by Wojciech Fedoruk - 2 years, 8 months ago
There is a place in Karnataka which, however iscribed as UNESCO Patrimony of Mankind, is very rarely visited by foreign tourists. These are magnificent temples in Pattadakal, nearby temples in Aihole and ancient caves in Badami. The reason of these rare visits is location – Pattadakal is distant from big cities and railway lines. The most convenient way to reach Pattadakal is taking a taxi from Hampi. Full day trip in March 2015 cost me 3300 rupees (I travelled alone).
I started my trip from Aihole, well-known place of cult, but in rather poor condition nowadays. There are many tiny ancient temples among ordinary buildings on very large area, so it seems this place was wery mighty in the past.
Then we headed to Pattadakal, the true marvel of inland Karnataka. Unlike Aihole, Pattadakal is very well preserved. The place was built with great architectural taste and it is a real pleasure just to sit on the grass and contemplate the view of the complex. There are several temples here and all of them are worth visiting (although, as usual for Hindu temples, they are more interesting outside than inside). At the end, I liked Pattadakal much more than more famous Hampi.
After Pattadakal we drove 20-30 kilometers through real Indian villages – with ox carts, goats transported in tuk-tuks and other nice views. Our last goal was Badami, where in VI-th and VII-th century in caves local people carved magnificent sculptures of (mainly) Siva and Vishnu. The sculptures now are in excellent condition and there are many local tourists here. It requires some effort to visit the caves, as there are lots of steps, but the place i definitely worth it. I hope this place will also be inscribed by UNESCO.