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Old 14th November 2010, 18:06   #1
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Default Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run

16 years is along time, a long time to revisit a place which you promised to come back. I had been to Hampi, Badami, Aihole and Pattadakal when I was doing my engineering and the trip was part of the project tour we had to undertake. But like most college students, I had not really paid attention to the explanations of the guide when we visited these places but had been awed by the monuments. It was then that I had quietly promised myself that I would return one day.

My wife had gone to Hubli for an official engagement for a day and I was surfing the net to find places of interest in and around Hubli. I chanced upon the name - Badami, which was some 100 kms away. I knew Pattadakal and Aihole were close by too. I called my wife and asked if she could take a day off after her work, on telling her the reason she was only too happy to oblige.

Next I checked on available stay options, Badami Court seemed the obvious choice, but some reviews of the place did not inspire confidence, again I surfed and discovered KSTDC had a hotel - KSTDC Mayura Chalukya, on calling up the office in Bangalore I was given the number of the hotel manager at Badami, I spoke to the gentleman, one Mr. Shanbag, he assured me that I would have a comfortable stay and yes he had rooms available.

Thursday, 11th November 2010
I left home at 5.30 am along with my mother and took the newly done up Tumkur road, the toll barrier just beyond Peenya was operational, but when I stopped to pay, I was told it was still undergoing trials so there were no charges yet.

Soon I was speeding towards Tumkur and was at Kyathsandra at 6.30 am, the "Thatte Idly" hotel was not yet open so on a hungry stomach I had to continue.

We stopped for breakfast just after Ranebennur at the A1 Plaza converted to Kamat Upacahar, the food was just about edible and a bus load of passengers left the staff confused as hell.

The NH4 till Ranebennur is in very good shape with the Chitradurga and Davangere stretches being complete, but the 2 level crossing after Ranebennur are still causing bottlenecks in an otherwise lovely road. I lost about 20 minutes in a traffic jam at the railway gate and then after it was back to good roads till Hubli.

10.30am I entered Hubli and asked for directions to Clarks Inn where I was to pick my wife up. This is a small business hotel located on the Hubli Airport road, I was given the room keys as per my wife's instructions and took a nap till lunch by which time my wife would be back from her conference.

Post Lunch, we checked out and drove towards Badami, Googlemaps on my phone showed a route which led us away from the Bagalkot highway which we were supposed to take, I chose Googlemaps over protests from both my wife and mother and 15kms later I was left staring at the end of the road and a small mud trail. Chastened I turned back and took the Bagalkot highway from Hubli.The delay and the detour meant that I forgot to top up fuel at Hubli.

I did not see any confidence inspiring petrol pumps on the way, at a place called Nergund, I came across a Club HP pump, I decided to top up and to my surprise he even accepted cards, but I had to speak to a person from Icici bank to get the swipe machine operational and i was guided over the phone till the end of transaction, the petrol pump guys were eager to charge the cost to the card and were hesitant to accept cash if the swipe machine was not operational. they said they hardly get customers who want to pay by card in those parts and wanted to learn e-commerece.

The heavy rains in the week before had taken it's toll on the roads after Nergund, in one place a small bridge was submerged and I had to drive through 2 feet of flowing water, the road looked unpassable as I did not know how deep the water was, but an Indica cab drove through before me and that encouraged me to cross it.

We reached Badami at around 6 pm, it was already getting dark and there was no power in the town, we had some anxious moments trying to find the Hotel in the dark and finally reached the place which is slightly away from town. The hundred plus kilometres from Hubli had taken me almost 3 hours.

The room was typical to government accomodation, large and basic, but very clean, over dinner I requested the hotel manager to get me a guide who would accompany us the following day to take us around the tourist spots. He said he'd get me the seniormost guide in the place and soon we were discussing the next day's plans with Mr. Mallikarjun Kalmath, a gentleman with an MA in history and with 35 years of guiding experience, he said we will start by 7.30 am the following day and would start the tour.

Friday, 12th November 2010
We were up and ready by 7.30 am and our guide landed soon after, we had breakfast in a hotel near the main bus stand and our first destination was Aihole.

Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-1.jpg

Now a brief history about Aihole as borrowed from an internet search result:

Once the capital of the early Chalukyan dynasty (6th to 8th centuries), Aihole is a picturesque village on the banks of the Malaprabha river. Variously called Ayyavole & Aryapura in the inscriptions, Aihole is historically famous as the cradle of Hindu temple architecture. There are about 125 temples divided into 22 groups scattered all over the villages and nearby fields. Most of these temples were built between the 6th & 8th centuries and some even earlier.Only mere traces of a fort dating from the 6th century can be seen today.

Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-2.jpg

Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-3.jpg

Durga Temple
The temple derives its name from Durgadagudi meaning 'temple near the fort'. Dedicated to Vishnu, the temple appears to be a Hindu adaptation of the Buddhist chaitya (hall) with its apsidal end. Standing on a high platform with a 'rekhanagara' type of Shikhara, it is the most elaborately decorated monument in Aihole. The columns at the entrance and within the porch are carved with figures and ornamental relief's. The temple appears to be a late 7th or early 8th century construction.

Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-8.jpg

Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-9.jpg

Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-10.jpg

Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-11.jpg

Ladh Khan Temple

The experimental nature of temple building by the Chalukyas is best elaborated in the Ladh Khan Temple, located south of the Durga Temple. Not knowing how to build a temple, they built it in the Panchayat hall style. The windows were filled up with lattice work in the northern style and the sanctum was added later on. The sanctum is built against the back wall and the main shrine has a Shivalinga along with a Nandi. Above the center of the hall, facing the sanctum, is a second smaller sanctum with images carved on the outer walls. The temple, built about 450 AD, gets its name from a Muslim prince who converted it into his residence.

Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-5.jpg

Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-6.jpg

Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-7.jpg

...contd
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Old 14th November 2010, 18:23   #2
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Our guide was patiently explaining the historical facts to us, my wife is a history buff unlike me, I was quite content clicking snaps and enjoying the scenic beauty of the place.

Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-4.jpg

Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-12.jpg

next we drove out of the main complex to some outlying monuments at the end of town, these were

Ravanphadi Cave
Located south-east of the Hucchimalli Temple, this rock-cut temple is assigned to the 6th century. The sanctum in there are wall is larger than these in Badami cave temples and it is provided with a vestibule flanked by carved panels, entered through a triple entrance. Despite the variety of images found here, the Mahishasuramardhini, the great Dancing Shiva linga with Ganesha and sapta-matrikas and the linga inside the sanctum an overall Shiva application.

Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-14.jpg

Some floral shots
Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-15.jpg

Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-16.jpg

the last stop at Aihole was the

Hucchimalli Temple
This appears to be one of the earliest groups of temples in Aihole, located to the north of village behind the Tourist Home. The sanctum has a northern style "Rekhanagara" tower over it. The vestibule in front of the sanctum was introduced for the first time here.

Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-13.jpg

Bidding adieu to Aihole
Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-17.jpg

...Contd
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Old 14th November 2010, 18:26   #3
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But Lukeskywalker, but I thought you were intending to take the Bagalkot highway via Nargund - where did you go wrong?

Roads were bad after Nargund?

How do you rate the KSTC accommodation in Badami?

Great photos of a magnificent remanant of India's medieval history!
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Old 14th November 2010, 18:47   #4
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Next we drove back to the ancient temples of Pattadakal, this cluster of temples is located on the banks of the river Malaprabha, which incidently was flowing in all it's glory

Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-15.jpg

Referred to as Petrigal by Ptolemy, Pattadakal was later known variously as Raktapura (Red Town) & Pattadakal Kisuvolal . This place reached its pinnacle of glory under the Chalukyas from the seventh to the ninth centuries functioning as a royal commemorative site. The group of about ten temples, surrounded by numerous minor shrines & plinths, represents the climax of early Western Chalukyan Architecture. King Vikramaditya II (734 - 745 AD) and his art loving queens Lokmahadevi & Trailkyamahadevi, brought sculptors from Kanchipuram to create fantasies in stone in Pattadaka.

Kadasiddeshwara Temple
Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-1.jpg

Sangameshwara Temple
Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-2.jpg

The broken pillar has inscriptions depicting the history of Pattadakal
Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-3.jpg

The Nandi statue
Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-4.jpg

The rear of the Virupaksha temple
Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-5.jpg

Virupaksha temple
Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-6.jpg

see the Nandi broken into two
Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-7.jpg

Sangameshwara Temple
Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-8.jpg

Jambulinga Temple
Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-9.jpg

....Contd.
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Old 14th November 2010, 19:04   #5
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some more pictures of Pattadakal

Another view of Sangameshwara temple
Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-10.jpg

Galaganatha Temple
Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-11.jpg

Galaganatha and Sangameshwara temples
Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-12.jpg

Jambulinga and Galaganatha temples
Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-13.jpg

Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-14.jpg

How Honda has made the ancient monument it's home
Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-16.jpg

By now it was past 1 pm and we were hungry and thirsty, we decided to skip Mahakoota and head back to our hotel for some rest and decided to go to Badami caves post lunch and a siesta.

....Contd.
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Old 14th November 2010, 19:10   #6
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Quote:
But Lukeskywalker, but I thought you were intending to take the Bagalkot highway via Nargund - where did you go wrong?
I was supposed to take the Bagalkot highway initially, but Googlemaps showed a road bypassing Navalgund and hitting Nargund straight and I made the mistake of choosing Google over common sense.

