Road Trip on the North Karnataka Circuit Pune -Bijapur -Aihole-Pattadakal - Badami & Hampi

Tripoto
7th Dec 2019
Day 1

On a cool Saturday morning we set out from Pune at 6.15 am. Travelling on the roads early morning taking in the sights of people waking up and preparing for their morning routine is a pleasant sight. We took the Pandharpur route to Bijapur ( 329 kms from Pune ) which was our first destination. The roads till Pandharpur are good but a patch on the Maharastra border till we enter Karnataka is a rough road. We reached Bijapur by 12.15 pm.

The Devout ( Varkaris ) on their way to Pandharpur

Photo of Bijapur, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao

A young shepherd taking the sheep for grazing

Photo of Bijapur, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao

On the way to Pandharpur

Photo of Bijapur, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao

After checking in at KSTDC Hotel Mayura Adilshahi Bijapur we decided to start touring the tourist places in Bijapur. Our first halt was at the Ibrahim Rouza ,which contains two edifices ,a mausoleum built by Ibrahim Adil Shah and a mosque . The Mausoleum is built on a high stone terrace and has walls engraved with Arabic and Persian inscriptions . Next halt was the Anand Mahal which is presently used for administrative purposes and opposite it is the Gagan Mahal which is also in the ruins. Gagan Mahal was supposed to be a Palace and darbar of the erstwhile Adil Shahi rulers. Bara Kaman an incomplete mausoleum with unfinished arches and built by Ali Adil Shah II was our next halt. It's just a few minutes away from Gagan Mahal. Later we visited the Malik-e-Maidan which has one of the largest medieval canon made in gun metal and a muzzle in the shape of a lion devouring an elephant and just close to the Malik e Maidan is the Upali Burz a 80 feet watchtower which has 70 high stone steps to be climbed but after seeing the view of the entire Bijapur city it is worth the climb. Next stop was the Jod Gumbaz, Taj Bawdi and Mehtar Mahal & the Jamia Masjid

Ibrahim Rouza

Photo of Road Trip on the North Karnataka Circuit Pune -Bijapur -Aihole-Pattadakal - Badami & Hampi by Aishwarya Rao

Intricate carving in Arabic & Persian on the walls and windows of the Mausolem

Photo of Road Trip on the North Karnataka Circuit Pune -Bijapur -Aihole-Pattadakal - Badami & Hampi by Aishwarya Rao

The small water tank between the Mausoleum & the Mosque

Photo of Road Trip on the North Karnataka Circuit Pune -Bijapur -Aihole-Pattadakal - Badami & Hampi by Aishwarya Rao
Photo of Road Trip on the North Karnataka Circuit Pune -Bijapur -Aihole-Pattadakal - Badami & Hampi by Aishwarya Rao

Gagan Mahal

Photo of Road Trip on the North Karnataka Circuit Pune -Bijapur -Aihole-Pattadakal - Badami & Hampi by Aishwarya Rao

Bara Kaman

Photo of Road Trip on the North Karnataka Circuit Pune -Bijapur -Aihole-Pattadakal - Badami & Hampi by Aishwarya Rao

Bara Kaman

Photo of Road Trip on the North Karnataka Circuit Pune -Bijapur -Aihole-Pattadakal - Badami & Hampi by Aishwarya Rao

The entrance to the Malik-e-maidan

Photo of Road Trip on the North Karnataka Circuit Pune -Bijapur -Aihole-Pattadakal - Badami & Hampi by Aishwarya Rao

The Medieval Canon

Photo of Road Trip on the North Karnataka Circuit Pune -Bijapur -Aihole-Pattadakal - Badami & Hampi by Aishwarya Rao

Upali Burz

Photo of Road Trip on the North Karnataka Circuit Pune -Bijapur -Aihole-Pattadakal - Badami & Hampi by Aishwarya Rao

Mehtaz Mahal

Photo of Road Trip on the North Karnataka Circuit Pune -Bijapur -Aihole-Pattadakal - Badami & Hampi by Aishwarya Rao

Jod Gumbaz

Photo of Road Trip on the North Karnataka Circuit Pune -Bijapur -Aihole-Pattadakal - Badami & Hampi by Aishwarya Rao
Day 2

Next morning was a visit to the most popular monument in Bijapur the Gol Gumbaz. The Gol Gumbaz opens early for tourist viewing at 6 am which is the right time to visit since later in the day it is quite crowded with tourists and school students hence the acoustics of the Whispering Gallery can't be experienced. We reached the Gumbaz at 6.30 am. There were hardly any tourists around so we could click good pics of the monument.

Gol Gumbaz

Photo of Gol Gumbaz, Jadar Galli, Vijayapura, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao

Gol Gumbaz ( meaning the Circular Dome ) built in the 17 th century is considered to be the World's largest dome next to St Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. It has the mausoleum of Mohd Adil Shah and is very impressive with two lofty minarets on each side . After you enter the hall on a raised platform in the center are the replica tombs of the ruler and his family. The actual tombs lie below in a crypt. You have to climb the minarets ( the entrance of the minarets is inside the main hall ) to reach gallery around the Dome and the Whispering Gallery which is a circular gallery on the top but beneath the dome which is built in such a unique way that a slightest whisper gets amplified and can be heard on the other side of the gallery. The Dome is also very artistically constructed with petal shaped skirting.

