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Old 28th January 2009, 19:59   #1
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Default Travelling in history

After 4 days and 1259 km, we came back soaked in History. The 3 day week-end and then another day thrown in to cover Bijapur, Badami-Aihole-Pattadkal and Hampi.

For any trip to start, went through the usual ordeal; flipping through the travel companions - Outlook traveller and Lonely Planet, surfing through the net - Karnataka Tourism, Hotels, etc, and all throughout the TBHP forum, reading the earlier travelogues and bugging others with queries!

Even when we started, I had not finalized the itinerary fully, and was thinking whether to cover Gulbarga as well. However instead of starting with Gulbarga decided to keep it optional and planned to follow the NH4-NH13 route.

24th Jan, 2009
We were scheduled to start at 4:00, and as usual the previous day wrapping up of office work/packing/last minute planning took us till midnight. So in no time, the alarm rang and we drag ourselves from the cozy corner of the room to the nippy Bangalore morning (made us carry a jacket and a shawl, which was never used again in the trip :( ). Pulled the car out of the parking lot, the watch shows we are already late by 17 minutes.
It is really pleasure to drive in Bangalore at those hours, from my apartment in Sarjapur Ring Road to Yeshwantpur Metro, the 19 km ride took only half an hour to cover.
Barring the streches after Yashwantpur and withing Tumkur where the constuction is still in progress the road is breeze and as akroy predicted, we made it to Chitradurga BP in exactly 3 hours. It was absolute pleasure to drive between Tumkur and Chitradurga, where my safari was doing consistently 110-120 kmph and went beyond 140 in occasions.

NH4 - absolute belter
Attachment 94010

Speedometer crossing 140
Attachment 94007

Windmills around Chitradurga
Attachment 94011

Turned right onto NH13 (board showing Solapur) from Chitradurga BP, though the road was patchy intially (there are some parts which are newly laid and absolutely spotless) was doing ok with an average of 60 kmph.

NH13
Attachment 94013

Was thinking whether to do Hampi on the way (would reach around 10ish) and travel to Badami in the night (Remember we didn't book hotels, and on that day getting a hotel in Hampi would be very difficult) or head straight to Bijapur, reach their by 1:30 - 2:00 and complete Bijapur sightseeing by the day. And then saw the serpentine queue of the trucks started. From TBHP, knew about the same and started going in the right side and overtaking them, then started seeing there are buses standing on right hand shoulders. Wait a minute, it is supposed to be 4-5 km before Hospet, we are still more than 15 kms away! So we with some more cars in company crawled forward and then finally asked by the cops to stop at the right shoulder. It was a dead stop of around 45 minutes, and craling in other parts. Finally when we crossed the queue of the trucks, now on thw otherside, we are 10 km beyond the Hospet turn. The Jam was almost 20 km long and took us three hours to cover this strech.
However we took the opportunity of the jam, and could take some lovely snaps of the Tungabhadra dam.

Attachment 94012

to be contd...
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Old 28th January 2009, 21:00   #2
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Default Snaps uploaded again...

For some reason I could not see the pictures, uploading them again -

NH4 - absolute belter
Travelling in history-img_9671.jpg

Speedometer crossing 140
Travelling in history-img_9670.jpg

Windmills around Chitradurga
Travelling in history-img_9674.jpg

NH13
Travelling in history-img_9675.jpg

Tungabhadra dam.
Travelling in history-img_9678.jpg
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Old 28th January 2009, 21:20   #3
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The pics in your post are not showing. Please ask the Mods to help you with this.
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Old 28th January 2009, 21:23   #4
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Arindam, Nice start but pics are not properly posted. Pls post such that it is loading with the travelogue.

Abhi
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Old 28th January 2009, 21:40   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saurabh M View Post
The pics in your post are not showing. Please ask the Mods to help you with this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by akroy View Post
Arindam, Nice start but pics are not properly posted. Pls post such that it is loading with the travelogue.

Abhi
Thanks for pointing out, I have posted the pictures again, waiting for approval.
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Old 28th January 2009, 22:29   #6
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Default Out of the traffic jam

So there we were, waiting helplessly the jam to ease out. The vendors - grapes, tender coconut, ice creams - were doing brisk business. Few people opted out to walk instead of sitting in the bus, I guess been furstrated sitting there for a while.

Finally came out of the traffic snarl at around 12:15 and almost another 200 km to reach Bijapur (referring back to the log, 187 km to be exact). So there went the plan of visiting Gulbarga in thin air.

Saw a nice looking restaurant almost immediately on RHS adjacent to a HP bunk, but did not want all those trucks to cross me. So travelled a fair distance before taking the lunch break in Ilkal. The lunch was non-descript, cheap and quick. This is the place where all VRL buses stop, it also had a VRL office adjacent to it.

