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Old 21st April 2019, 11:28   #1
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Default Badami, Pattadakal and Aihole – A weekend temple run on our Kawasaki Versys 650

Prologue

From a very long time Badami was on our go-to list. Generally, people say that if you are doing Hampi then Badami also needs to be done alongside. But, couple of years back when we did Hampi, we didn’t have sufficient time to do Badami as well so this was a place which was not covered from a long time despite we had been hearing a lot about its grandeur, majestic beauty and rustic aura.

Also, if there are few weekends which goes on without any ride/drive, Atul and I really get bored and completely restless. The urge to go explore places keeps us sane and motivated all the time. Hence, it was all in a jiffy that our Badami trip was planned, just a simple ride during Saturday and Sunday. As we always do, Atul did some Google searching and reading, he figured out that there were two more places that can be explored in the nearby areas of Badami – Aihole and Pattadakal. So we clubbed all three of these places and planned our weekend ride.

It was almost a week left for the ride, we booked our stay from the Goibibo App. Though there are not many choices for stay in Badami, but we got a really great deal at a place called Clarks Inn, Badami. The hotel had really great reviews, had safe parking area in the basement, good in-house restaurant to have food and the best part was, Badami caves was walking distance from the hotel. We booked our stay here and that’s’ it – the ride plan was all set.

Some quick bytes from the ride:

Dates – 16 and 17 Feb 2019
Rider – Atul and I (pillion)
Bike – Kawasaki Versys 650
Kilometers covered – 1178kms
Route Taken – BTM > Tumkur > Hubli > Nargund > Badami > Pattadakal > Aihole > Badami > Nargund > Hubli > Tumkur > BTM
Total Expenses – Hotel Rs 2167, Petrol Rs 3150, Food Rs 2532, Toll Rs 96, Extra (entry tickets and parking) Rs 260, and total – Rs 8205
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Old 21st April 2019, 11:53   #2
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Default re: Badami, Pattadakal and Aihole – A weekend temple run on our Kawasaki Versys 650

Day 1 – 16/02/2019 (BTM to Badami – 475kms)

It was almost service time for Hulk before our ride, the bike very badly needed a new set of chain sprockets and full service which included oil change, oil filter change, air filter change and checking of brakes, fluids, etc. Luckily, the bike was delivered to us just a day before the ride. As the usual procedure, Hulk was tanked up, checked with air pressure and made all ready for the ride. Since it was just an overnight journey, we decided to carry just the top case, stuff all the necessary clothes, belongings, etc. there, along with the tank bag which in general carry the camera equipment and other essentials. With nothing much to pack, we were all set the night before, had some good sleep and planned to start the ride as early as possible.

Both of us woke up around 4am in the morning, to get started with the trip at the earliest. We got ready, geared up, and loaded Hulk with the luggage and by 4:45am the ride started. An early start means we can cover as much distance possible before the actual traffic starts to roll in. It was a breezy and pleasant morning ride, not many vehicles plying on the road and still plenty of time left for dawn. We took Bannerghatta road, followed by NICE road to exit via Tumkur road (paid toll of Rs 48). Kept on going on till it was almost sunrise time and we touched the Hiriyur town, we stopped by the highway and took some pictures of the sunrise, the highway and the landscape in the surroundings. It was early morning but we could feel the heat from now on itself. Weather forecast had predicted that as the day goes by the heat would be soaring high and we will experience some level of heat waves. After a 15mins break, we started again to ride continuously and reach Chitradurga town around 8am.


Badami, Pattadakal and Aihole – A weekend temple run on our Kawasaki Versys 650-dsc_5141.jpgBadami, Pattadakal and Aihole – A weekend temple run on our Kawasaki Versys 650-823.jpg

Being almost the breakfast time, and having covered close to 230kms, we agreed to stop for breakfast at Hotel Mysore Cafι just after crossing Chitradurga. Ordered rava masala dosa, idly vada, kesari bath, plain dosa and two cups of tea. The place was less crowded, so we could have our food in peace, relax for a while until we started our ride. 45 mins later we were hitting the highway once again. In the next few hours, we crossed Davangere followed by reaching Hubli at almost 12noon. From Hubli town we had to take diversion and get on the Hubli-Vijayapur-Gulbarga road to enter Badami. However, we lost almost close to half an hour trying to cross the Hubli town, there was road construction happening all along the city (white-topping work) and this created too much of traffic havoc. Vehicles coming from all directions, no one willing to move, pedestrians and roadside hawkers, it was a complete mayhem. Somehow we manage to cross this disaster and continue with the ride. Just after crossing Hubli, we did a quick pit stop for petrol.

