Badami - Glorious Era of Chalukyas!
Its been a while since I went for a ride on my BUMBLE BEE (R.E TB 500x). So, I was pretty excited about this one! It was all about Riding and reaching to GADAG a place which was 70kms away from our first destination, BADAMI. After crossing CHITRADURAGA, we explored the amazing countryside of North Karnataka via State Highways. We were riding at the speed of 50-60 KMPH on empty roads surrounded by lushed green rice fields. Despite the mid-winter, it was very hot. Hence, we stopped by various roadside places to have coconut water. Wasn't It a tasty way to stay hydrated? Meanwhile, we crossed TUNGABHADRA River, the one bisecting HAMPI into one of the most happening places of India, HIPPIE ISLAND and Ruins of Vijaya Nagara City of 15th Century. We'll know more about it in the 2nd HALF of the TRIP.
Around 3 pm, we took the last State Highway towards GADAG. After riding for a few kilometres, I could see numbers of Windmills at the horizon. The Road trip would never just about the destinations, the roads we drove on to reach there made it more memorable. So, when roads became as scenic as these, the speed of bike would be reduced to get the feel of the place. At Around 5 PM, After riding for 450kms, we finally reached to GADAG. Our home for the day.
Time to visit multiple heritage sites built by CHALUKYAS in the early 8th Century, starting with the world-famous heritage site, Badami. It was a cave temple like AJANTA ELORA. There were Four temples and each built in a different cave. Caves were located one above the another in the hill. First Cave was built around the Hindu mythological god Shiva and highlight of the cave was the statue of dancing Shiva at the entrance. Second and Third Caves were built around God Vishnu and his different Avatars. Few of the famous ones, I could see were the Vamana and the Varaha Avatar. I could also see lord Vishnu resting on Sesh Naga in one of these caves. The last temple was built around the Jainism. Even though it was built in the early 8th Century and a major part of it was destroyed, The leftovers were speaking loudly about the Glorious Era of the CHALUKYAS.
These caves were overcrowded and chaotic due to day trips from various schools. While sitting at the Jain Temple, I saw a huge Agasthya Lake and a temple on its far end. It looked like my kind of place i.e peaceful and not on the radar of everyone. Anyways, we wanted to run away from these crowd and Bhootnath temple looked like a perfect destination. Hence, we visited Bhootnath temple. The place gave me the feeling of heritage era. It was really a beautiful place and Thank god we visited it because it was the best thing we did in the Badami.
OFF to another heritage sites, AIHOLE. Never heard of It? It's ok, If you had seen pictures of our Vidhan Sabha, It was based on the DURGA Temple of Aihole.
It was 3 pm and we were damn hungry. So, went to local Dhaba and had authentic north Karnataka meal made with Chapati, Rice, Rasam & Curry. Either the food was delicious or we were damn hungry because we ate a lot ;)
Might Looked ordinary but Tasted Delicious!
While riding back from Aihole, we saw a temple at the top of a small hill. seemed a small hike so went for It. It turned out to be another amazing offbeat place with 360 ° panoramic view of the village Aihole. We sat there for an hour and tried finding out the heritage sites and roads we visited so far.
Here came the last and undoubtedly the best heritage site of the day, Pattadakal. It was small but very well maintained site with fewer people. Probably, the reason why we loved it a lot. The site contained so many huge temples with rich architecture. These temples were looking even better due to the evening colours of the sunset. A photographer in me would never let these moments go away without capturing them with my Nikon.
Evening can not be better than this. Could It?
Returning back to Gadag was another challenge as the country sites, we loved riding during the daytime came back to haunt us. Because it was too dark, quiet and we were the only ones driving! After driving for TWO hours, we reached to Gadag. "Nitin ka pata nahi but meri to jaan me jaan aayi :P"
Next Day, We would be heading towards our next destination, The World Heritage City, HAMPI! Please click here to read about it.