I was under the impression that travelling could be an experience only if I travel solo. I was completely fascinated by the tales of solo travelling. But my trip to Shravanabelagola in Hassan at Karnataka broke that myth.
Well! Solo travelling might work for many but for me a trip with somebody who would just like to travel can work. I have cautiously and deliberately avoided the words ‘share the same passion’. After this trip, I firmly affirm these quotes.
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes
– Marcel Pronst
Travelling is not about seeking new places but new perspectives.
When I look back, this trip proved to be the most wonderful trip ever.
The experience and that ‘so good feeling which you feel from inside’ could not have happened if I had travelled solo. The 600 steps to reach the biggest monolithic statue would have been a big hurdle if I had travelled alone. I could not have managed them by myself.
Those hours, we spent under the shade of a rock after climbing most of the steps chatting about personal, professional and worldly things made the experience more personal. A slight breeze that blew during those hours made it more memorable.
Neither am I against solo travelling nor am I making a sweeping generalisation. My point is : if you love travelling, grab any opportunity that comes your way. Whether it is solo or group does not make a difference. It’s all about you and your personal experience.
We travelled to Hassan from Bangalore. As it was an unexpected trip, we started off a bit late. It took around four hours to reach Hassan. Once you are out of the chaos of city traffic, the rural landscape will make your drive a pleasant experience. When you reach Shravanabelagola, you can see the statue from afar.
As I am a person who does not love being amidst a crowd, the month of September proved to be the right time.
At the entrance, I saw her.
Footwear is not allowed even while climbing the steps hence, you can buy socks from the local vendors for Rs 60. After the visit, most of us discarded them in a dustbin kept there.
If you think you cannot handle the steps, there is a chair – carrier. Thus, we started the Herculean task of climbing the steps. Even the views change as you climb up the steps,
When you think that you have finished the strenuous task of climbing the steps, this appears. You can sit for a while here and start the next phase of climbing.There is no doubt that you will get thirsty after climbing all those steps. There are massive tanks set up for drinking water.
Now, let’s get some facts about the statue
Every 12 years, thousands of devotees come here to perform the Mahamastakabhisheka, a spectacular ceremony in which the statue is anointed with water, turmeric, rice flour, sugarcane juice, sandalwood paste, saffron, and gold and silver flowers. It is called ‘Statue of Gommateshvara’ by Kannadigas, but Jains refer to it as “Bahubali”. The next Mahamastakabhisheka will be held in 2018.
We returned by around 6 pm