86-year-old Deve Gowda climbs over 700 steps of Vindhyagiri Hill

Shravanabelagola: Former Prime Minister and JD(S) Supremo H.D. Deve Gowda along with his wife Chennamma and other family members visited Lord Bahubali shrine at Shravanabelagola and took part in the eighth day of Veneration Ceremony on Saturday.

Even at the age of 86 years, it was not a tough task for former PM Deve Gowda to climb up nearly 700 steps of Vindhyagiri Hill to have the darshan of Lord Bahubali.

Ahead of the former PM’s visit to the Jain Shrine, local MLA  C.N. Balakrishna had reserved dolis to take the JD(S) Supremo atop the Vindhyagiri Hill to participate in the ongoing Mahamastakabhisheka celebration.  But the 86-year-old leader said that he did like to try climbing a few steps and kept going to the top. He took a break thrice on the route.

The first two times were for a few minutes. After climbing 500 steps, he took rest for about 10 minutes and climbed the remaining 200 steps at one go.

On his way, the JD(S) Supremo met green crusader Saalumarada Thimmakka who was on a doli and enquired her about her health.

On reacting the top, doctors conducted a check up on Deve Gowda. Later, Gowda also climbed the scaffolding along with his family members where he was received by the Chief pontiff of Shravanabelagola Shrine, Charukeerthi Bhattaraka   Swamiji. Gowda anointed the statue of Lord Bahubali with water and milk and showered flower petals on it. On the return journey too, the JD(S) Supremo refused a doli and climbed down the hill.

On day 8 of Mahamastabhisheka, Deve Gowda created a record of sorts – he is the only former Prime Minister who has climbed to the top twice and been part of the event for the sixth time. On day 1 of the Mahamastabhisheka on Feb. 17, CM Siddharamaiah too had climbed the Hill barefoot and performed abhisheka.

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