The foregrounds of the Gol Gumbaz with a mosque in the complex

Photo of Road Trip on the North Karnataka Circuit Pune -Bijapur -Aihole-Pattadakal - Badami & Hampi by Aishwarya Rao

The Minarets from where you climb to view the Whispering Gallery

Photo of Road Trip on the North Karnataka Circuit Pune -Bijapur -Aihole-Pattadakal - Badami & Hampi by Aishwarya Rao
Photo of Road Trip on the North Karnataka Circuit Pune -Bijapur -Aihole-Pattadakal - Badami & Hampi by Aishwarya Rao

There is a Archaeological musuem in the Gol Gumbaz complex but it opens at 9 am . We were to drive to Aihole so could not visit it.

The drive to Aihole from Bijapur is 108 kms ( 2 hours ). The roads are good but narrow at some places . We reached Aihole at 11.30 am.

Aihole is the experimenting ground for Temple architecture & construction techniques by the Chalukyan Kings during 450 AD-750 AD. The early temples in Aihole like the Ravan Phadi Cave Temple, Ladkhan , Huchimulli temples and the later ones with more architecture and carvings like the Durga Temple and the last one to be built in Aihole the Meguti Jain give us a glimpse on how temple architecture evolved over the centuries.This sleepy temple town is surrounded by small hillocks and has scattered rock cut shrines

We began our sightseeing with the Ambigera Temple Complex which has 3 of the early temples to be constructed in the 5th century. Next to this is a huge complex which has the Durga Temple , Ladkhan Temple,Gowdar temple . Close by is the Huchimalligudi Temple Complex and next to it is the Ravana Phadi Cave Temple one of the the earliest temple . A little far away on a small hillock is the Meguti Temple and a Buddhist Chaitalaya . There are many other temple complexes in Aihole but the main ones are mentioned below .

Ambigera Temple Complex

Photo of Aihole, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao

Lad Khan Temple

Photo of Aihole, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao

Gowdar Temple

Photo of Aihole, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao

Ravan Phadi temple

Photo of Aihole, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao

Durga Temple

Photo of Aihole, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao

Huchimulli Temple

Photo of Aihole, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao

Meghuti Jain & Buddhist Temple Complex

Photo of Aihole, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao

Next destination was Pattadakal which is a 25 minute drive . Pattadakal has a group of monuments consisting of 10 temples on the banks of the river Malaprabha. The most famous are the Virupaksha , Mallikarjuna. The Papanatha Temple is a few minutes away outside the temple complex.

First glimpse of the Pattadakal Temple Complex across the river Malaprabha

Photo of Pattadakal, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao

The Pattadakal Temple Complex

Photo of Pattadakal, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao

The smallest temple in the Complex the Jambulinga Temple

Photo of Pattadakal, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao

Intricate carvings on the Temple Pillars

Photo of Pattadakal, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao
Photo of Pattadakal, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao

Do try the staple food of North Karnataka Jollad Roti ( Jowar Roti ) Thali outside the Temple complex

Our halt for the night was at KSTDC Mayura Chalukya at Badami.

Day 3

Early morning at 7 am was a visit to the extremely beautiful Badami Caves. There are 4 Cave Temples built during the Chalukya regime. The first Cave is dedicated to Lord Shiva . Has intricate carvings of Lord Shiva in His different forms like Harihara, Natraj etc. The second and third Cave is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and the fourth cave to Jainism. The Badami Fort and the Bhootnath Temple on the Agastya River can be spotted from the Caves. There is a 10 minute walk from the Caves to the Bhootnath Temple and the Badami Fort. The Badami Fort comprises of the Upper Shivalaya , Lower Shivalaya, Granaries, 2 Watchtowers . The climb is steep till the Upper Shivalaya but worth it. The entire viewing of the Badami Caves , Bhootnath Temple & the Badami Fort takes about 3-3 1/2 hours.

Badami Cave 1 -Dedicated to Lord Shiva

Photo of Badami Cave Temples, Badami, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao

Shiva Sculpture

Photo of Badami Cave Temples, Badami, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao

The Agastya Lake & Bhootnatha Temple on the right of the Lake

Photo of Badami Cave Temples, Badami, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao

Cave No 2 dedicated to Lord Vishnu

Photo of Badami Cave Temples, Badami, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao

Intricate Carvings on the walls , pillars and Ceiling of the Cave

Photo of Badami Cave Temples, Badami, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao

The Vaman Avatar of Lord Vishnu depicted in this sculpture

Photo of Badami Cave Temples, Badami, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao

Cave 3 The Biggest Cave dedicated to Lord Vishnu

Photo of Badami Cave Temples, Badami, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao
Photo of Badami Cave Temples, Badami, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao

The Varaha Avatar of Lord Vishnu

Photo of Badami Cave Temples, Badami, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao

