Hassan: He may be 85 -years- old but that didn’t stop Janata Dal (Secular) supremo, H D Deve Gowda from turning down the dholiwallahs present to carry him to the top of the Vindhyagiri Hill for darshan of the imposing statue of Bahubali and climb the over 600 steps leading to it slowly but steadily on Saturday.
Showing that age is just a number, Mr Gowda made it to the stop in less than an hour.
His wife, Chennamma, however took the dholi to the top. While it was rumoured that he would take the dholi too, Mr Gowda proved everyone wrong when on arriving at the foot of the Vindhyagiri Hill, he refused to accept the dholi offered to him by the district administration and decided to climb it in the company of Shravanabelagola MLA, Balakrishna and scores of his party workers.
He made the steep climb with no protection against the scorching sun. Although he showed no signs of weariness, he halted enroute to let District Health and Family Welfare Officer, Venkatesh and his team checked his blood pressure and sugar level among other parameters. Their verdict? Mr Gowda was fit despite his grand old age.
The octogenarian resumed his journey after sipping some water and refusing the electrolyte offered to him. On reaching the hill top, Mr Gowda was taken to the scaffolding to perform jala abhisheka (holy water bath) and later pour a pot of milk over the statue.
Once done, he once again refused to take the dholi and climbed down the hill. Speaking to Deccan Chronicle later he said he did not feel tired climbing up the hill and was quite comfortable.
“It (Mahamastakabhisheka) happens once in 12 years and I have always climbed the hill for a darshan of Bahubali. There is nothing special about it,” he said.
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