Cerebral Shangrila

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Shravanabelagola & Halebeedu -- Travelogue

Its a long story that started 20 years ago. After reading the Amar Chitra Katha on Bahubali, it was my childish dream to visit shravanabelagola.It took two decades to attain fruitition.


Lord Gomateeswara, Asia's tallest monolithic statue ( 58 feet) can be found here. Lord Gomateeshwara ( Also known as Bahubali) was the second Jain Tirthankara and this place is one of the most important Jain pilgrimage centers.Every 12 years, thousands of devotees congregate here to perform the Mahamastakabhisheka, a spectacular ceremony where the thousand-year-old statue is anointed with milk, curds, ghee,saffron and gold coins. The next Mahamastakabhisheka will be held in 2005 A.D ( I guess in December).

Its a steep climb uphill to reach the statue.Slippers are not allowed while climbing (Though socks are allowed).The view from the top of the hill is spectacular.Its tough to believe that the giant statue is more than 1000 years old.It looks absolutely sparkling !

LOCATION : It lies 150 kms to the west of Bangalore on the Hassan Route.Can be easily reached by Bus/Car.


The great city of Dwarasamudra flourished as a Capital of the Hoysala Empire during the 12th & 13th centuries.The city is now known as Halebeedu (Ruined City) . The crown jewel of Halebeid is the Hoysaleswara Temple which looks magnificent and has some of the most intricate carvings.The temple is very well maintained by the ASI , and the lush green gardens around the temple add to its lustre.The Linga deity is still worshipped and the huge nandis( bulls) catch the eye of even the jaded traveller.The exterior is adorned with stories from the Puranas, the Upanishads and other mythological sources and have been depicted through intricate carvings of the finest quality finish.Its unfortunate that the invaders broke the carvings and the idols during the invasions in the 14th & 15th Century.

There is a also the Kedareswara temple and Jain temple closeby. Both are in ruins and only a view of the exterior is possible.

I am amazed at the technical superiority & creativity of the Hoysala architechture.The walls here convey thousands of stories of not merely the Itihasaas but also the creativity and skills of Indian sculptors.Halebeid is an ode to our wonderful past.

LOCATION : Halebeid lies 220 kms from Bangalore and around 22 kms from Hassan.The Bangalore - Hassan highway (NH-48) has good roads.


  • Good Update! I have updated few pics of this trip @ http://binarywaves.blogspot.com/2005/07/trip.html

    By Blogger ILA (a) இளா, at 4:41 PM  

  • Dude - did u get a chance to go to Belur - iirc - there is one huge pillar there - with just two pebbles as the base - i m not sure whether it was in halebid or belur

    By Blogger Srihari SN, at 7:00 PM  

  • Wow..thank you very much..though a photo would have been a diamond on that gold ring of yours.!!

    Halebid - Hampi - I've read about these two cities several times and imagined 'Krishna Deva Raya'. RK Narayan has written stories around Halebid/belur I think.

    Golden age I guess..! Amazing architechture...I remember some movies where the songs (dances) have been shot around the temples of Hampi/halebid.!

    These cities are also in my wishlist.!! ONe day.!! before I die.!

    By Blogger Narayanan Venkitu, at 7:34 AM  

  • Ila -- cool photos !

    Hari -- Belur was closeby to Halebeedu.But since it was dark we had to rush back to Blore

    Venkitu -- Halebeid was amazing. To recap your memory , The song " Sollamale" from Poove unakkaga was picturized there.

    By Blogger Cogito, at 3:41 PM  

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