Blogs from Hassan, Karnataka, India, Asia

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Asia » India » Karnataka » Hassan September 25th 2017

Day 8: Bangalore - Hassan 25 September 2017 After breakfast, we drove to Hassan (180 kms/ 4.5 hrs approx), leaving wet Bangalore behind. En route we visited Shravenabelagola. Shravenabelagola, renowned for its colossal Gomateshwara statue. There are around 700 steps to climb on to reach the Gomateshwara statue. Shravenabelagola is one of the most celebrated Jain pilgrim sites and the gigantic statue of Lord Gomateshwara has been carved out of a single block of granite and stands majestically atop a hill. The 21 m high monolithic stone statue of the Lord Gommateshwara, also referred to as Bahubali is located above this hill which is called Vindhyagiri or Doddabetta or Indragiri hill. It is estimated to weigh approximately 80 tons. The carved nude statue is shown standing on a lotus and captures the tranquillity typical of much ... read more
Shravamabelgola Temple (115)
Shravamabelgola Temple (14)
Shravamabelgola Temple (47)

Asia » India » Karnataka » Hassan March 14th 2016

The quest for the next, offbeat weekend gateway ended with the identification of Hassan, in the state of Karnataka. Since it was the month of October, to avoid the afternoon heat, we decided to travel in the night. The distance to be covered from Mumbai was 950 km and the estimated travel time was 16 hours with minimal pit stops. After completing the day’s task we embarked on our journey at 16:00 hours and hit Mumbai-Pune Expressway. The city traffic on the Pune Bypass Road was dense and it took almost an hour to get out of it and reach Katraj Tunnel. Thereafter the road was good and the only delay was on account of the wait at the Toll Plazas. As we reached Satara, on Pune – Bangalore Highway, we decided to take a short ... read more
Ornate Carvings
Serene Environment
Mythological Figures

Asia » India » Karnataka » Hassan December 31st 2014

After our "shithole experience" in Halebid (read in our last blog entry), we did not feel like staying overnight in another pilgrimage town. Furthermore, the sleeping options in Shravanabelagola sounded, well let's say, limited. Most of the guesthouses are for pilgrims and are rented by the local jain organisation for as little as 210 rupees for a double. So we made the trip to Shravanabelagola from Hassan in 1 day - and it was a perfect decision. But as this place was an extraordinary place for us, we feel like giving it some space in an extra blog. Why did we chose to go to Shravanabelagola? On this trip we wanted to visit some smaller, remoter places around Mysore as this area is considered to be kind of a holy area with lot of sacred places ... read more
Markus and some random indians taking pictures of us
landscape around Shravanabelagola
Markus with Shravanabelagola and Chandragiri hill in the background

Asia » India » Karnataka » Hassan December 30th 2014

This blog is dedicated to the Ancient Hoysala Empire - its capital Halebidu and Belur. 28th Dec 2014 sunday morning and a destination 260 kms away from Bengaluru city was picked up as a weekend getaway by us. We covered total 3 places in a day's tour to belur - Halebidu. Our trip started at 6 am from bengaluru. Our first stop was Sharavanbelagola(140 kms from Bangalore)- a very old jain temple. As soon as we got out of our car we figured out reaching to the temple will not be an easy task, as there were 150 stairs waiting for us. Somehow we managed with 4-5 breaks in between. After reaching the cliff our tiredness was taken away by the temple's design and architecture. After covering the entire courtyard and the temple we quickly rushed ... read more
Belur
belur
belur

Asia » India » Karnataka » Hassan December 30th 2014

OK, the headline is quite provocative. We do have some indian friends who are spiritual. So please, we do not want to offend anyone. We are just talking about the mass of people and what we observed on our travels. But later some thought on this. From Madikeri we took one of the many buses down to Hassan. If you want to travel this route: just be warned! The road is really bad and during these 4 hours we were shaken quite a bit. But again we had been lucky, having seats in the front of the bus with great views. We arrived at the bus station in Hassan and were really surprised how clean and well organized this bus station is. As it was early afternoon, we quickly decided to make our way to Halebid. ... read more
it is orange season - as you can see on the market in Hassan
construction work in a bus terminal near Hassan
Markus getting a new haircut

