Photo Courtesy: http://www.shravanabelagola.net/
Shravanabelagola: 158 Kms from Bangalore in Hassan District of Karnataka.
Famous for: Pilgrimage for Jains. Temples dates back to 1st BC to 1700AD.
How to reach? By road: Bangalore – Neelamangala- Kunigal- Hirisave- Shravabelagola. Roads are patchy, when i went the potholes were repaired, so was kind of lucky. Good thing is traffic density is less and mainly consists of buses & trucks heading Mangalore.
Bus facility? Yes available. Bus stand is right in between Two hills of Shravanabelagola.Only thing frequency could be a problem. So should inquire about arrival and departure facilties before hand. But good thing about the bus stand is about its location. Both the hills are few hundred feet from bus stand.
What to see? Two hills Vidyagiri and Chandragiri dot the place and they are dotted by numerous temples centuries old. Also the hills provide good views of the surrounding Coconut farms.
Prime attraction being Gomteswar Statue, largest monolith stone statue in world, standing ~60 fts high.
Also follow the direction routes drawn on the temple walls for better exploration.
For more info on history click following links:
When to see? Since both hills have bare stone topography, so could be very hot in sun and very slippery in rainy days. Added to these,both of these hills needs to covered in bare feet by climbing, i guess some 200 steps in both hills. So its recommended to visit the place in cloudy (but not rainy) days or in winter season.
1) Free entry for both hills.
2) Shoes & Cloak facilities available.
3) Drinking water facility available. But still recommended to carry own bottles. (Request not to trash).
4) Photography allowed anywhere and everywhere. (I felt strange…donot know why? ). Free of cost.
5) For aged who cannot climb the steep steps, palki facilities are available in both hills at nominal costs.
6) Parking facility around the sacred tank, between the hills.
7) Limited lunching & Lodging facility. The only one i could see was Raghu Lodging & Restaurant, 20 mts from temple entrance. I guess it should not be expected, because of near by Belur- Halebidu sites.
8) ATM facilities are available (SBI & Corporation bank ATMs were the ones i could spot).
9) Town is 70Kms from World famous Belur & Halebidu temples. And so trio Shravanabelagola- Belur- Halebidu make a good plan for a Weekend. For more days of holidays include Chikamaglur hill station in the plan.
1) Town is very sacred and certain degree of respect & descency needs to be maintained.
2) Town is very neat, compared to typical Indian tourist sites. So request all visitors to maintain Zero footprint.