After refuelling ourselves, drove continually to reach Bijapur at 3:20, much before my anticipated 4:00 - 4:30 timeframe. The fort welcomed us.
Attached Thumbnails
Travelling in history-img_9680.jpg  

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Old 29th January 2009, 00:16   #7
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Default Bijapur

Bijapur was the capital of the Adil Shahi kings from 1489 to 1686, and was one of the splinter states from when the Bahamani kingdom broke up in 1482. If you recollect, they were also part of the Muslim kings who came together to bring down the Vijaynagar empire. Thus the town has strong Islamic character.

For more history refer to Adil Shahi - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Here is the quick reference of the family tree.

Travelling in history-adilshahidynasty.png

Gol Gumbaz
(Open from 6 am - 5:40 pm, admission fee Rs. 5, digital/video camera Rs. 25)
This is the sepulcher containing the tombs of Muhammad Adil Shah (AD 1626-1656), the seventh sultan of the Adilsahi Dynasty, his wives and daughters. Soon after his accession to the throne (AD 1626), the sultan started constructing the edifice for burying his mortal remains. Hw was buried in the vast vault beneath the floor along with other family members. The exact position of the real tomb is indicated by the wooden canopy kept on the high platform at the middle of the floor of the hall.
(Source: Display board)
For more information read on -
Travelling in history-golgumbaz_description.jpg

The compound also have an archeological museum (entrance fee Rs 2), containing items used by the dyanasty - dresses, carpets, utensils, househole items, arms and ammunitions. It also has collection of miniature paintings of that era.

Now it's time for some pictures:

View from the front, the building in front houses the museum
Travelling in history-img_0037c.jpg

The view down below from whispering gallery
Travelling in history-img_0024.jpg

One of the minarets on the top
Travelling in history-img_0026c.jpg

Wooden canopy on the elevated platform indicates the tombs' positions
Travelling in history-img_0030c.jpg

Can't make out the enormity from here
Travelling in history-img_0031c.jpg

And then the shot you find everywhere while talking about Bijapur
Travelling in history-img_0036c.jpg

View of Bijapur from top of the Gol Gumbaz
Travelling in history-img_0025c.jpg

Ibrahim Rouza
(Open from 6 am - 6 pm, admission fee Rs. 5, digital/video camera Rs. 25)

Travelling in history-ibrahimrouza_description.jpg

Unlike the GolGumbaz, which is impressive for its immensity, the emphasis here is on elegance and detail. Its minarets are said to have inspired those of Taj Mahal.

View from the front
Travelling in history-img_0064c.jpg

Building on the right, has a pillared open hall
Travelling in history-img_0069c.jpg

Travelling in history-img_0082c.jpg

Travelling in history-img_0084c.jpg

Minaret of the building on the RHS
Travelling in history-img_0085c.jpg

Minaret of the building on the LHS
Travelling in history-img_0087c.jpg

The building on the LHS, houses the graves of Ibrahim Adil Shah and his family members
Travelling in history-img_0089c.jpg

Intricate works at the wall
Travelling in history-img_0079c.jpg

to be contd...
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Old 29th January 2009, 01:24   #8
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Default Bijapur Part II

Jami (Jama/Jamia) Masjid
(9 am - 5:30 pm, admission free)
The finely proportioned masjid has graceful arches, a fine dome and a vast inner courtyard with room from 2250 worshippers. Spaces for the worshippers are marked out in black on the mosque's floor. It was constructed by Ali Adil Shah I.

Front view through the main entrance
Travelling in history-img_0016c.jpg

Up close shot of the dome
Travelling in history-img_0011c.jpg

The moon on top of the dome, a bird (brahmani kite???) resting there
Travelling in history-img_0012c.jpg

Main worship place
Travelling in history-img_0006c.jpg

Attendant there has the history up his sleeves
Travelling in history-img_0007c.jpg

Bara Kaman
Ali Adil Shah II's mausoleum, Bara Kaman, planned to dwarf all others, was left unfinished due to his death. However it is definitely a must visit for its graceful arches.

Travelling in history-img_0056c.jpg

Travelling in history-img_0054c.jpg

Travelling in history-img_0050c.jpg

Other attractions
Surrounded by fortified walls and a wide moat, the Citadel once contained the palaces, pleasure gardens and durbar of the Adil Shahi kings.
Travelling in history-img_0041c.jpg

Most impressive of the remaining buildings is Gagan Mahal, built by Ali Adil Shah I.
Travelling in history-img_0043c.jpg

The ruins of Muhammad Adil Shah's seven storey palace, Sat Manzil (seen at far, behind the moat and fortified wall)
Travelling in history-img_0044c.jpg

Across the road from Sat Manzil, stands delicate Jal Manzil
Travelling in history-img_0045c.jpg

