Second Largest Shiva Idol is 85 feet tall and in Bijapur Karnataka
Small town India never fails to amaze me. While the big cities are busy building theme parks, malls and multiplexes the mofussil India has its own way to keep the locals busy.
Now Bijapur in Karnataka even with all its historical treasures from the erstwhile Adil Shahi Sultanate is not your typical touristy town. Once we were done with the mandatory ruins and tombs like Ibrahim Rauza and Gol Gumbaz etc. we asked our driver if there is anything else to visit, so he said there is a large Shiva Statue that locals like to visit.
We all liked the idea and reached Shivagiri to see the 85 feet tall Lord Shiva Statue. The idol is in sitting position that makes it even more awe-inspiring.
Recently when I was researching about Ber fruit, one of the readers pointed out that it is also the fruit offered to Lord Shiva on Shivaratri. So dear readers this Shivaratri I am dedicating this post to the second largest Shiva Statue installed in Bijapur district of Karnataka. The idol was inaugurated in 2006 on Maha Shivaratri day and hence I am very happy that this post is appearing it on occasion of Maha Shivaratri when the idol has completed 10 years.
T.K. Patil Banakatti Charitable Trust in Bijapur installed the 85 feet tall statue at Shivagiri (Mountain of Shiva) on Sindagi Road just a few KM outside the town. We were told the idol is made of 1,500 tonnes of cement and concrete and was designed by a team of architects and designers from Bangalore.
The statue is in a private property and is managed more or less like a theme park, but you are allowed to offer your prayers with help of a priest. We were lucky to have a beautiful blue sky with snow-white clouds and it was a delight to click the massive idol with clouds slowly changing shape.
The idol makers have done a fabulous job with both scale as well as detail, right from the rudraksha beads and an attentive Cobra as garland in Shiva’s neck, crescent moon on forehead to Ganga in the locks, you can see everything clearly. You get an idea of the massiveness of the statue when you look at this lady and some other worshipers in the shrine at the foot of the idol.
There is an Rs 10 entry ticket for the same and ample parking is available. There are some small shops in the complex that sell cold drinks, juices etc. and you can also buy some souvenirs from them. Shivagiri is very popular among locals and you can find families enjoying some together on the well maintained gardens. There are also some small rides, slides and swings for kids to enjoy.
So if you are in Bijapur I would recommend to visit Shivagiri and see this second largest Shiva Idol, I am sure you will come back suitably impressed. Wishing all the readers of desi Traveler a wonderful Shivaratri and may Lord Shiva fulfill all your wishes.
Note: We visited Bijapur from Hyderabad using a local KSRTC bus that takes about 8-10 hours and one way ticket is around 500-600 Rs. Depending on type of bus chosen. Bijapur is well-connected by rail as well as roads to all major cities in South like Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Mysore as well as cities like Mumbai, Pune etc. in Maharashtra. (Bijapur was once part of Maratha Empire also but more on that in a future post stay tuned or better still subscribe by email for updates.)
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