Ruins of Karnataka – Part II – Badami – Aihole – Pattadakal

Badami

The cave temples of Badami are jewels of the past. Beautifully crafted and artistically sculpted, they glow luminously in the sun. The intricate carvings, sometimes incomplete and defaced, are remnants of the spectacular craftmanship of the Chalukya dynasty belonging to the 6th Century AD.

Grain Storage, may be?
Grain Storage, may be?
Lattice Window. Sunlit Window?
Lattice Window. Sunlit Window?
An entrance.
An entrance.
The temples from a distance.
The temples from a distance.
Cave sculptures
Cave sculptures
A tomb.
A tomb.
The sun sets behind the Badami caves.
The sun sets behind the Badami caves.
Partially constructed stonewall.
Partially constructed stonewall.

Aihole

Aihole’s ruins are charming. A cluster of them, the watch towers and other temple ruins, are walled and protected by the ASI and other are habituated by humans and cattle alike. Some of Aihole’s temples are beautiful. The cave temple of Shiva, drilled into a black rock has to be the most elegant of them. There is hardly any living temples in this region.

The renowned Durga temple, Aihole
The renowned Durga temple, Aihole
Partially restored temple
Partially restored temple
Another reconstructed structure
Another reconstructed structure
A cave temple carved into a rock.
A cave temple carved into a rock.
Ariel view of Aihole
Ariel view of Aihole

Pattadakal

The cluster of ruins inside a complex in Pattadakal also houses a living temple, again walled and protected by ASI. The Virupaksha temple of Pattadakal attracts hordes of tourists throughout the year.

Group of monuments, Pattadakal
Group of monuments, Pattadakal
Pattadakal is a world heritage site
Pattadakal is a world heritage site
A cluster of temples
A cluster of temples
Another cluster of temples, Pattadakal
Another cluster of temples, Pattadakal

Among the other ruins of Karnataka, the famed Gol Gumbaz of Bijapur is high on my wishlist. I hope to visit Bijapur someday.

Have you been to any of these places? Do leave a comment and let me know.

 

Ruins of Karnataka – Hampi – Part I

As I sat gazing at the humongous, vermilion  globe of sun dip slowly westwards, events of the day rushed over me with its leftover in the name of a headache. I need a coffee, a strong one. It’s seven in the evening and the sun has completely set but the daylight hasn’t faded away in total. I stared aimlessly at the ruins of Hemakuta Hill. I had earlier visited them during the day. A smattering of mandaps and stupas strewn across uneven, unsorted and unfinished in the midst of rock boulders precariously placed by nature. They sit there for thousands of years, perhaps waiting to be brought to life. But they look sad, as symbols of ‘unaccomplished craftsmanship.’ They are in ruins, and will be for probably another millennium, providing a sort of enchantment for tourists.

Dated way back to 3rd century BC, Hampi continues to excite archaeologists as its ruins are still being excavated by the ASI. Sitting by the banks of the Tungabhadra river, Hampi continues to allure tourists throughout the year despite the terrible heat. Some pictures. Another instalment of pictures of ruins from Aihole – Pattadakal – Badami is coming soon as Part II.

Virupaksha Temple – the only living temple among the lot

Virupaksha Temple
Virupaksha Temple

Hemakuta Hill – The hill besides Virupaksha has a group of unfinished temples and is also a sunset point

A Carved Pillar
A Carved Pillar
Sunset at Hemakuta Hill
Sunset at Hemakuta Hill

View from the Matanga Hill

Tungabhadra - ariel view from Matanga Hill
Tungabhadra – ariel view from Matanga Hill
Carved Pillars
Carved Pillars
View from Matanga Hill
View from Matanga Hill

Tungabhadra – the river that flows through Hampi

Tungabhadra - ariel view
Tungabhadra – ariel view
Coracles in the banks of Tungabhadra
Coracles on the banks of Tungabhadra
Tungabhadra and ruins
Tungabhadra and ruins

Vitthala Temple – the crumbling structure that is being preserved by ASI

The Vitthala Temple Complex
The Vitthala Temple Complex
An intricate structure through moonroof
An intricate structure through moonroof
Vitthala Temple Complex
Vitthala Temple Complex

The Elephant Stable

The Elephant Stable
The Elephant Stable

Have you been to Hampi? Of course, you have. What has been your experience? Leave a comment.