This is the part of My Solo trip:
10th November 2018: I bid them adieu in the morning when the train reached at 9.00 am. at Yesvantpur Railway Station. Hired an auto to travel to Bangalore Majestic Bus Stand (100). As soon as I reached there, bus was already on the Platform, ready to go to Channarayapatna, which was 12 kms from Shravanabelagola. There are no direct buses to Shravanabelagola. Channarayapatna is the main Bus Stand from where, many connections are available to Hassan, Belur, Chikmagalur etc. It was almost 3 hours Journey. Thankfully, bus took a halt of 15 minutes for break. I had a quick breakfast.
Reached Channarayapatna Bus Stand in the afternoon. Got another Bus to Shravanabelagola, it was another 20 minutes ride. After getting down at the quaint village of Shravanabelagola.
I looked around for Dharmashala. It was next to the Bus Stand. Booked a Room for 1 night (Rs. 325). It was clean room with basic supplies. I got ready by 3.00 pm to explore the two hills – Chandragiri (Chikkabetta)& Vindhyagiri. Chandragiri is smaller version more of a Hillock with 200 steps while the main statue of Bahubhali is on Vindhyagiri and has around 600 steps.
I realized the mistake of leaving in the afternoon, because one has to climb without footwear. I walked opposite to Bus Stand to climb the Chandragiri first. Kept the floaters at the base and started climbing the rocky stairs. The Rock was hot, scorched my feet. Managed to reach in 10 minutes, because I almost ran for first 100 steps trying to avoid the burns. One can view entire village including the Kalyani (lake), located in centre of Village.
There are many Jain Basadis on the top (majority of them are on this hillock). All grouped together. All the Basadis are enclosed in a walled fort area. Temples are built in Dravidian style of Architecture.
There are around 14 temples, similar to one another. At the entrance there is a Kuge Brahmadeva Pillar called as Manasthambha. It has a pavilion at the top that has figures, that face the four directions. Chandragupta Basadi – constructed by Emperor Asoka in 3rd Century BC, dedicated it to his Grandfather Chandragupta Maurya. Savatigandhavarana Basadi was constructed by Queen Shantala, wife of Hoysala King Vishnuvardhana.
There are many inscriptions found in Halegannada (Old Kannada) scattered and protected by glass pane on top of it. Here, three kids befriended me, following everywhere, finally clicked some photos with them, which I have to courier it to them later. With profound happiness, I climbed down, reaching at 4.30 pm.
I dropped the idea of climbing Vindhyagiri, because it would have been very tiresome for next day, which I had kept for Belur & Halebid (my about to be topmost favourite place displacing Hampi :)). Came back to Dharamshala, rested till 6.30 pm. Since, I had skipped lunch, I went around looking for dinner, settled for toast sandwich & Samosa Pav. Both were good. There are some good vegetarian restaurants at the foothill of Vindhyagiri. Rested for the day. Hoping feet would be normal by tomorrow morning.