Date : 23rd Feb 2013.
Source: Bangalore, Karnataka, India.
Destination: ‘Dharmastala’, Karnataka, India.
Purpose: Trekking + peace of mind!
Away from ‘urban life’…. I mean away from noisy atmosphere, smoky polluted air, junk food, busy people and stressful life…
I just wanted to go out and trek for a day and meditate for a while and return home with a contempt in heart and gladness in mind!
The place I chose is a famous pilgrimage destination which is around 350 Kms away from Bangalore and it is called “Dharmastala”. It is basically a temple of ‘Sri Manjunatha Swami’ or Lord Shiva.
Mode of transfer I chose was ‘Bus’ since it is economic and safe! It takes around 6 Hours to travel from Bangalore. I was not alone but accompanied by my cousin brother Mr. Ganesh Bhat!. We boarded the bus at 11pm on Friday and reached there by 6.45am the next day.
The first thing I noticed is that the place is very ‘Green’. Air is as fresh as it could be. Climate was bit warm though.
Just looking at the map itself, we can see how ‘GREEN’ it actually is.
I was surrounded by a thick forest and there were no buildings on either side of the road.
A small Video taken from a local bus:
A snap from my mobile………
Just a look at this scene filled my heart with loads of hope and excitement!! Though, there were many things to explore afterwards.
When we reached there, climate was quite hot and we were sweating already!. The temple was heavily crowded and we could hardly get any vacant rooms to stay!
Since it was a long break for me after I last trekked, I was feeling bit uncomfortable and tired. However, a look at the sacred place made us contempt and the climatic agony was worth it!
We had to search quite a lot of places to find a room since it was a crowded time there; However, we finally found one. The facilities in temple-aided rooms are bit below satisfactory but it is justifiable if we consider the huge number of people visiting this place.
After boarding, our first task was to have ‘Darshanam’ of Shri Manjunatha. (Darshanam means to have a look at Holy God’s Idol; Shri Manjunatha is another name of Lord Shiva).
There was no trouble in that! We were in and out of the temple within an hour.
We thought of exploring the near by places. We decided something which is walkable and reachable with in an hour. Then we chose ‘Ratnagiri’ — Place of Bahu Bali. We had to walk for 20 mins to get there.
Short- Chronicle of Bahu Bali: Bahu Bali was a mighty and remarkable king who once ruled several kingdoms but at early stage of his life, was ‘enlightened’ and renounced all his glory, his entire kingship, everything he ever possessed — even his ‘clothes’ and stood up on the tip of the mountain with bare body to attain salvation!
Statue of Bahu Bali at Different Occations:
After visiting this place, we moved on to the Lord Manjunatha temple where we would have lunch.
#Note: People can get free lunch and dinner (Prasadam) in this temple and can also contribute to it by either donating money or grocery.
The arrangements made for safety and welfare of devotees was pretty impressive.
Carpets were rolled out on the ground to prevent out foot from burning in that intense heat!
Clean and filtered ‘Drinking water’ was available in abundance at almost every corner of the place.
Place was clean and neat.
Instructions boards can be found everywhere so we didn’t get lost at all!
Queue of devotees waiting for Darshanam was also maintained in a disciplined manner.
Here are some Pics that explains the above.
To our Surprise, we also found an entertaining park near by and just hopped in!
Here are some clicks taken from my mobile!
Aquarium in the Park:
This small video shows the aquarium in the park. Just take a look!!
While coming back, a board caught our eye which had all the ‘Educational institutions & Trusts’ established by the management here which is hugely appreciable. There were many educational, medical, cultural and spiritual trusts.
Another Surprise was waiting for us when we were going back to our room… We met an ‘Elephant Calf’ on the way… Here is a video of what I could capture!!!
Apart from the bitterness of journey being bit tiresome, climate being pretty hot…. all in all, it was a very good experience and was very soothing to mind. A 1 day trip to such places is way more worth than roaming around in Malls and cinema halls or pubs over the weekend is what I felt!!
‘Curious to Learn, Generous to Share’