Sunday, May 27, 2018

Day two of trekking!

We departed from Sakleshpur this morning, and on our way back to Bangalore we visited the Gommateshwara Statue. This required climbing 600 steps barefoot in 85˚F and extreme humidity. Needless to say, we were drenched! Right when I thought I was unbearably hot and tired, I looked up to see a group of four men carrying an elderly woman in a chair up the climb. Not only were they carrying her, they were running while doing so! I could not believe it, especially considering they do that multiple times per day.
We departed from Sakleshpur this morning, and on our way back to Bangalore we visited the Gommateshwara Statue. This required climbing 600 steps barefoot in 85˚F and extreme humidity. Needless to say, we were drenched! Right when I thought I was unbearably hot and tired, I looked up to see a group of four men carrying an elderly woman in a chair up the climb. Not only were they carrying her, they were running while doing so! I could not believe it, especially considering they do that multiple times per day.


We took refuge in a temple located half way up the climb and soaked in the breeze and shade to prepare for the second half. The turmeric chandan the monk applied on my forehead dissolved within minutes.



The final stretch led us up metal stairs and we emerged in a big open space which resembled a stadium with an enormous statue located in the center. The Gommateshwara statue is dedicated to the Jain god Bahubali, was built around 983 A.D., and is one of the seven wonders of India. The statue depicts Bahubali’s prolonged meditation; his lack of motion led to the presence of vines which climb his legs. We were lucky enough to witness part of a festival which occurs every 12 years, where milk, turmeric, etc. are poured on the statue. When very large milk jugs were brought to be poured, the crowd erupted in cheers; it reminded me of cheers during fireworks shows on the 4th of July!


We trekked down and ate a delicious lunch with all-you-can-eat naan, rasgulla, a sweet syrupy dessert, and ice cream to top it off before we headed back to Bangalore. This weekend was definitely a highlight of the trip for me, completing two unique treks two days in a row while gaining exceptional experiences with my new friends!

-Kelsey S.

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