History was never my fav. subject in school, probably because the way it was taught. But as I began travelling, visiting and exploring places, reading, seeing and hearing the stories each of them had in store, my perspective changed. In fact, I started to look forward to learn as much as I can, about the history of the place, and all the what, when, why and how’s of it.
Over time, learning about the history of a lot of places has had me awestruck, filling up my mind with imaginations unbound. On one occasion, I travelled to Badami – a town in Karnataka, South India – which was a regal capital of the Badami Chalukyas way back in time. I read up about the place while researching about it before the actual travel, but it was only when I actually travelled there I learned so much more. Today, Badami is well known for its rock cut temples, caves, archaeological sites, the town is dotted with numerous rocky cliffs which make it a popular destination for rock climbers and adventure enthusiasts.
Closer to Badami, are the twin towns of Aihole and Pattadakal nestled along the Malaprabha river, flaunting the rich heritage of an ancient and medieval era. Pattadakal is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. So, after spending a day and exploring Badami, I boarded a local bus and headed to Aihole and Pattadakal. Quite a few buses are available throughout the day if you wish to take a local transport and save a few bucks.
The temples, architecture, monuments, carvings, stone artwork at both Aihole and Pattadakal are absolutely arresting. Managed and maintained by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), one can hire a guide to learn all about the history. You can also read up all about it on ASI’s official website, you can also check info on entry fee, timing etc., here.
Each structure is unique – a piece of aesthetic beauty and opens up a huge box of interesting facts, stories, myths and lore. It’s such a beautiful place to be at, to be surrounded by such a massive magnificence left behind by a bygone era.
Quick Tips and Some Important Info
- Badami is the nearest town and can be reached (from Bangalore) by bus as well as train.
- Stay in Badami (also because only this place has decent, but only a few hotels) and make a day trip to Aihole and Pattadakal. One complete day is enough if you start early. If you want to practice photography without rush, start early and cover Aihole and Pattadakal separately over two days.
- Post monsoon and winter months are the best to visit Badami, Aihole and Pattadakal.
Travel back in time with a visit to these towns, when you can, but for now enjoy some pictures (click to view in full screen) from Aihole and Pattadakal – the towns lost in time.