Heritage tour – Hampi,Aihole,Pattadakal,Badami – Part II

…Continuation from part-I

Aihole is around 135 Km from Hampi. We reached Aihole in the noon..we just had snacks that we got packed from home. We skipped lunch as there was no better place for it.

Let us know some history of Aihole – The Chalukya empire ruled from Aihole, Badami and Pattadakal. Aihole was  the 1st capital of the Chalukyas who ruled almost 3/4 of India under the famous Pulakesin – II. The empire had its golden era from around 500 AD to 750 AD.

According to mythology Aihole is the place where Parashurama washed his axe after killing the Kshatriyas. Aihole has historical significance and is called as cradle of Hindu rock architecture.

Set of temples at Aihole, all the temples are in good condition.-

Suryanarayana Gudi

The Ladkhan temple

Gaudaragudi

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Inside temples..

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Also there is small museum, which some statues and idols found during excavation.

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We spent more than an hour in Aihole.

From Aihole we traveled to Pattadakal. Its  around 12 KM from Aihole . Pattadakal  is  UNESCO world heritage site. This has some amazing temples in a large compound. Pattadakal, site where Badami Chalukya kings were coronated, was the capital of the Chalukya dynasty of Karnataka in Southern India between the 6th and 8th centuries.

There are ten temples at Pattadakal, these temples has blending of various Indian architectural styles -Rekha, Nagara, Prasada and Dravida Vimana.

Ten temples as below –

Virupaksha Temple,Sangameshvara Temple,Chandrashekhara temple,Mallikarjuna Temple,Kashivisvanatha Temple, Galganatha temple,Kadasiddhesvara and Jambulingeswara temples,Jambulinga temple,Kadasiddheshvara temple, Jain Temple,Papanatha temple.

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After spending quality time – looking at beautiful monuments of Pattadakal we traveled to our last destination point Badami. Badami is about 22 KM from Pattadakal. We reached Badami at around 7.30 PM. Our booking was done at Hotel Badami court, one of the oldest hotel in Badami. Compared to earlier hotel we stayed at Hospete, this was average hotel, with very limited options for buffet in dinner and break fast.

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15th Nov – We started our day at 10 after having breakfast. Plan of the day was to visit – Mahakuta group of temples, Shivayogi, Banashankari and post lunch – badami caves, museum, fort and group of bhootnath temples.

Mahakuta is a place of religious significance. Its around 8 KM from Badami. The Mahakuta Group of Temples was built during the 6th to 8th century AD. The temples share the common Chalukya style found in Badami, Aihole and Pattadakal.

After museum it was time for Badami Fort. Badami fort – a top a cliff right opposite the Badami cave temples. The entrance to this  is right through the Badami museum. It is a steep climb with many view points. The walk through the Badami Fort is interesting as one walks through narrow narrow passages between cliffs. It is an uphill walk, but worth walking as the view of the rugged landscape from above is simply amazing. Its a nice trek and the kids loved the climb.

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Amazing fort…!!!

Now it was time for rock cut caves.

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The Badami caves complex are part of the UNESCO inscribed World Heritage Site under the title “Evolution of Temple Architecture – Aihole-Badami-Pattadakal”.  Badami caves are composed of mainly 4 caves. All caves are carved out of the soft Badami sandstone on a hill cliff. One has to climb up couple of steps to see all the 4 caves and the view from the top is beautiful. You can get a amazing panoramic view of the  agastya lake and the Bhootnath temple.

1st cave –  has a hall with numerous pillars and a square shaped sanctum hollowed in the control back wall. There are paintings of amorous couples on the ceiling. Other features include Shiva and his consort Parvathi with a coiled serpent and the 18 armed lord Nataraja in 81 dancing poses.

2nd cave – is dedicated to Vishnu is dedicated to Vishnu  and on its front are the guards or dwarapalakas holding lotus in their hands. East and West walls of the cave have large images of Bhuvaraha and Trivikrama. On the ceiling are engraved Ananthashayana, Bramha, Vishnu, Shiva and Asthadikpalakas.

3rd cave – the third cave is dedicated to Vishnu, and is the best and the biggest, and it has splendid giant figures of Paravasudeva, Bhuvaraha, Harihara and Narasimha.  There are some paintings on the ceiling and the style indicates maturity but has lost its original dazzling colour. The figures on the pillars here are some of the finest.

4th cave -the fourth cave is Jain. It has the image of Mahavira. Scores of Jain Thirthankara images have been engraved in the inner pillars and walls. In addition to it, there are some idols of Bahubali, Yakshas and Yakshis.

Few clicks from the caves…

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After visiting beautifully carved rock cut caves, when we came down to visit Bhootnath temple..again there were monkeys on our vehicle…beware of monkeys in Hampi and Badami.

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Way to bhootnath temple is through main town- for a car the road is very narrow. One can also go by walk as there is short cut to museum and from museum it goes straight way. But as we were short of time we decided to go by vehicle….first you have to pass through main market of the town and then small single lane with houses on both the sides. Driving SUV through such small lane was a tough job..a single mistake would end up your vehicle in some one’s home….but Abhijeet did his job very smartly.

The Bhootnath group of temples is a cluster of sandstone shrines dedicated to the deity Bhootnath (lord Shiva). There are two major temples here. First temple is big one called the Bhootnath temple with its open mantapa extending into the lake, while the smaller temple is on the north-east side of the lake,called Mallikarjuna group of temples.

During sunset we got see amazing views…let the pictures speak for themselves

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There are several movies shot in Badami to name a few are (which i have seen) –

Guru  – near Bhootnath temple
Magadheera
Rowdy Rathore – badami fort

Now the time was to call off our day..went back to our hotel.

16th Nov – In the morning after after breakfast at around 9 AM we started our journey back to home. And that was the end of our heritage tour.

Proud to be born in “Incredible India”

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