Badami – Aihole – Pattadakal

Badami was on mom’s travel list since long and it finally happened now. I was moving to a different IT firm and I luckily got a break of 1.5 month in between. I desperately wanted to travel out of Hyderabad. It is almost 2 years of no travel for me. I was stuck in my inertia of no-travel. But I wanted to do mom’s trip first and then, go on a trip to Goa. I felt it was a bad idea to join new office after exploring ancient monuments. I wanted a leisurely break instead. Thus, happened this trip!

After a quick Google search, I realised that not much of accommodation options are available in Pattadakal and Aihole; it was easier to visit these places as day trips from Badami. I called up Heritage Resort and Mayura Chalukya regarding availability and finally zeroed upon Mayura Chalukya. The tariff was lower and also, the manager quickly even arranged a cab driver for us.

There is a direct train from Hyderabad to Badami. But the trip was decided too late and we had to book bus. We booked bus till Bagalkot and while returning, we booked bus from Gadag. Rasool, the driver was very friendly and reached bus stop at Bagalkot well before time to pick us up at 3am.

Since mom read extensively about these places, we took a lot of time to explore these places in detail. Travellers usually visit these places during a weekend.

Day 1: Badami, beyond the cave temples

Day 2: Badami cave temples and museum

Day 3: Aihole, Jain cave temples, and Buddhist temple

Day 4: Pattadakal and Bhoothnath group of temples

Day 5: Almatti dam

Day 6 – Departure

We had some hiccups the last day because of Hotel Mayura’s manager. But that is only a minor issue. Rasool dropped us at the bus stop in Gadag and did not leave till we boarded the bus.

Few aspects about the trip left me pondering. Just performing basic edits on the images and writing the blog took me a lot of time. I could not help but wonder how much time and efforts the sculptors would have invested back then. While making the basic edits, I noticed much more details than I had seen while actually taking pictures. The sculptures are extremely graceful and beautiful. Despite being sculpted out of sandstone (that is more susceptible to wearing off) and wearing off for centuries due to wind and rain, lot of intricate details are still retained. If the sculptures still retain so much beauty and details even now, I can only imagine their grandeur and magnificence during 6th century. This immense amount of constant concentrated efforts put by kings, administrators, artisans, sculptors and others, also means that the kingdom would have thriving economically back then; not just stable.


How to reach:

  • The best way to reach Badami is by train. Badami has a small railway station and there are frequent trains from major south Indian cities and district headquarters nearby.
  • There are frequent buses to Gadag, Bagalkot, and Bijapur from major south Indian cities. It takes 1-2 hours by car to reach Badami. Your hotel manager would easily arrange a cab.

Guide contact details:

I highly recommend Parashuram Godi. He is very friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. His mobile number is, +91 94494 15827

Best time to visit:

  • Monsoon (July and August) for very vibrant landscape.
  • Late monsoon and winter (September to March) for dry season and moderate temperatures.

This trip, though not my interest, actually was very helpful in getting me out of that state of inertia. We visited during December end. I would love to visit Badami, especially Bhootnath temple, during peak monsoon.

 

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