Thomas, Emma, and I spent the day at Sravanabelagola discovering one of southern India’s most important Jain holy sites. The key attraction is the enormous 17 m (56 ft) statue of Gomatheswara on Vindhyagiri hill, described as the world’s tallest free-standing monolithic stone statue. (I don’t know if it really is the tallest, but it is certainly quite impressive.)

We also plugged our way up Chandragiri hill to check out the temples and holy footprints. (Jains love feet.) But obviously they didn’t love our feet; visitors to Sravanabelagola are requires to climb the solid-rock holy hills barefoot, and with the burning temperatures here in Karnataka that was no easy feat! (Pun very much intended.)

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