The roads were pretty bad after Nargund, potholed and rain damaged, but it was not too bad for the Safari, a sedan would have to be driven very slowly.
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Old 14th November 2010, 19:47   #7
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After a hearty lunch we decided to rest till 3.30 pm before we set out again to see the cave temples of Badami since it was very close to our hotel.
Our guide was present promptly at 3.30 and we set out after a cup of tea.
Badami, is a town on a red sandstone ridge. The Chalukyas are credited with some of the best traditions of Dravidian architecture including an experimental blend of older South Indian temple architecture and the nagara style of north India.It is home to several rock-cut temples.

Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-1.jpg

Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-2.jpg

Badami saw a succession of rulers of which the Chalukyas were only the most important. There is architecture and sculpture here from periods ranging as far back as the 7th century AD Pallava rule to as recently as the 19th century Marathas. Badami was the capital of the early Chalukyas, who ruled much of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh between the 6th and 8th centuries. It was founded in 540 A.D. by Pulakesi I(535-566 AD), an early ruler of the Chalukyas.

Badami is famous for its four cave temples - all hewn out of sand stone on the precipice of a hill.Legend has it there were two demon siblings Vatapi and Ilvala, who had a trick by which they could kill and make a meal of mendicants passing by. Their tricks worked until Agastya muni came by and counter-tricked them and brought an end to Vatapi's life. Two of the hills in Badami are supposed to represent the demons Ilvalan and Vatapi.

Cave Temple 1
The first temple dating back to the 5th century CE has gigantic carvings of Ardhanareeswara and Harira manifestations of Shiva in bas relief. It enshrines a Shivalingam. In the adjacent wall there is a carving of the cosmic dance of Shiva Nataraja depicted with eighteen arms. It is made of red sandstone and has a hall with numerous pillars and a square shaped sanctum hollowed in the control back wall

The view of the first Cave Temple
Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-5.jpg

Nataraja with 18 arms
Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-3.jpg

Our guide explaining the different dance forms of Nataraja
Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-4.jpg

Cave Temple 2
The second temple bears images of Vishnu in his Varaha and Trivikrama incarnations. It is reached through a flight of 64 stairs from the first one. On its celing, are carvings of Vishnu on Garuda and several other scenes from the puranas

In front of Cave Temple 2
Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-6.jpg

View from the top
Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-7.jpg

Natural Cave
Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-8.jpg

....Contd.
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Old 14th November 2010, 20:18   #8
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Cave Temple 3
The third rock cut temple is reached from the 2nd temple through a flight of 60 steps. It is a 100 feet dep cave, with inscriptions dating this Vishnu temple to 578 CE during, the period of Kiritivarma Chalukya. Here there are carved images of the Narasimha and Trivikrama avataras of Vishnu. There are also murals depicting the divine marriage of Shiva and Parvati.

Cave Temple 3
Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-9.jpg

Trivikrama Avatar of Vishnu
Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-21.jpg

Standing Narasimha
Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-22.jpg
It was told by our guide that this particular stance of narasimha is very rare and it depicts Narasimha after he's sated and he looks happy and content and not his usual angry self that is portrayed.

Narasimha through the corridor
Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-12.jpg

Vishnu at the other end
Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-13.jpg

Resting after climbing all those flights of stairs
Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-10.jpg

Ancient grinding stones (Chakkis)
Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-11.jpg

We then climbed on to the last cave,
Cave Temple 4
Cave temple 4 relates to 6th century Jainism. There is a carving of the Tirthankara Parshavnatha (with a serpent at his feet). Mahavira is depicted in a sitting posture.

View of the opposite Hill
Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-16.jpg

The Agasthya Theertha lake
Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-18.jpg

....Contd.
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Old 14th November 2010, 20:22   #9
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Hi Luke

It appears, at all places, you guys were the only ones visiting at the time of the day, Wonderful pictures, did you finally buy that dream camera of yours ?

Even thought i have visited Hampi, i am yet to viist Badami, Aihole, Pattadakal. In intend to combine it with Bidar & Gulbarga and visit someday next year.

Last edited by StarVegabond : 14th November 2010 at 20:25.
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Old 14th November 2010, 20:55   #10
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One last look at Badami caves before we set off towards Banashankari temple which is about 5 kms away from Badami.

