Mandargiri, also known as Basadi Betta, is a beautiful, round hillock housing a number of Jain temples that are ~ 1000 years old. It is an important pilgrimage centre for Jains in Karnataka. Located at Tumkur District near Dobaspet it is ~ 75 Km from Bangalore. Trekking on this monolith is relatively easy as it has around 460 steps that will take you to the top of the hillock. A ten minute walk. Mandargiri is surrounded with boulders of many shapes and sizes, a haven for photographers.
We left Koramangla at 7.30AM and were fortunate to get clear roads and a blue sky – a perfect day , and reached our breakfast stop near Dobaspet at 9 AM. Shree Rathnam is a nice and efficient Veg restaurant – It has a big inviting poster and you can’t miss it. (The restaurant is located after a 10 – 15 min drive post the 2nd toll)
Mandargiri is a short 15 min drive from here – you an locate it on Google maps , lookout for a right turn that will take you thru an arch leading to the Mandargiri hillock.
We reached the place by 10 AM and spent a few hrs here. It was a bright sunny day but as you climb up the hill it gets windy. The steps are well laid out and takes less than 15 minutes – you also have the option to drive up by car across a mud path .
There are three things to see here
A Pinchi shaped 81 feet Guru Mandir – the first of its kind in Jain history. The Guru mandir is dedicated to the Digambara Jain ascetic Sri Shantinsagarji Maharaj.
The mukha mantapa next to the Pinchi has a tall statue of Chandranatha Tirthankara. Looks similar to that of Bahubali – but smaller , was installed recently in 2011.
And at the top of this hillock is a temple complex with 4 small but ancient temples that date back 800 – 1000 years. Two are dedicated to Chandranatha and the remaining two to Parsavnath.
The temples are spotlessly clean and very well maintained. there is no crowd – and remember to take the keys from the base when you go up ( Shivaraj – 8550036564 – is the caretaker). Its a nice calm serene place.
Lock up the temple and go to the back side of the Temple complex – you will see a beautiful lake. You can be adventurous and try walking down – but the slope is steep.
The views from the top are gorgeous and so are the views from near the lake.
We did not enter the water but you can stop by the banks and admire the lily flowers
We wrapped up all we had to see and left Mandargiri by 12 noon ( we had plans to visit the Narasimha temple at Seebi – but it was late and we had to head back to Bangalore for lunch.
Lunch was at a wonderful new place called JustBe at Sadashivnagar. Its a wonderful place – pure veg , vegan , no oil cooking. The fare they served was delicious and very healthy. The enterprising smart owner of the place Nidhi dropped by and spent some time explaining to us the rationale of the place.
If you are looking for an offbeat healthy Veg restaurant – dont miss this one. Rates are very reasonable and servings are large. Ambience and aesthetics are 10/10.
We left JustBe at 2.45 and were back home at Koramangla by 3.25.
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