The Asar Mahal is built by Muhammad Adil Shah. A square tank graces its front.
Travelling in history-img_0040c.jpg

Richly decorated Mithar Mahal serves as an ornamental gateway to a small mosque.
Travelling in history-img_0005c.jpg

Malik-e-Maidan is a huge canon over 4 m long, almost 1.5 m in diameter and weigh 55 tonnes.
Travelling in history-img_0060c.jpg

The portion of the fort which houses Malik-e-Maidan.
Travelling in history-img_0061c.jpg

View of Upuli Buruj, a watch tower; an external flight of stair leads to the top
Travelling in history-img_0059c.jpg

Twin Jod Gumbad tomb
Travelling in history-img_9690.jpg
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Old 29th January 2009, 01:49   #9
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Default Back to travelogue

Though I listed down the attractions of Bijapur in earlier posts, we did not visit them in the same order. While entering the Bijapur town, flipped through the map given in Lonely Plannet, and decided to utilize the rest of the day visiting Mithar Mahal, Jami Masjid and Gol Gumbaz, the three attraction coming in a straight road.

The walk up the stairs in Gol Gumbaz was challenging due to it's height of the steps and narrow space. We were catching up our breaths at each floor.

After these three attractions, we headed to Mayura AdilShahi, only to find out that they are closed for renovation and expected to open only a month later. Moved to Kanishka International (popularly known as Kamat hotel, as it houses a Kamat restaurant there), checked in, took a shower, had dinner, and ended a long but fruitful day.

25th Jan, 2009

Next day morning put the alarm for 6:30 but managed to go out at around 7:30, covered Asar Mahal, Gagan Mahal, Sat Manzil, Jal Manzil, Bara Kaman by foot and then took an auto back to hotel. Had breakfast, took bath and checked out.

Covered Malik-e-Maidan (saw the Upli Buruz from there), Ibrahim Rouza and on the way out took snap of Jod Gumbaz. Finally was on our way out of Bijapur at 11:40.

Did I mention that children over there will flock you to take pictures of theirs - I didn't miss the opportunity.
Travelling in history-img_0014c.jpg

Travelling in history-img_0015c.jpg

Travelling in history-img_0017c.jpg

Also you will see number of Tongas plying on the street.
Travelling in history-img_0046c.jpg

End of Chapter Bijapur. Next Chapter Aihole - Pattadkal - Badami.
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Old 29th January 2009, 08:34   #10
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Thanks for bringing the history of Bijapur right infront of my screen in bangalore through your wonderful pics. Eager to see the rest of the travelogue.
It would be even better if you pen down the distances in the travelogue (if you have logged it)

I was wondering which route is better if we want to do Bijapur directly from bangalore.
1) The one you did (NH4 - Chitradurga - NH13)
2) Or this one (NH4 - Hubli - NH218)

I think Route 2 can be faster.

Abhi
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Old 29th January 2009, 09:42   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akroy View Post
Thanks for bringing the history of Bijapur right infront of my screen in bangalore through your wonderful pics. Eager to see the rest of the travelogue.
It would be even better if you pen down the distances in the travelogue (if you have logged it)

I was wondering which route is better if we want to do Bijapur directly from bangalore.
1) The one you did (NH4 - Chitradurga - NH13)
2) Or this one (NH4 - Hubli - NH218)

I think Route 2 can be faster.

Abhi
Thanks Abhi. Yes, even I am eager to complete my first travelogue in TBHP.
I have tried to follow the best practices by the TBHP members, so maintained the log. Will post the statistics afterwards.

About the two routes you mentioned, the second one is 80 km longer. From Chitradurga, to Hubli it will take 2 hours and then to Bijapur (200 km) on NH218 will take 3 and half hours assuming same road condition as NH13.

In route 1, from Chitradurga to Bijapur (around 330 km) can be done 5 to 5 and half hours (not withstanding the jam I faced in Hospet, on the way back there was none!).

So the time taken will approximately be the same. I took the first route to have the flexibility of changing the plan midway.
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Old 29th January 2009, 20:46   #12
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Thumbs up Great trip !

Great trip Arindam! Good pics and nice narration.

I had been to Bijapur during my college days and the only two memories that remained etched in my mind about Bijapur are the sound of the reverberations inside the Gol-gumbuz dome and the 'Malik-e-Maidan' cannon. There was no fence around it then and you could even climb atop the cannon...

I remember a comment from the guide about the cannon: Apparently it was originally in some other kingdom and was brought to Bijapur as a war-trophy. The first time it was fired, the sound was so loud that the buildings around it cracked and the gunners died due to the shockwave. So they built a water tank next to the cannon (you can still see the undergound tank next to the cannon). So that the gunners could light the fuse and jump into the water to avoid the deafening explosion!

