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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Badami, Mahakuta, Pattadakal, Aihole trip

Train # 06535, Bijapur Express [Tu, W, F, Su]
     11/Nov/11 (Fri) Departure from Yesvantpur (YPR) at 19:45 hours [First station]
     12/Nov/11 (Sat) Arrival at Badami (BDM) at 07:33 hours [Stops only 2 minutes]

Train # 16356, Golgumbaz Express [Tu, F, Su]
     13/Nov/11 (Sun) Departure from Badami (BDM) at 20:00 hours [Arrives 17:58 hours, stops for 2 minutes]
     14/Nov/11 (Mon) Arrival at Yesvantpur (YPR) at 09:15 hours [Last station]

Book in advance, and pay 100% in advance by online transfer, at Hotel Mayura Chalukya, PWD compound, Ramdurga road, Badami.
                    Mobile: 0 89706 50024.
                    Land line: 0 8357 22 0046.
                    Email: mayurachalukya@gmail.com.

Briefly Badami
     * A very small railway station; the Bijapur express stops only for 2 minutes; so you got to be ready to alight well in advance.
     * Our train stopped on platform #2, because, The Golden Chariot train was parked on platform #1.
     * No over-bridge or sub-way to cross-over to the platform #1; people have to get down to the tracks, walk across them, and climb up again.
     * Badami railway station is about 4 km away from Badami; A share auto guy came with full auto at Rs 50 to take us to Hotel Mayura Chalukya, 5.5 km, passing through the town on the way.
     * Badami town itself is a very small town with narrow roads, there are not many hotels or restaurants, mostly a lot of tourists driving around in auto-rickshaws / taxis / own-vehicles etc.
     *Arrived at Hotel Mayura Chalukya Hotel at 08:45 am; it is a small complex with two rust colored blocks, and one stone block separated by a walk-way; there was back-up generator that helped very well during the frequent and long power-cuts that did exist during our stay.
     * Our 3-bed room was spacious, in the new block; floor / mattresses / bed linen / bathroom were not very clean, but were passable after we called for re-cleaning of floor. No phone in the room. AC was fine. TV was too bad. My Tata Photon+ data-card worked fine, so I could catch-up with  pressing official project activity back in Bangalore; the view of agricultural fields through the window, large neem tree with bee-hive on the terrace, monkeys all around in the mornings and evenings, bird sounds in the mornings, the hotel's friendly dog, all added a lot of attraction to our accommodation.
     * We had our breakfast at the in-house restaurant at 09:00 am; they serve only bread sandwiches, eggs, coffee / tea for breakfast.
     * Places visited during this trip: Mahakuta, Banashankari, Badami, Aihole, Pattadakal.

Badami town
Arriving at the small railway station

The Golden Chariot parked on platform #1

The town area

What to see - At the hotel's front' desk

What to see - Google map

Narrow streets

Wood-cutting for household use

Hotel Mayura Chalukya Badami

A lot of them all around the place

Yes, at our hotel

Catching up with the project activity

Big Neem tree, Big bee-hive


Settling down

Moon in the morning

The back-up generator - Helped us well

Catching up with His project activity

That's where we stayed on the 1st floor

Dorm - Stone building on the other side

Mahakuta, Banashankari, Archeology Museum, Agasthya Theertha Lake, Boothanatha Temple

We did this Day-1 rounds by an Auto-rickshaw. With some bad road stretches and the slow speed of auto, it turned out to be a bad idea. Take by a taxi, better. Paid Rs 400 for this round-trip by auto.
Depart from Mayura Chalukya Hotel, 11:00 am; Arrive at Mahakuta temples, 11:45 am.
Depart from Mahakuta, 12:20 pm; Arrive at Banashankari temple, 12:45 pm.
Depart from Banashankari temple, 01:00 pm; Arrive at The Heritage Resort Badami, 01:15 pm.
Depart from The Heritage Resort Badami, 02:00 pm; Arrive at Archeology Museum / Agasthya Theertha Lake / Boothanatha temple, 02:10 pm.
Depart from Boothanatha temple, 02:45 pm; Arrive at Badami Caves, 02:50 pm.
Depart from Badami Caves, 03:45 pm; Arrive at Mayura Chalukya Hotel, 04:00 pm.
The Auto driver Zakeer gave us a tip that Hotel Geeta Darshini is very famous for Joladha Rotis. We took a 0.75 km walk from Mayura Chalukya Hotel at 06:00 pm. People were eating snacks, and Joladha Rotis were said to be available only from 08:00 pm. We came back and pre-ordered our dinner at the in-house restaurant itself at 07:00 pm for a 08:00 pm service. We still had to wait 30 minutes and got our pre-ordered dinner served only after 08:30 pm.

