Tuesday, February 28, 2006
The mastakabhisheka of Bahubali in Shravanabelagola happens once in 12 years. I had a great desire to see it this time(6th to 19th Feb). Thanks to Raghu, we got plenty of information about the abhisheka timings also. But, somehow we couldn't go until the 19th Feb, Sunday.
Myself, Raghu, Raghuveer(my cousin) and Vasant set out in Vasant's car(ofcourse driven by Vasant) at 5 a.m. All along our way we could see groups of kaavi clad people walking. Some organization had organised paadayatra to Dharmasthala. The turnout was pretty good. The road was good(as per Indian standards) and we reached Shravanabelagola by 8a.m only to know that the mastakabhisheka was not open for general public. And, we didn't have the required pass. So, NO ENTRY!!!!
The place was crowded with Jain munis and pilgrims. We could also see a good number of Jain Digambara munis.
Since we couldn't get the pass, we had to satisfy ourselves only with the glimpse of Bahubali's head (which is visible from far) and the Jain basadis of Chikkabetta.
I had heard about a place called Are-tippur which is supposed to be near Shravanabelagola. It has a prototype idol of Bahubali and the place resembles Shravanabelagola in all respects(w.r.t to chikkabetta and doddabetta). It is believed that Chavundaraya, being inspired by the statue of Bahubali in Are tippur built Bahubali statue in Shravanabelagola. The statue in Are-tippur is the first Gomateshwara of Karnataka(obviously India also). But, we didn't get proper guidance about that place in Shravanabelagola. The place doesn't seem to be a popular tourist spot. We could get some info about that place only at the Tourism Dept. May I help You desk. Since the road to that place was not that good, we decided to go to Melukote.
After enquiring the locals, we got to know a short cut to Melukote. They said that the route is good enough for cars to go. I had heard that Indians are highly self contented people. The good road (as per the locals) gave an example of that.
We reached Melukote by 1 p.m and had the darshana of Cheluvaraya swamy(as known as Cheluva Narayana swamy). The deity was true to His name(very handsome). Had a nice lunch of Puliyogare and Mosaranna(Melukote is known for its Puliyogare). Then we climbed the hill(Yadavagiri) on which there is a temple of Yoganarasimha swamy. The temple is very well architectured. There seems to be no open space left on the hill, the temple fully covers the hill top. Highly optimised construction!!!.
Then we roamed around the Kalyani and started off to Bangalore. Only regret we had was, we couldn't find a nice place(beneath rocks or in some farm) for a mid-day nap. We took the Mysore road on our way back, stopped over at the Coffee Day near Ramanagar, had refreshments and returned Bangalore by 5 pm. It was a nice trip, but for the Mahamastakabhisheka. Now we'll have to wait for 12 more years to see it again.
Click here for some more photos.