season and availability.

                                                          


About Dhiraj
Dhiraj is currently working at a Social Media Consultancy and has keen interest in Digital Marketing.

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