Aihole is a small town , about 50 kms from Badami. The interesting thing about this place is that the village settlement is sprinkled amongst the ruins. Various temples and structures are located behind the villagers’ huts, and it’s easy to find locals sitting in these ancient buildings for a leisurely chat 🙂
Villagers in Aihole –
Our local guide, who went by the name of Prabhu. He wasn’t really an official guide, but then he was very eager to show us around 🙂
Prabhu and his friend Nagarjuna –
Trying to show us something called “Ulta Pulta” 😀 Still can’t figure out what that quite was…
Rock cut caves in Aihole –
Structural temple architecture –
Apart from the rock cut caves, other interesting sites to see in Badami are the Bhuthanatha temple, and the Upper and Lower Shivalayas.
En route Bhuthanatha temple
The temple flanks one of the banks of the lake in Badami, called Agastyatirtha.
A scene by the banks of the Agastyatirtha at dusk –
Sarees drying on the banks –
Upper Shivalaya –
Badami (quoting Wikipedia), formerly known as Vatapi, is located in the Bagalkot district of Karnataka, India. It was the regal capital of the Badami Chalukyas from 540 to 757 AD. It is famous for rock cut and other structural temples. It is located in a ravine at the foot of a rugged, red sandstone outcrop that surrounds Agastya lake.
In my own words, Badami is a must visit. It has some amazing ruins, and there are places around Badami that are worth a visit too. The drive from Hyderabad to Badami lies along NH 218, which does not have much traffic and the 500 kms can be covered quite easily 🙂
Posting first some snaps of what I saw in Badami itself. The key thing to see in badami are the temples in the form of rock cut caves. There’s a sequence of 4 temples, each devoted to a different deity.
Near the entrance to the cave devoted to Lord Shiva
Beautiful carvings on the ceiling
Inside the cave devoted to Lord Vaishnava
A large cave along the way
An eerie looking room inside one of the caves
Inside cave devoted to Lord Vaishnava
Lot of monkeys at the place!!
View of one side of Badami
Ramappa temple is located about 64 kms from Hyderabad, and is a must visit if you are in Warangal – if not for the temple, then for the drive atleast which is quite scenic (lots of greenery and lakes).
Quoting from Wikipedia, the temple is named after its sculptor, Ramappa, and apparently it took 40 years to build the temple.
En route Ramappa Temple
It has definitely rained a lot this time. Saw these signs of “flooding/too much water” in one of the lakes –
Trees and electricity poles partly in water
Having been built in 1213 AD, the floor of the temple has caved in from multiple places since then. The stone slabs forming the floor have tilted and been pushed inside by all the weight. The photograph below shows two slabs that have tilted due to the weight of the pillars on either side.
Inscriptions on a pillar outside the temple
Another place to visit in Warangal is the Thousand Pillars temple. No, I did not count if there were indeed a thousand pillars 🙂 But I did read somewhere that many have been taken to another other site for restoration.
The temple was built in 1213 AD and constructed with black basalt.