I remember seeing small kids actually walking into the cannon ! It is so huge!

Looking forward to reading the next installments of your travelogue.
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Old 29th January 2009, 21:54   #13
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Default Aihole

So it is now return journey on NH 13. Did a fuel stop just outside Bijapur and continued. The plan was to go till Hungund and then take a right turn to Aihole through Aminagad. However saw a signboard towards right for Aihole around 10 km before Hungund, just after crossing a river (that's Malprabha river). On a hindsight that's a bad decision as the road via Hungund would have been approximately same distance, but with better road condition. This one was really a single lane road with few potholes on the sides, whereas Hungund-Aminagad is nicely tarred two lane road.

On the way we crossed Krishna river. Stopped the car after crossing the bridge to click few pics of the Alamatti dam and Krishna.

Travelling in history-img_0091c.jpg

Travelling in history-img_0094c.jpg

Was feeling hungry by the time we reached Aihole, so stopped at Mayura even before reaching the temple complex. The watch showed 1:55 pm. After a simple meal of roti, rice, daal, aalu-gobi sabzi and curd, went to the temple complex less than a kilometer away.

Aihole (pronounced Ay-ho-leh) was the Chalukyan capital between 4th and 6th centuries. It is known for 100s of temples around the place, though some are in ruins and some being used by the villagers as part their dwelling places. Archeological Survey of India is doing a tremendous job in getting these back in shape (same applies for Bijapur as well).

Aihole was known as Aryapura - scholar's place. It has been a school to teach architecture to students, so the temples here are mainly premitive in their decorations of walls, pillars, etc.

Apart from the history there has been mythology around this place. It seems, Parashuram washed his axe after killing all the Kshatriya's in the Malprabha (earlier known as Mallaprabha) river, and the river turned red. The villagers gasped Aia (Oh my god!) Hole (River) seeing that, and hence the name came.

In the temple complex (admission Rs. 5), the main attraction is the Durga temple.

Front view
Travelling in history-img_0106c.jpg

View from the back, note the unique semi circular shape, most of the temples have rectangular/square shapes
Travelling in history-img_0117c.jpg

Decoration of the door (Garuda at the top, suggesting it as a Vishnu temple, the name of the temple came from the fort or durga surrounding it)
Travelling in history-img_0096c.jpg

Sculptures at the wall
Travelling in history-img_0099c.jpg

Travelling in history-img_0101c.jpg

Mahishashurmardini
Travelling in history-img_0098c.jpg

Apart from the Durga temple, the complex contains Ladhkhan temple, Gaudar temple, Suryanarayana temple, and couple of other smaller temples.

Ladhkhan temple
Travelling in history-img_0118c.jpg

Not sure about the names of the following temples
Travelling in history-img_0109c.jpg

You can see the shikhara has distinct north indian style, similar to Puri Jagannath temple
Travelling in history-img_0115c.jpg

This complex also houses a museum (admission Rs 2), which also depicts prehistoric man's presence in the Malprabha valley.

Next we drove down to Huchimalli temple (just next to Mayura, take a left turn in kachcha road if you are approaching from Mayura)
Travelling in history-img_0121c.jpg

Further down the road there is a small cave temple, a Shivalaya.
Travelling in history-img_0126c.jpg

Interior wall has a tall dancing Shiva with 10 hands.
Travelling in history-img_0124c.jpg

and also a Harihara statue
Travelling in history-img_0125c.jpg

This kachchha road connects back to the road to Pattadkal and we are on the way to our next destination.
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Old 30th January 2009, 08:31   #14
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Nice account of Aihole there Arindam. Good pics too.

During this trip, you could have explored NH218 as well, that was shorter to reach to Badami /Aihole. After Bypassing bagalkot there is a left turn for Badami (abt 120km from Bijapur i think). Sometime back I heard that the road was good and less traffic.

Did you put up in Aihole that night or returned back to Hampi? Cant wait for the remaining piece of the travelogue and pics. Post them fast.

OT: Will try to meet you in person at office today and hear about your experience.

Abhi

Last edited by akroy : 30th January 2009 at 08:34.
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Old 30th January 2009, 20:39   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akroy View Post
Nice account of Aihole there Arindam. Good pics too.

During this trip, you could have explored NH218 as well, that was shorter to reach to Badami /Aihole. After Bypassing bagalkot there is a left turn for Badami (abt 120km from Bijapur i think). Sometime back I heard that the road was good and less traffic.

Did you put up in Aihole that night or returned back to Hampi? Cant wait for the remaining piece of the travelogue and pics. Post them fast.

OT: Will try to meet you in person at office today and hear about your experience.

Abhi
Thanks Abhi.

Didn't take 218 as I wanted to go to Aihole and Pattadkal first before going to Badami.

We took a break in Badami second night, the travelogue follows.
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