Shravanabelagola is an iconic destination. This day trip will take you on a tour of Shravanabelagola and Markonahalli dam.
This series of day trips from Bangalore provide you an opportunity to spend a day visiting places near Bangalore. We encourage you to explore the rich landscape, heritage and beautiful spots surrounding Bangalore.
One Day trip from Bangalore 12 is the twelfth in this series to help you visit places around Bangalore/weekend getaways from Bangalore. If you are looking for places to visit from Bangalore within 150 kilometres or if you are looking for a comfortable one day trip from Bangalore, you should look at this post on this blog.
This one day trip provides you an opportunity to explore Shravanabelagola and Markonahalli dam. We have been to Sharavanabelagola many times and we were there a fortnight ago. The hills in Shravanabelagola are a testimony to beautiful temples, Basadis and historical monuments. It also has world’s largest statue of Lord Bahubali at 58 feet. Markonahalli is a lovely dam across Shimsha river.
Route – Bangalore – Shravanabelagola – Markonahalli – Bangalore
Distance – 300 KMs
Road condition – Excellent
Google map of circuit – https://goo.gl/maps/23s9VpZVEiT2
6.30 AM – Leave home and hit NICE road if you stay near it. Exit at Tumkur road exit. Follow the road for ten kilometres and then take diversion onto Mangalore highway.
8 AM – Breakfast time at Shark Food Court after Solur which has soft and tasty Thatte Idlis (flat idlis) – the best in the game – and Masala Dosa or drive for another thirty minutes to reach Swati Delicacy which has excellent breakfast menu. Don’t forget to eat their tasty Masala Dosa and the best filter coffee you get anywhere.
8.45 AM – Depart for Shravanabelagola. A nice drive of one and a half hours (45 minutes from Swathi Delicacy) will bring you to the foothills of Vindhyagiri hill.
10.00 AM -Park your car, leave your footwear in the stall meant for it and then start climbing. It is a steep climb of 400 odd steps. The railings installed makes it easier to climb. In summer, the rock gets heated up and it is better to wear socks and climb. Vendors selling socks can be found at the start point.
Shravanabelagola is not only of archeological importance but also one of the important pilgrimage places for Jains. Pay your obeisance to Lord Bahubali who stands all 58 feet. This is the largest monolithic statue in the world. Walk around the temple and notice beautiful sculptures depicting the cross of cultures in medieval India. Enjoy the panoramic view of Shravanabelagola town and the fields surrounding the hill.
The steep climb…….
The panoramic view of Kalyani and Chandragiri……
The serene statue of Lord Bahubali…..
12 PM – Climb down to the foothill, pick up your shoes and proceed to Chadragiri. Chandragiri is another hill adjoining Vindhyagiri. The climb though not steep takes to the top of the hill for a panoramic view of the Vindhyagiri where Lord Bahubali is. Chandragiri hill has a group of monuments which include a lovely statue of Bharatha and many Basadis or Jain temples.
The monuments @ Chandragiri….
1.30 PM – Return to foothills and drive back towards Bangalore.
2 PM – Arrive at Hotel Mayura restuarant at Bellur cross. Have lunch.
3 PM – Depart from Hotel Mayura after lunch.
3.30 PM – Arrive at Markonahalli. In the year 1940, the then Maharaja of Mysore had assigned Sri M Vishveshwaraiah to build a dam across Shimsha river which is one of the tributaries of Cauvery. The result is a beautiful dam with miles and miles of clear waters. Park your car and climb few steps to reach the top of the dam. Enjoy the panoramic view of the backwaters. Unfortunately there is no boating facilities in this place. Sunsets are very pretty with myriad colours painting the horizon.
On top of the dam…..
The vast backwaters…..
Glorious sunset….. (Photo Courtesy – Sri Sharat Chandra)
4.15 PM – Depart Markonahalli and reach Swathi Delicacy
4.45 PM – Snacks time. Swathi has excellent evening snacks like Bonda Soup, Mangalore Bajji and of course our favourite – Masala Dosa. Water it down with excellent filter coffee.
5.30 PM Depart from Swathi and drive back home.
8 PM – Back at Home.
a) The road condition is excellent throughout.
b) Wear a good hat and carry water bottle. The sun gets harsher as the day pass by. The climb is not too tough. It is steep but the railings help. Stop and sip water as you climb. If one is unable to climb, there are porters who will lift them and carry up the hill for a fee.
c) It is good to go Shravanabelagola early in the morning before noon. Exploring the place in detail require one full day. Visit the statue of Lord Bahubali and surroundings and then climb down.
d) Chadragiri climb is easier. There are many monuments in this place. Spend around 30 minutes to see the important ones.
e) Shravanabelagola is photographers delight. Carry a good camera.
f) A good binoculars is handy as you can enjoy the panoramic views atop the hills.
g) There are few restaurants at the foot hill for a cup of coffee and tea.
h) Markonahalli is still an unexplored destination. It is calm and serene. It is sad that there is no boating at this place. Few petty shops sell knick knacks.
i) Markonahalli is also a good place for bird watching.
j) If interested, one can also visit the lovely Panchakuta Basadi at Kambadahalli as well as beautiful Narasimhaswamy temple at Nuggehalli which has lovely Hoysala sculptures.
These links will give you more information on the places
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