Cradle of Indian Temple Architecture - Aihole, Pattadakkal & Badami

Tripoto
11th Nov 2015
Photo of Cradle of Indian Temple Architecture - Aihole, Pattadakkal & Badami 1/3 by quixotic
Monkey business- Badami
Photo of Cradle of Indian Temple Architecture - Aihole, Pattadakkal & Badami 2/3 by quixotic
Behind Bhoothnath Temple -Badami
Photo of Cradle of Indian Temple Architecture - Aihole, Pattadakkal & Badami 3/3 by quixotic
Walk to Upper Shivalik Temple - Badami

Trip Itinerary :

  • Pune -> Solapur - Hutatma Express - Leaves Pune @ 1800 hrs and reaches Solapur @ 2200 hrs.
  • Solapur took a break , had my dinner got some basic stuffs i forgot to carry from Pune.
  • Solapur -> Badami - Solapur Dharwad Fast passenger - Leaves Solapur @ 0040 hrs and reaches Badami @ 0540 hrs
  • Badami : Move outside and Auto drivers will pull you in a share auto to Badami town almost 5 kms away. Costs mere ₹ 10 per seat
  • Badami : Checked in Anand Deluxe hotel. Got a non AC room for around ₹ 450.
  • Badami : Did morning chores and got a bus to Aihole. Bus stand was next to the hotel.
  • Badami -> Aihole - KSTRC bus - Left around 0730 hrs and reached around 0845 hrs. Cost was around ₹ 35.
  • Aihole : Visited Aihole Durg temple and Lad khan temple complex, Walked out to Mallikarjuna temple complex, Ravana cave and finally climbed up to Meghuti temple.
  • Aihole : Walked all the way back to Aihole centre where bus dropped me. Bus frequency is less.
  • Aihole -> Patadakkal - As i didnt want to waste time got a shared auto for ₹ 100, I let him get extra seats enroute so that i get a discount (₹ 150 was price which he wanted for my lone ride). 13-15 kms took around 20-25 mins .
  • Patadakkal : Visited World Heritage Site temple complex. Missed Papanatha and Jain temple which were outside temple premise.
  • Patadakkal -> Badami - KSRTC bus - frequency of buses is better here. You should get a bus every 30-40 mins.
  • Badami : Had lunch and took a siesta.
  • Badami : Walked to Bhoothnatha temple and enjoyed the sunset
  • Badami : Day 2 started, got up early and visited the Badami Caves at around 0730 in the morning.
  • Badami : After the caves walked towards museum and climbed all the way up to Upper Shivalik temple. Took around 2-3 hrs, covered most of the points and enjoyed the view with the cool breeze running.
  • Badami : On my way back found a less traveled path to two storied stone structures. A must visit place. The way is narrow, may remind you of the movie - 127 hrs.
  • Badami : Lunch and took rest. Sat around the Agastya lake under a shade enjoying the cool wind. Missed a trek to the rock behind Bhoothnath Temple.
  • Badami : Visited museum and saw sunset from the hill.
  • Badami -> Bangalore via Gol Gumbaz Express.

The main complex hosting the Durg and Lad Khan temple is very well maintained by ASI. It also has a good-looking garden. The carvings are beautiful and the parliament like structure stays in the mind for a long time. The real fun starts when you move outside of the complex and roam around the town of Aihole. There are temples scattered in and around the town. A few temples inside the town share the wall with someones home. I felt a bit weird to pass through crampted pathways, where you cross someones' porch to reach the temples. No one will shouted at me , probably they knew i was there to appreciate there heritage and not to harm it. Do climb on top of the hill to visit the Meghuti temple (considered first ever dated temple).

Photo of Aihole, Karnataka, India by quixotic
Photo of Aihole, Karnataka, India by quixotic

Mithuna Couple

Photo of Aihole, Karnataka, India by quixotic

Durga Temple - Aihole

Photo of Aihole, Karnataka, India by quixotic

Lad Khan Temple - Aihole

Photo of Aihole, Karnataka, India by quixotic

As of 2015, there are 32 World Heritage Sites in India, 25 of them cultural sites, this is one of them. The the ground of coronation is where all the art was brought to life. Looking at the Gopuras of the 9 Shiva temples one can easily find the 2 different types of architecture Aryan and Dravidian. You wont miss the huge Nandi carved in black stone, in a place where almost every carving is on Sandstone. The garden in the complex here too is praiseworthy.

Pattadakkal Temple Complex

Photo of Pattadakal, Karnataka, India by quixotic

Pattadakkal Temple Complex

Photo of Pattadakal, Karnataka, India by quixotic

Nagra Temple - Architecture - Pattadakkal Temple Complex

Photo of Pattadakal, Karnataka, India by quixotic

Virupaksha Temple Pattadakkal Temple Complex

Photo of Pattadakal, Karnataka, India by quixotic
Photo of Pattadakal, Karnataka, India by quixotic

A beautiful lake next to an old temple facing West. Probably picture perfect location for viewing Sunset. But dont miss out on the carving behind the temple. Usually you see young boys who guide you around these sites. Its up to you, you may deny taking their help. The huge rock behind the temple can be climbed by a small trek. Right outside the temple premise you can see markings on stone with white paint. You can view Badami from the place less traveled by :)

Bhoothnatha Temple - Badami

Photo of badami bhootnath temple by quixotic
Photo of badami bhootnath temple by quixotic

I guess i don't need to elaborate about this place, coz this would have led you to my blog. I am sure you have a fair bit of idea about it by now. Indeed, its hard to believe these caves are in such good shape now , one can awe how good they would have been in 5-7th century. Suggestions : Visit the temple in early hours when there is less crowd, else you wont be able to enjoy the caves and its carvings. Plus the number of monkeys wont make life easy, especially when people start throwing food at them. Avoid taking food here, it may invite monkeys.

I didn't find much about this place in the blogs online. The path to this place is next to the museum. The place ended up being the best place during my whole trip. I reached at around 8 in the morning and as i was alone, it looked like a place to explore. There are clean paths and beautiful rocks around. Going up till Vatapi Ganapati (Upper Shivalik) covering several spots alone made my trip memorable. Don't miss a small path to get to the two storied stone structure.

Badami

Photo of badami shivalik temples by quixotic

The only museum i visited during the trip because i had time. That turned out to be blessing in disguise. The notes with the carvings bring back all the old stories we have heard during our childhood days. Also, it gives details of both Dravidian and Nagra architecture which you would have seen in Patadakkal

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