Asia » India » Karnataka » Hassan January 22nd 2013

Since Mysore, we have been staying in the beautiful coffee region of Belur. We were all fortunate enough to be hosted by coffee planters on their plantations. Emily and I stayed with a wonderful old man, Ganghia, and his wife, Vashanta. He is evidently highly respected by everyone in the region, deservedly so, it seems to us. His son is the owner of India's largest coffee shop chain, Cafe Coffee Day and apparently one of India's richest people. He is also, we are told, an unassuming man like his father. The house where we stayed was built about 150 years ago by a coffee planter from Wales. Ganghia's family bought it in the 1940's and have built it up to its 11,000 acres of today. He took us on a tour, showing us the difference between ... read more
Arabica coffee beans
Coffee washing
Coffee drying

Asia » India » Karnataka » Hassan January 22nd 2013

After a very hectic schedule, I welcomed the opportunity to stay in the middle of a coffee plantation, sit out on the veranda basking in the sun, and wake to the sound of birds singing each morning. Our journeys to, from, and surrounding the areas of Hassan and Belur may have been quite long but it was so good to see some countryside again. The highlight for me had to be the visit to Shravanabelagola where we climbed barefoot up the vindhyagiri hill to a Jain temple. As well as enjoying getting my first bout of exercise on this trip, I took in fantastic views of the city and the gommateshvara statue. We visited two other temples during our time in the Hassan district – the Hindu Hoysaleswara temple at Halebeedu and the Chennakeshava temple complex ... read more

Asia » India » Karnataka » Hassan January 19th 2013

Saturday 19 – Sunday 20 January 2013 We said a fond farewell to our Mysore hosts and headed off to Hassan today, ready for our fourth vocational day. I visited a local newspaper printed in the local language of Kannada. I think what has surprised me most is that the paper costs 150 rupees for just four pages. To put that into context, we bought supplies of biscuits, sweets and juice at a supermarket and it only cost 80 rupees (about £1). Yet the paper is increasing in popularity as more and more people want to keep up to date with local politics. Unexpectedly, the editor took the opportunity to throw a camera and microphone in my face and then tell me that he also runs a local TV channel. It’s hard to be part of ... read more
800 steps.....
Shravanbelagola
Polio immunisation

Asia » India » Karnataka » Hassan August 5th 2012

Aha...I'm a bit delayed in writing these next couple of posts. As the program progresses I'm getting less and less motivation, as it often goes with experiencing new things. At first it's really exciting and everything you do is new! and wonderful! and you want to use exclamation points to end all your sentences! But eventually you start to get used to things and don't try to learn as much. I think part of it, too, is that I haven't been able to get much exercise here so I'm losing my eternal endorphine high. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Anyway, back to actually reporting on the fun stuff. On Sunday we got the day off from hours and hours of lectures and got to go visit some sweet temples in Belur and Halebidu, Karnataka. Just as in our trip to ... read more

Asia » India » Karnataka » Hassan February 20th 2012

Another short drive as we arrived in the ancient city of Mysore around midday and dumped our bags at the hotel I had booked the previous evening, it is clean and comfortable and within just a few minutes’ walk of the palace. We decided that we would go visit the further afield sights immediately then dismiss the driver as we will be staying for a few days. The first of these sights was the star shaped Kesava Temple built 1268 in Somnathpur some thirty three kilometres east of Mysore, which was totally covered in carved soapstone figures from the Ramayana, Mahabharata and the Bhagavad Gita some quite pornographic. I found the temple fascinating, it's a shame the Indians don’t build anything so pretty anymore. On the way back we visited the temple on Chamundi Hill not ... read more
Keshava Temple
Keshava Temple art
Fantastic carving




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