Cave No 4 dedicated to Jainism

Photo of Badami Cave Temples, Badami, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao

Lord Mahavir depicted on the pillars and walls of Cave 4

Photo of Badami Cave Temples, Badami, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao

The view of the Badami Fort from Badami Caves

Photo of Road Trip on the North Karnataka Circuit Pune -Bijapur -Aihole-Pattadakal - Badami & Hampi by Aishwarya Rao
Photo of Road Trip on the North Karnataka Circuit Pune -Bijapur -Aihole-Pattadakal - Badami & Hampi by Aishwarya Rao

The steep climb to the Upper Shivalaya

Photo of Road Trip on the North Karnataka Circuit Pune -Bijapur -Aihole-Pattadakal - Badami & Hampi by Aishwarya Rao

Upper Shivalaya on Badami Fort

Photo of Road Trip on the North Karnataka Circuit Pune -Bijapur -Aihole-Pattadakal - Badami & Hampi by Aishwarya Rao

The view of the Badami town on the right and the Badami Fort on the opposite side of Lake Agastya

Photo of Road Trip on the North Karnataka Circuit Pune -Bijapur -Aihole-Pattadakal - Badami & Hampi by Aishwarya Rao

The Granaries in Badami Fort

Photo of Road Trip on the North Karnataka Circuit Pune -Bijapur -Aihole-Pattadakal - Badami & Hampi by Aishwarya Rao
Photo of Road Trip on the North Karnataka Circuit Pune -Bijapur -Aihole-Pattadakal - Badami & Hampi by Aishwarya Rao

Lower Shivalaya

Photo of Road Trip on the North Karnataka Circuit Pune -Bijapur -Aihole-Pattadakal - Badami & Hampi by Aishwarya Rao
Photo of Road Trip on the North Karnataka Circuit Pune -Bijapur -Aihole-Pattadakal - Badami & Hampi by Aishwarya Rao

From Badami we drove to Hampi which is a 3 1/2 hour drive ( 139 kms). We drove directly to the Vittala Temple and visited the monuments around it like Kings Balance,two storied gateway,Vittala Bazaar etc. Night Halt was at Saanvi homestay in Hampi Town

Our first introduction to Hampi -The Talarigatta Gate

Photo of Hampi, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao

Vittala Bazar

Photo of Hampi, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao

The famous stone chariot of Vittala Mandir ( also printed on our Rs 50 note )

Photo of Hampi, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao
Photo of Hampi, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao

The Musical Pillar Monument in Vittala Temple

Photo of Hampi, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao

Kings Balance & other monuments in the Background

Photo of Hampi, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao
Day 4

Early morning was a trek up the Matanga Hill to view the sunrise and the breathtaking view of the Hampi town . The climb is very steep . We had armed ourselves with a Map of Hampi and explored majority of the attractions there like the Zenana Enclosure , Lotus Mahal , Elephant Stables, Mahanavami Dibba , Hazara Ram Temple , Laxmi Narasimha idol, Underground Siva Temple. Queens Bath, Octagonal Bath , Bhima's gate, Archaelogical Museum , Virupaksha temple , Hampi Bazar , Krishna Temple etc

Sunrise clicked atop the Matanga Hill. The Virupaksha Temple all lit up

Photo of Hampi, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao

Hampi B

Photo of Hampi, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao

The AchyutRaya temple ruins in the background

Photo of Hampi, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao

The Monolithic Bull

Photo of Hampi, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao

The Step Well ( Pushkarni) of Virupaksha Temple

Photo of Hampi, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao

The Virupaksha Temple Elephant Lakshmi

Photo of Hampi, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao

The Lotus Mahal

Photo of Hampi, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao

Elephant Stables

Photo of Hampi, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao

Hazara Rama Temple

Photo of Hampi, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao

Mahanavami Dibba

Photo of Hampi, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao

Step Well -Pushkarni

Photo of Hampi, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao

Sasivekalu Ganapati

Photo of Hampi, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao

Queens Bath

Photo of Hampi, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao
Day 5

Next day was a visit to the other side of Hampi called Anegundi or Hippie Island. We took a Coracle from the Virupaksha Temple side of Hampi to the other side. Here we explored the Durga Temple, Chintamani Temple , Sugreeva's Cave , Ranganatha Temple. Lunch was at a Cafe in Anegundi.

Tungabhadra River

Photo of Anegundi, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao

Ranganatha Temple Anegundi

Photo of Anegundi, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao

Coracle Ride to Anegundi

Photo of Anegundi, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao
Photo of Anegundi, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao

The Anegundi side of Hampi ( also called Hippi Island)

Photo of Anegundi, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao

After lunch we explored other attractions of Hampi like the Hemakuta Temple Complex, Achutraya Temple Ruins.

AchyutRaya Temple Complex

Photo of Hampi, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao

Achyut Raya Temple

Photo of Hampi, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao

Hemakuta Temple Shrine

Photo of Hampi, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao

Lakshmi Narasimha Idol

Photo of Hampi, Karnataka, India by Aishwarya Rao

Early morning we started our drive back to Pune via the Hubli route