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.
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 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.
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.
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
Hemakuta Hill – The hill besides Virupaksha has a group of unfinished temples and is also a sunset point
View from the Matanga Hill
Tungabhadra – the river that flows through Hampi
Vitthala Temple – the crumbling structure that is being preserved by ASI
The Elephant Stable
Have you been to Hampi? Of course, you have. What has been your experience? Leave a comment.