Shravanabelagola is a common day trip from Bangalore as it is one of the popular Jain pilgrimage destinations in South India. It is famous for its Gomateswara statue (also known as Bahubali Statue) which is the tallest monolithic stone statue in the world carved out of a single block of granite and has a height of 58 feet. Shravanabelagola is a small town of Hassan District located at a distance of around 150 km from Bangalore.
Sharavanabelagola got its name because of the pond situated in the middle of the town – “bela” means white and “kola” means pond. The pond is bound by two hills called Chandragiri and Vindyagiri, Vindyagiri is where the Gomateshwara statue is present. Along with the Bahubali Temple, there are a lot of Basadi (temple) exists within the town. Most of the temples are there on these two hills.
We have started our trip from Bangalore around 6:00 AM in the morning and have taken SUR HASAN EXP (11311) train from Majestic, Bangalore to reach Shravanabelagola railway station. The train is the cheapest and fastest mode of travel to reach Sharanabelagola from Bangalore. The train left Majestics at 6:40 AM and we reached Shravanabelagola at 10:00 AM in the morning. From the station, we have taken Tuk-Tuk which took us to Vindyagiri Hill.
The Vindyagiri hill has a stone staircase that carved its way up the hill and has around 650 steps which we need to climb barefoot. It is recommended to wear socks because the stone stairs get really hot. The stairs were high and steep thus we need to be extra cautious while climbing.
After almost every 100 odd steps, we were stopping to catch our breath as well as to take photos. The view gets beautiful as you climb further up and it gives a nice panoramic view of the entire city.
It took us close to 45 minutes to reach the temple entrance at the top. We sat outside the temple just to catch our breath and then we entered the temple. Near the entrance, we can see huge glass slabs that were protecting some ancient sculptures carved out of the rocks.
The temple had the main Gomateswara statue which was made out of single granite stone and it was standing majestically in the center. There were a few more beautiful sculptures inside the temple which were showing the ancient art.
We spend around 30 minutes and then started to climb down. We had our lunch at the nearby restaurant and then we have started for Chandragiri Hill. It is less populated than Vindyagiri because either people are not aware of it or they just get too tired after climbing 650 steps. It has around 270 odd steps to reach to the top of the hill. The stairs are not that steep as compared to Vindyagiri hill and it was relatively easy climbing.
Out of the 106 memorials in Sharavanabelagola, 92 are located in Chandragiri hill. Except one, all the Basadis on the hill are enclosed in a walled fort area. There were around 14 temples inside the fort area and their architecture is almost similar to each other.
The prominent Basadi’s found on the hills are Shantinatha Basadi, Chandragupta Basadi, Parshwanatha Basadi, Kattale Basadi, Majjigana Basadi, Shasana Basadi, Chavundaraya Basadi, Chandraprabha Basadi, Parshwanatha Basadi II, Eradukatte Basadi, Savatigandhavarana Basadi, Terina Basadi, Shantishwara Basadi, Iruve-Brahmadeva Basadi.
We will also see a Kuge Brahma Stamba (pillar) which is a highly decorative pillar with an image of Brahma. A small seated figure of Brahmadeva is positioned at the top, facing east.
After staying there for 30 minutes we decided to climb down. From there we have again taken a tuk-tuk to reach the railway station. Our return train SOLAPUR EXP(11312) was at 4:45 PM and thus we need to wait for around 30 minutes on the railway station. Our train was on time and we reached Bangalore by 8 PM.
Though the trip was tiring as we have to climb two hills, it was worth it.
The temple is opened throughout the day i.e. from 6 AM to 5:30 PM
Railway Station to Temple Distance
The distance between the railway station and the temple is 1 km, there is Tuk-Tuk as well as Bus available which will take you to the temple from the railway station.
Places to visit near Shravanabelagola
Chandragiri Hill: Gomateswara Statue
Vindyagiri Hill: Shantinatha Basadi, Chandragupta Basadi, Parshwanatha Basadi, Kattale Basadi, Majjigana Basadi, Shasana Basadi, Chavundaraya Basadi, Chandraprabha Basadi, Parshwanatha Basadi II, Eradukatte Basadi, Savatigandhavarana Basadi, Terina Basadi, Shantishwara Basadi, Iruve-Brahmadeva Basadi.