Black Storm at Badami
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Banashankari Temple entrance
Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-25.jpg

Temple View
Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-26.jpg

The temple tower
Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-27.jpg

The lamp tower outside the temple
Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-20.jpg

The Maha Kalyani or temple tank
Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-19.jpg

One "Cool" Crime
Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-24.jpg

This ended one hectic day of visits to superb monuments of a glorious past, we were overwhelmed with the fact that we were walking the same path as Kings of a bygone era.

next morning we checked out of the hotel after breakfast and took the following route back home:

Badami - Rona - Gadag - Bankapur - NH4 - Bangalore

the 140 kms stretch from Badami to Bankapur took us more than 3 hrs as the road was pathetic after Gadag.
This frustrated us so much that we took a break and visited Vani Vilas Sagar dam at Hiriyur, stay tuned for some more pics.
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Old 14th November 2010, 21:48   #11
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Isn't this where the Guru movie was shot?

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Old 14th November 2010, 22:23   #12
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@ HV, yes sir, these were the locations, in fact our guide was the guide for Ms. Aishwarya too.

Coming back to the last leg of our journey,

The road from Badami to Ron is very good with hardly any traffic, and there on from Ron to Gadag it is still passable, but it turns bad once you cross Gadag and turn towards Lakshmeshwar. There is almost no road at all which is a pity because the entire stretch is dotted with wind farms and very scenic.

Somewhere between Gadag and Bankapur
Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-1.jpg

It was a big relief when we reached Bankapur cross and spotted the NH4 which is the Pune - Bangalore Highway.
Once we were on NH4, we were in Davangere in no time and stopped for lunch, post lunch we topped up fuel in Davangere and started our journey back home, just before Chitradurga I checked the time and saw that it was around 3.30 pm, suddenly I enquired with my wife and mother if they were interested in taking a small detour and visiting Vani Vilas Sagar dam, they said it was up to me, they were ok with the plan.

Windmills near Chitradurga
Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-2.jpg

Just after Chitradurga I asked the toll attendant about where to turn off to Vani Vilas Sagar, I was given perfect directions and 12 kms from the Toll plaza we see an arch on our right, we have to travel about half a kilometer to take a u-turn and get on to the service road, at the arch we turn left and Vani Vilas Sagar is 22 kms from here.

The road is fairly good and in 20 minutes we were at the dam, there is a winding road up and then you are on top of the dam.

Some pictures of this beautiful place.

View from the parking lot
Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-3.jpg

First View of the dam
Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-4.jpg

More Windmills
Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-5.jpg

The reservoir
Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-6.jpg

View of dam
Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-7.jpg

I can conquer all I can see - Black Storm.
Bangalore-Aihole-Pattadakal-Badami-Bangalore - the Heritage Run-8.jpg

This is one dam where there are no restrictions on photography or walking on the dam itself. The reservoir was full thanks to the good monsoon and it was a beautiful sight.

After spending some time at the dam we started back towards Bangalore and this time stopped at Pavithra Idly Hotel at Kyathsandra just after Tumkur for an early dinner. We reached home at 8.30 pm.

Trip stats:
Total Distance = 1275 kms
Fuel = approx 120 litres of diesel
Vehicle = Safari 2.2 GX
Number of persons = 3 adults
Hotel at badami = KSTDC Hotel Mayura Chalukya
Tariff = Delux bedroom 900/- per night + 100 for extra bed (excluding taxes).

Cheers,
Hari.
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Old 14th November 2010, 22:42   #13
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Hari, lovely pics there! Being a non-history buff, i didnt read through the entire writeup, but enjoyed the pics a bunch.

Its amazing to see your Safari sparkiling clean despite all the places you take it to.
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Old 14th November 2010, 22:52   #14
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@ Starvegabond
Quote:
It appears, at all places, you guys were the only ones visiting at the time of the day, Wonderful pictures, did you finally buy that dream camera of yours ?

Even thought i have visited Hampi, i am yet to viist Badami, Aihole, Pattadakal. In intend to combine it with Bidar & Gulbarga and visit someday next year.
Thanks Arvind, the places were not so crowded it being a weekday, but I managed to take pictures with no people around. As for the camera, no sir, still not got a new camera.

@Benbsb29

Benny thanks friend, the car was quite dirty during the trip, it does not show up so much in photos, but I did wipe it down before the start of each day.
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Old 14th November 2010, 23:13   #15
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Travelogue after a long time for you, isnt it ?
Great composition of each of the photos. They have come out very nice!

After leaving Kyathsandra at 6.30AM, you were able to reach Hubli at 10:30 AM? 350Kms in 4 Hours! Thats surely a quick drive.

Did you get to try "Bhutthi Oota" at Aihole or Pattadkal? "Bhutthi" is basically the food carried by the local village in a jute basket on her heads.
It would typically consist of Bhakri, greens, Onions, Baingan, and some gun powder (some dry tasty powders made of flour+chillis)
We were 4 ppl and had a stomach full of these along with fresh curds in a earthern pot. She was hesitant to even ask for money. We paid her generously as she was our saving grace in a place where u should be very lucky to find a hotel of any sort.

Regards
Pramod
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