A Rainy Date with 56ft tall Naked Man

7/28/2009 04:54:00 AM

While in Bangalore, India, One can have a numerous options for traveling, depending on his choice, mode of travel and availability. for a single traveler, who like adventure, there are many trekking and wild-life safari options, for example western ghats and nilgiris, are  in 250 to 300KM radius from bangalore so you can hike mountain peaks, discover streams and waterfalls, and hidden lakes in the remote valleys, and while you do that, you can take a quick refreshing dip in. a trip to anywhere in western ghats  is  best weekend getaways one can ever find while in the city.

There are no less choices for a quick day trip either, with quite a few places with in 60-70 kms such as ancient temples, small hillocks and dams in all directions, its easy to plan your own day trip or you can book any sightseeing tour packages available for anyone from KSTDC.

With my mom back in town, I was looking back at the research I did for one-day packages from KSTDC and quickly booked a trip to Belur-halebid-Shravanabelagola (history, and more info here),   for 18th July. BHS was one of the tour package available amongst, Shivasamudra-Somnathpur-Ranganathittu, and Hogenakkal to name a few, the latter two, only however are subjected to season. I along with mom and a friend, boarded a volvo from Badami House, at 7 AM and headed towards Hassan to reach the gometeshwara temple.

People are like stained-glass windows.  They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within.  ~Elisabeth Kübler-Ross Its' been raining for quite a while and the day as well, so weather had been amazing, with beautiful greenery, muddy rain water ponds, small hill pops with clouds hanging on to them, the ride to Hassan was both refreshing and satisfying in itself. enough to charge us up to stair-up 600 steps at shravanabelagola hill. Mom Chose to stay back in Bus, While we picked up our umbrellas and cameras and walked up slowly, while it continued to drizzle.

#Explored - “There is a muscular energy in sunlight corresponding to the spiritual energy of wind.”  Annie Dillard

Sravanabelagola means the monk of the white pond. standing tall on the top of the hill Indragiri, the monolithic statue of Gomateshwara, is visible a few minutes away from the town, But later no until you reach up to the temple. its a tough hike though, can be a bit slippery in rain as well. the town itself is pretty small, and once up the hill, you can have a 220 degree view of the town and the hill channagiri, where another beautiful temple is situated. The statue is magnificent, brickwalled from all the sides now, and like most of the temples in south has a cave kinda round robin with other deities statues inside.

we reached the town around 10:45 and left to halebid around 12:30PM. halebid is another 1 and plus half hours from this place. A small town with a few thousand population, apart from tourism business, farming is a livelihood for most. coconut, sunflower and cotton are the few major crops grown in this area. the temple is the only and the most prominent attraction of the town, amongs the other are few Jain temples. built almost a 1000 years back, the twin shiva temple, has gogeously carved sculptures telling the stories in Hindu mythology and the life then, depicted in forms of daily activities, entertainment. outside the temple to east/north, there are two nandi statue dedicated to each shiv linga. the lake on the temple side is named dwarsamudra which I think, was the name of the town as well, before Mughal from delhi attacked and destroyed the whole dynasty, there are visible scars on the temple walls of the war. Belur along with halebid and a temple in Somnathpur, the remains of the Destroyed Hoysala Dynasty, and are living example of intricate, and skilled craftsmanship and architecture.

Belur which is around 16-17 Km ahead of Halebid, has temple dedicated to Lord Vishu and Goddess Lakshmi. while Shiva temple is said to be an incomplete temple, this temple is bigger in area outside, (ground outside 2 temples) and is walled with the South Indian Gopuram style gate, yet half the size of the twin Lord Shiva temple. there are depictions of Lord Vishnus' Dashavatar, (10 incarnations) as well as the livings of the past. the stories of entertainment in that era, along with the sayings like love is blind, and sex are clearly carved on the walls outside the temple. the temple has three entrances and each entrance tells its own story. I did wonder if for a place dedicated to the worship of God, should be used to crafting the arts, but well, thats how it is. and its magnificent.

In Belur it started raining really heavy hence it got difficult for us to go into details, and understand the sculptures and art, and we almost ran back only to stop on our way back to Bangalore at a road side hotel called Atithi. It was around 6 and rain had stopped. but that row of windmills on the hills weren't that visible as those were, in the time before noon. I wish I could click few landscapes too. We reached back to Bangalore 15 minutes past 10 as promised by KSTDC. The overall tour was fun. as for hoysala, there was a lot yet to be explored and yet to be learned.

For More Images from Bangalore & Around check out flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/poonamparihar/sets/72157623600161918/

All photos and texts are ©me , but ignore those silly watermarks and godly halos... was pretty naive and a novice then... and well haven't got a chance to edit images ever since.. !

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