Watch more sunsets than Netflix :P. I have always fallen in love with sunsets :). The hues on the skies with different patterns every day, tells a story in itself. This post is dedicated to one such sunset moments. Previously, we had an adventurous trek at Shivagange and were heading back to Bengaluru. It was 4:45 pm when we stopped at the Kamat restaurant. While we munched on the masala dose and Mirchi bajji. Somehow the discussion turned to watch the sunset and then returning to Bengaluru. That was a crazy sudden idea and we knew that Mandaragiri hills a.k.a Basadi betta was just 20mins away from us. The next minute we started heading towards the hills to watch the sunset of the day. I have been to Mandaragiri hills before on a bright day. I would probably write a detailed post on the place sometime later. So this would be a very short post on the moments of sunset.
Mandara Giri hills / Basadi betta
On a quick note, Mandaragiri hills a.k.a Basadi betta is an abode of Jainism which dates back to 1000 years. The beautiful attraction here is the 81feet tall Pinchi shaped Gurumandir dedicated to the Digambar Jain ascetic Acharya 108, Sri Shanthinsagarji Maharaj. The Mukha mantapa with Chandranatha Thirthankara statue. At the peak, we have an ancient temple of Jain Tirthankaras. So it’s a well known Jain place yet less crowded and peaceful.
Arriving at Mandaragiri
It was almost 5:40 pm when we reached the Mandaragiri hills. The sun was on his way to set that day with yellow hues all over. We parked the vehicle and walked to Mukha mantapa. The Chandranatha statue stood tall in the Mukha mantapa and the sun setting just behind the statue added the elements for a perfect silhouette. We had very less time so did not spend more time. We proceeded towards the Guru mandir which is surrounded by a well-maintained garden.
Guru mandir/ Pinchi mandir
The Pinchi shaped Guru mandir is dedicated to the Digambar Jain ascetic Acharya 108, Sri Shanthinsagarji Maharaj. Jainism on a whole has several practices when it comes to living life simple, non-violence and peaceful. If you are wondering the significance of Pinchi in Jainism, on a short note, Digambara monks use Pinchi – a peacock-feather duster to sweep the ground where they walk to avoid injuring any life-forms. The Gurumandir looked beautiful resembling the Pinchi on a lotus. The colours of the Pinchi mandir is really photogenic. After capturing the beautiful architecture, we moved inside to find the statue of Sri Shanthinsagarji Maharaj and wall paintings describing his life.
We took a quick 5 mins quick tour and by 5:50 pm we started to walk towards the hill. The Mandaragiri hills / Basadi betta is a small hillock and 435 steps are well carved. With the support of railings, any age group person can scale this hill without much difficulty. I highly recommend this hike to take your parents or children for a day’s trek. We started at the base of the hill and I started counting the steps as I ascended. This is a small technique I believe helps me where I can hike at a constant rate. As we ascended an amazing view was waiting for us. The green patches of paddy fields and Guru mandir looked a dreamy settlement. On the other the setting sun was reminding me to scale fast.
Views of Mandaragiri
We reached the peak, there is a Jain temple which was closed at that time. Behind the temple, there is a lake, which is really picturesque. We found a place to relax facing the sun and watch the sunset. The view from here is a bliss! At a farther view a series of sprawling mountains, the clouds were heavy and the sun was playing hide and seek behind them. The view of the lands comprised of the green farms and very few buildings in between. Well, that impressed me because I am really bored with the concrete views of the city. It was very refreshing to be there at that moment. I started munching on the raw mangoes I bought in Shivagange and watched the sun with his golden rays all over us. What more to ask for!
The golden hours at Mandaragiri is really magical. I was pretty sure that this would be another great sunset to witness. As the sunset was nearing the clouds became a spoiler for us. They hid the sun from us and it was not the perfect sunset. Yet the sun rays splashed all over the sky creating nature’s painting that changed colours progressively. From yellow to orange to crimsons that sky looked grateful. Once again the land has rested, paving way for the starlight skies. Let us hear the pictures talk!
The horizon got darker and it was time to leave. Well, it was a sudden plan to ride to Mandaragiri hills in the late evening. Believe me, it is totally worth it and one of the best sunset points near the city. For more details on the Mandaragiri – I would recommend Mandaragiri Hills / Basadi Betta – A Flavor of Jainism
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Read other travelogues nearby Bengaluru:
- Shivagange trek
- Makalidurga trek – Hiking the hill fort
- SRS hills / Sri Revanna Siddeshwara hills – Ride to the Holy Hills