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From here we moved towards Navalgund and then Nargund to reach Kulgeri, this is where we take diversion and take the Badami road, another 20kms to reach the stay. As predicted sun was getting to become too harsh and the heat was draining us out completely. We took couple of water breaks in between, I utilized those breaks to click some pictures here and there.

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By 2pm, we reached Clarks Inn which is situated right in the heart of the town, at the Veerapulakeshi Circle. They have ample space to park in the basement, at least there was enough space for two wheelers, and this place can accommodate 4-5 car parking at the same time as well. Atul went towards the reception desk to complete all the check-in formalities. We could spot some foreign nationals in the hotel as well. Apparently, this property is rated as one of the best location in Badami with friendly staff and management, in house bar, spa center, terrace and in-house restaurant. We got ourselves a Deluxe AC room which is Rs 2167 for one nights (a bit on the higher side, but I guess considering the safety of Hulk, neat, clean well-maintained property and good staff, this was ok). A guy helped us get our tank bag and the top case, we got inside our room, lucky enough to have a room facing the Badami caves. The view was magnificent but only disadvantage being right next to the main road, means a lot of traffic noise. The room had some provision for guests to prepare their own free tea/coffee and munch on some yummy flavored popcorn (this came with a minimal price though).

Anyway, we settled inside the room and since both of us were completely famished, Atul called up the reception to check for lunch order. We kept the order simple, a chicken and a veg biriyani along with some buttermilk. The food came in quite soon and after we got freshened up, we laid back, relaxed and enjoyed our food, it was super tasty. Our plan for the day was the take some quick rest, get into some comfortable clothes and head out towards the Badami caves. Done with food, we rested for a while and by 4pm we left the room and started walking towards the site. The hotel guy mentioned that it would take just 5-10mins for us to reach the place and there is absolutely no need of taking auto or any other vehicle.

The road leading towards the cave was under construction and tourists with vehicles had difficulty in crossing those narrow roads. It was kind of steep uphill walk but completely manageable. On reaching the cave premise, we had to pay for tickets which is Rs 25 per person and cameras were extra Rs 50 (Rs 25 per camera). One can see the complete landscape of the Badami caves from the foothill and the view of the caves amidst the rustic red rock stone was splendid. Badami cave temples are dedicated to Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism and are examples of Indian rock-art architecture, sometimes known as Badami Chalukyas architecture. These caves represent some of the earliest known examples of Hindu temples in the Deccan region, having various sculpture of Hindu divinities and themes. These four cave temples in the escarpment of the hill were carved into the cliff’s monolithic stone face, spread out amidst a man-made lake called Agastya. The exact time at which these temples were created is still unknown but then the inscription written in old Kannada language has enabled the dating of these rocks temples to the 6th century, making the caves the oldest firmly-dated Hindu cave temples in India. We spent some time exploring these structures, clicking pictures and enjoying the view but then being a Saturday, there was huge crowd, mostly school children roaming around the site.

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In order to avoid the chaos, we finished looking around and started walking towards the other side of the caves, completing a full circle of the Agastya lake, amidst narrow village roads and get a completely different perspective view of the Badami cave temples. Agastya Lake is an enormous lake that lies below the caves temples, this sacred lake is known to have waters that have healing powers and apparently a dip in the holy waters take away all your sins and ills. Located on the eastern banks is the famous Bhoothanatha temple giving a picturesque view with mountains spread out. The sad part was the lake didn’t have much water because of the dry season and no rain at all. During monsoon, I’m pretty sure this area will look heavenly and breathtakingly marvelous. We spent some time clicking nice pictures, strolling along the lake’s layered staircases and enjoying the quietness. There is an archeological museum as well in the vicinity which we missed viewing since it gets closed by 5pm in the evening. It looked like the entire Badami is surrounded by red rock stone as whichever direction you see, all that is seen are tall mountains covered with red stones, temples and patches of greenery here and there.

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By 6:30pm we started our walk towards the hotel. Upon reaching all that we could do was lie back and chill till the dinner time. Atul helped me with some coffee and he drank tea, by now we finished all the four popcorn flavors kept inside our room. The evening was spent talking to one another, sorting out the pictures and by the time it was almost 8pm Atul gave our dinner order, simple tandoori roti, chicken curry and dal fry. The folks told us it would take some 45mins to prepare our food, to which we were pretty much ok. We utilized the time to do some quick packing, sort our ride plan for the next day and make all necessary arrangements. Sharp 9pm food came on our doorstep. A quick dinner and it was almost time to call it a day. Around 10:30pm both of us went to bed.
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Old 21st April 2019, 13:04   #3
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Default re: Badami, Pattadakal and Aihole – A weekend temple run on our Kawasaki Versys 650

