Badami, Aihole, Pattadakal - Part 2

By daybreak we were already on the road after a quick breakfast of idlis and uppma. It was a kilometer's walk to the cave temples from our hotel. We were the first ones to reach the cave temples for the day, giving us ample time to enjoy the sunrise and the main caves without any disturbance. The crowd generally sticks to the one or two major temples and if you cover them early in the morning then you can spend rest of the day walking around the so called 'lesser' temples. Badami got cave temples carved into the red sand stones and the structural ones like Aihole and Pattadakal. Most of the temple complexes are situated around the Agastya lake and some on the surrounding cliffs.

All of the cave temples have exquisite images of gods and goddesses carved into the red stone walls. They also feature a hall with numerous pillars and a sanctum sanctorum carved deep into the hill. The four cave temples also show the religious secularism practiced by the Chalukyas; the first three of them are dedicated to the Hindu gods, while the fourth one is dedicated to the Jain Tirthankaras. The view of Agasthya lake from the cave temples is magnificent, especially during the sunrise and the sunset, when the fiery horizon gives that extra glow to the red rocks. After spending quite a bit of time on the cliffs we climbed down towards the Agastya lake. If you take a short walk amidst the houses you can reach the banks of the lake which is filthy as a spit pot, but the green algae somehow manages to give it an emerald sheen.

The Bhootnath group of temples are built right into the lake on the other side and on the way to it, round the lake, is the museum of the Archeological Survey of India. The museum is worth a visit and it was amazing to hear that they are continually discovering and excavating new sites and structures even to this day. The museum has some interesting statues and landscape models, especially a statue of the goddess of fertility. It is a pleasant walk along the lakeside to the Bhootnath and Mallikarjuna group of temples. These temples are beautifully constructed, but rarely visited by the mainstream crowd. We met local kid Anusha and her four cousins there; who had come to take a stroll along the temple alleys. We sat there by the waterside for quite a while, while Anusha talked about the pleasures of growing up around such wonderful pieces of history.

The red sand stone cliffs all around the place are sculptures themselves, chiseled to perfection by the craftsmanship of the wind, air and water. They were so inviting that we decided to shun the artificial structures for a while and take a walk to the cliffs facing the cave temples on the other side of the lake. The path used by the goatherds and the shepherds took us to some awesome spots, from where the views were to kill for. It was a great sight to watch the sun rolling behind the mountains after the day's shift. As we walked back to the hotel it was already dark, and the huge trees on either side of the road were looking like demons in the moonlight. Our train was more than an hour late and we sat there at the station talking on and on about the good times we had. Like most of the other places we have visited, this one definitely deserves a repeat visit; probably another three!

Badami, Aihole, Pattadakal - Part 1

See more pictures here


SB said...

wow! great write-up. am planning to go there soon!

attiDuDe said...

Thanks SB!
Wishing you a wonderful time @ Badami.

Unknown said...



An excellent read. This is Subhrajit from and we would love to have your blogs listed in our website. We are trying to capture all the adventure blogs at one place. We would love to have contributions from you. Our team can design them post it uner your profile. We have also launched a credit system for contributions by which contributors can reimburse the points for cool travel stuffs ( The credit points are a way of saying thank you for your sincere effort and time for writing.

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