Gol Gumbaz at Bijapur

The Gol Gumbaz at Bijapur is really quite a structure. Like the name, the Gol Gumbaz is a very imposing structure, exuding power and dominance. While the Taj Mahal looks feminine and graceful, the Gol Gumbaz looks quite masculine and powerful 😀

The Gol Gumbaz is one of the largest domed structures in the world. It also boasts of a Whispering Gallery with fantastic accoustics. The king and queen stood on opposite ends of the dome and communicated in this way 🙂

Around Badami – Pattadakal

Pattadakal is a small village in Karnataka, India. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, located about 22 kms from Badami. It has a collection of ten temples from the 8th century, built by the Chalukya dynasty.

The temple complex

Galganath Temple

Virupaksha Temple

Intricate carvings

Puja in one of the temples

Around Badami – Aihole

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 –

Badami – II

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 – I

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