Inside a KPN bus, i asked my aunt, “do they give water bottles?”. She said no and i went on about how ABT does…and thus began my long awaited trip to bangalore. Much shopping, pleasant weather and most important of all – a tiny 23 days-old nephew – my agenda for the trip.
I don’t remember much of what happened in the bus – i had the aisle seat and i spoke to my aunt for a long time, a random conversation that i hardly remember now….hmmm the more i think, the more hazier it gets.
Snores, jerks, and a block in hosur – soonly we were safe and sound in bengaluru.
i’ve pretty much made up mind to make this post about travel. so let me fast forward to my second day of the trip. ( oh yes, i will be splitting the entire trip into parts 😛 so tough luck people. this seems to be shaping up into something copy heavy!)
There are three things i never miss when i go to bangalore – raagigudda, banashankari amman temple and dhodda ganesha temple – yes, my folks show extreme bhakthiness especially while travelling to other cities. i really don’t have a problem with it as long as i get my share of prasadhams 😛 But this time it was different, we dint step into any of these places, instead we went off to some other marvellous temples……so much so…that it’s been a week and i still get awestruck when i see the pics. Ok let me cut the build-up and get back to the real thing. We hired a cab for a day and sped through the Nice road( yea it’s really called that and it made for an awesomely awesome drive!) and beyond the toll gate into the hassan district. now hassan is this place in southern karnataka where there are several temples….and our first stop was shravanabelagola. (a tongue-twisting name that gives me kick every time i repeat it to prove i speak spashtam enough for temple talk 😛 :D) I am no jain, nor have i found the jain, buddhism chapters in history text books so interesting back in school (genuinely no offence meant! just that i was in a disinterested phase back then!) …however this jain pilgrim centre -shravanabelagola is one of the most interesting places i’ve been to ( not like i’ve been to many though :T but i’ve been a little lucky when it comes to temples) .
Rugged rocks, hot sun, naked old rishi-like men walking down ( yes, but no where close to me thank god!) and extremely enthusiastic children horrifically let loose by parents…i was genuinely scared they would tumble down! and an amazing view of the pond that’s way down at the foot of the hill….it was a good climb…750-odd steps and i’m not kidding!
So you climb all the way up and you get to see a monolithic statue of bahubali or gomateshwara which is nearly 55 feet tall.
Standing tall and upright, the statue shows bahubali meditating. So who is bahubali and why is he given so much of importance? bahubali is a king who gave up his kingdom and riches to his brother who waged war on him. He is the son of the first thirtankara ( sounds familiar? yea history textbooks back in school. wish i paid more attention then :T) let’s just say thirtankaras for jains are like the azhwars and nayanmars for hindus. They are people who attain enlightment and also pass on their knowledge.
We walked around the prahaaram to see smaller statues of thirtankaras, an ancient bell, a tiny kid in monk clothes, a foreigner with a baby strapped on (wonder how she climbed up all the way with that!) and several other people making loud conversations in languages i could hardly recognise!
And that’s not all when you meander around and keep your eyes open you see rock inscriptions and carvings that really take you back to those shabby black and white images of the history textbooks ( too much obsession with history tb no? not surprised! only subject where i consistently scored!) anyhoo…i have slightly better pics that that though…..
It was then time to leave and we walked down 750 steps…i raced down in 15 minutes flat
(no kidding, no rofl allowed too!!!) washed my face in the drinking water tap and gave a sheepish grin to the temple admin guy who noticed me misusing the facility and headed off to the shops nearby to kill time as i waited for my mum and aunt!
Aah so there ends what i can call my first travelogue piece 😀