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Bandalike Heritage Re-discovered

What better way to spend weekend getway and series of holidays to dig into our legacy and heritage. It is worth traveling a 1000 kms on a round trip from Bangalore to Bandalike. Enroute if one can enjoy the nature and adventure of trekking it is an added bonus.
Bandalike is currently under final stages of resurrection or renovation by the ASI. After involving in refurbising Angor Wat in Cambodia, ASI has gained substantial experience in bring back the crumbling edifices to unravel the story of the times.
According to the Gazette Bandalike is considered to an ancient ruined and deserted village north of Shikaripur. The missing link to unearth the history of Bandalike is provided by an inscription, which mentions that the place was ruled by wise old Chandragupta. There are more than 30 odd inscriptions written in old Kannada and Sanskrit ranging from 834 to 1369 Saka era. The inscription found dates back to many dynasties associated to this place. They are Rashtrakutas, Chalukyas, Kalachurias, Hoysalas, Yadavas and Vijaynagar Empire. After the defeat of Vijaynagar empire in 1565, Bandalike was subject to rampant arsenal and looting plundering all its wealth. Most probably the earlier vandalism took place at the time of Malik Kafur in 1321 AD, who was a general famous for raiding looting the wealth of all South Indian temples.
My surmise is that Chandragupta Maurya ( 324-298 BC ) when he abdicated his throne in favour of his son Bindusara in 298 BC. due to his conversion to Jainism. His guru happened to be Bhadrabahu. The guru through his nimitt gyan could forsee the advent of a decade filled with famine in the near future in Magadh empire. He alongwith his followers decided to relocate down south. Chandragupta migrated towards south along with huge followers of Saint Bhadrabahu. They migrated first to Bandalike . During their stay they got Basadis constructed in and around Bandalike. They spent 2 years at Bandalike meditating and teaching in the schools. In the meanwhile they were looking for a safe place and they re-located Chandragiri down further south to establish their base. An advance party was sent to establish the infrastructure at Shravanbelagola to settle down. Thus Bandalike is an important heritage centre and deservedly needs resurrection and maintainence.
The location is spread over 40 acres of landscape in Sorab taluk of Shimoga dist. which happens to be constituency of our ex CM Bangarappa and our current CM too is elected from nearby Shikaripur taluk. When two heavy weights are present we hope the infrastructure will be developed for tourists to conviniently reach the elusive destination. One has to definitely enquire his way to reach this destination. One approach road is through Shiralikoppa route, next approach is from Belligavi and the final approach is from Chikri route if one is travelling from NH 4. The roads can be treacherous in monsoon with vehicle taking a hit on the underbelly or getting stuck in the muddy swamps.
My premise is that Bandalike, Belligavi, Belur and Banavasi must have been an inspiration for Suryavarman to build the world famous monument of Angkor Wat in Cambodia. During his visit to India during the reign of King Vishnuvardhan from the Hoysala dynasty to attend his wedding must have opened his eyes to build an edifice for future generations to cherish. How I wish that Bandalike too is ressurected to that standard ? giving us a glimpse of an era which was rich in using the elements of nature to its hilt.
The complex consists of the main temple which can be a Shivalaya temple with trikuta or gopurams. One gopuram is partially missing. The enterance is guarded as it were by a crumbling Nandi which is hardly 3 feet in height. On the facade of the temple one gets to witness the elementary gopuram or mantaps at eye level, with figures of god and godesses missing as it were. There are inscriptions in old kannada and sanskrit for scholars to re-discover.
Apart from the main temple the complex consists of 3 other crumbling edifices which have been beautifully resurrected by ASI, one is distinctly of Jaina style, another is Shivalaya and last one is probably dedicated to Lord Vishnu. One complex is secluded from this multiplex as it were, which is supposed to be a basadi, which was locked, and i had to climb over the gates to re-discover. One may get mislead by this single monument, have patience to discover the main complex. Only the villagers can a shepherd guiding the flock. In fact I found a shepherd herding his flock of sheeps grazing the landscape at Bandalike. Another strange feature i found a an old man almost like a ghostly figure in midst of the field. Inorder to confirm that he was not I shouted for direction for further clues, and in reply he replied move on. It was just an hunch I drove to the main complex which was the filled with monuments and inscriptions. The greenary and landscaping was a visual treat for the eyes. Eureka ! it was a heady feeling with heavens too showering us with its bounty of mild rain to literally clearing the bad light and thick cloud cover for photography.
It was an absolute thrilling rendezvous as it were to discover an exclusive destination, which has not been covered in any of the travelouges as on date except vaguely without pictures or details. I hope you all too will enjoy the journey to this destination called as Bandalike........a heritage unparalled in history. It is a pleasure to unravel the newest destination to travel buffs for previewing before it is officially thrown open to the public with full details by ASI. Some inferences are matter of conjectures based on historical dateline, which is an original contribution.