That auto!

Calm roads

Entrance to Mahakuta temples

Mahakuta temples

Mahakuta temples

Ammi / Aattukkal

Nice pond in front of Banashankari temple

Banashankari temple, quite different

In front of Banashankari temple

Heritage Resort Badami for Lunch

Front view

Connecting with work, at Lunch

Archeological Museum, Badami

Other side, there is a temple atop the rocky hill

Rocky gorge to climb up

Drive-in right up to Agasthiya Theertha Lake

Lower Boothanatha temple, viewed from Badami Caves

Agasthiya Theertha Lake, Lower Boothanatha temple

Lower Boothanatha temple

Upper Boothanatha temple

Viewed from Badami Cave hill

Entry to Badami Caves

Climb up to Badami Caves

Badami Caves

Lots of sculpture, e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e

More Badami Caves

Aihole, Pattadakal

We did this by a taxi. It was a good travel, far better than the one we had by auto the previous day. This was a longer trip and a 4-wheeler, unavoidable. Paid Rs 900 for this round-trip by a Tata Indigo. The amount of agriculture in this part of the state, especially corn / joladh were a treat to watch; quite a lot of rare birds were spotted too all along. Also the drive through many small villages of interior Karnataka and the people there, especially in the traditional khadi dhotis and Anna caps were worth a road trip.
Depart from Mayura Chalukya Hotel, 08:45 am; Arrive at Sri Lakshmi Vilas restaurant, 08:50 am, for breakfast.
Depart from SLV restaurant, 09:15 am; pass via Pattadakal; Arrive at Aihole Archeological Park, 10:10 am.
Depart from Aihole, 11:10 am; Arrive at Pattadakal, 11:35 am.
Depart from Pattadakal, 12:40 pm; Arrive at Hotel Badami Court, 01:30 pm, for lunch.

Get ready

Dosa at Sri Lakshmi Vilas restaurant

Corn / Joladh


Cattle Egret

More farming

A village scenery


De-husking / Hulling?

Produce is ready

Ah the sunflowers

Entering Aihole

Village full of architecture, but just not cared?

Delhi's Parliament building was modeled after this


Roofs and roofs of architecture!

More of them

Wonderful corridor

See the windows and pillars

The well

Flat roof temple

Full view

More temples

Fish hole window / ventilator

More designs

Stone ladder

Some more


Stepped tank, not as great as Hampi

Cottage temple

Pattadakal is a part of Karnataka Tourism's emblem

World heritage monument status

Fantastic structures

Clear sky gave a stunning look to it

More temples

And more

Pillared structures inside the temple

Back at Mayura Chalukya Hotel by 02:15 pm. The hotel's friendly dog was swirling around our legs till we left. Checked-out and departed at 07:00 pm by auto to Badami railway station; same Zakeer came; Rs 100 for that 5 km was an overkill. But the road was pitch dark, and the railway station being away from the town area by 4 km, it was unavoidable. Our dinner plan went awry. The train scheduled for 08:00 pm, arrived late by more than an hour. The railway station had most lights faulty, and was partially dark. There are no amenities to support travelers / passengers. So make sure you are well prepared with food, water, snacks, etc.

The friendly pet

Pitch dark on the way to the train station

Fare table at the railway station

Not many lights at the railway station

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  1. Going to Badami, Aihole and Pattadakkal next weekend. Your post is going to help a lot for our trip preparations. Good information and snaps.

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