Day 2 (Badami – Pattadakal – Aihole – Badami – BTM – 703kms)

During trips at times we oversleep and wake up late, but today was the heights of oversleeping and getting up super late. Our plan was to get up around 7-8am, ride towards Pattadakal first and then to Aihole, return hotel by almost 11am, check out and leave Badami by 12noon. Somehow both of us ignored the alarm when it rang and we continued to sleep in glory only to realize that it was around 9:30am in the morning already. In a hurry burry both of us got up, but then since we were already late and can’t do much about it, we agreed on plan B. Have breakfast, get ready and geared up, load the bike and check out from the hotel once and for all, cover Pattadakal and Aihole and then return towards Bangalore. This would be a bit time consuming but we were ok with it, it was the only feasible and sensible plan at that moment.

When Atul called up reception to give our breakfast order, surprisingly we were told that we have complimentary breakfast along with the booking but the kitchen would be close by 10am and we need to hurry up. Delighted to have free breakfast (cheap thrills of life), both of us got freshened up and headed towards the restaurant situated in the ground floor. The spread was quite wide, idly, vada, poha, bread toast, omelet, corn flakes with milk, set dosa with sambar and chutney, orange juice, aloo paratha, tea and coffee. We ate till we could eat no more, food was really awesome and both were hungry as well. Done with breakfast, we went upstairs to take shower, gear up, pack both the luggage and complete all the checkout formalities. Around 11:30am we left hotel and proceeded towards Pattadakal, which was some 21kms away.

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The scorching sun was too harsh and the surrounding weather looked completely dry and lifeless. The roads were in really good conditions, surrounded by hills covered with red stones. It took us 30mins to reach the temple premise of Pattadakal. Gave Rs 10 as parking fee for the bike and the entry was Rs 25 per person, camera was Rs 25 per equipment with extra charges applicable only when someone is taking video. Guess the security measures for this temple is too high, the security personnel checked our tank bag thoroughly and advised us not to use any kind of selfie stick. Once everything was checked and confirmed, we entered the temple site.

Pattadakal is situated on the banks of river Malaprabha and is a pure testament of the architectural prowess of the Chalukya dynasty. There are almost close to 9 Hindu temples in this site, all dedicated to Lord Shiva and a Jain temple. The timeless beauty and historical relevance of these temples is totally mesmerizing, and is a harmonious blend of architectural forms from northern and southern India. This site is accorded as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The entire premise is surrounded by lush green grass and colorful blooming flowers, with numerous other small shrines and plinths. Apparently, all through all these temples the artisans wanted to express the conflicting concepts of Dharma (duty, virtue, righteousness) and Moksha (liberation) in Hindu theology. They are symbolic to inclination towards integration and experimentation. Atul and I spent some 45 mins here looking around, clicking pictures, understanding the architecture and admiring the conglomeration of all these nine temples. One can take a guide who would explain all the nitty gritty associated with the Pattadakal site. It was from here that we proceeded towards Aihole, some 14kms away.

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Another 15mins and we were near the Aihole temple premise. The ride was smooth due to amazing well-laid out roads, the only concern was the maddening heat and sea of crowd coming to visit this temples being a Sunday. There was no parking fee for this place, ticket for one person was Rs 25 and nothing to be paid for cameras if we are not doing any kind of videography. Aihole is a historical town situated on the bank of river Malaprabha and has almost close to 120 temples spread all across the villages and nearby fields. The most remarkable one is the Durga Temple, which is said to be built in late 7th or early 8th century, the features of this temple are semicircular apse, elevated plinth, and the gallery encircling the sanctum. This town is an archaeologists’ delight with several temples dating back to Chalukyan times, excavation and investigation into the history of Aihole continues and several thousand tourists seek out the serene and spiritual ambiance of this city every year.

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We spent another 45 mins here looking around and taking photos. Since it was already 1:45pm we decided to head back towards Badami and then eventually to Bangalore. Before leaving Aihole, we took some cold water to drink and some coconut juice to refresh and cool our body. So, the ride back home started. Via same route we reached Badami and from there we proceeded through the same highway by which we came. Though the heat was unbearable and making us totally exhausted, we agreed to keep going till the time we could. One other major problem was the hard hitting cross wind, it made the ride a bit uncomfortable with wind pressure coming directly head-on. Our speeds reduced considerably due to this cross wind phenomenon and we took good amount of time to cover the distance ahead.

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Badami, Pattadakal and Aihole – A weekend temple run on our Kawasaki Versys 650-796.jpg

By 3:45pm we reached Hubli, and thankfully today the traffic was much less, considering it being a Sunday. In the next 15 mins we exited Hubli town and entered the highway. Both of us were a bit hungry by now, and also Hulk completed 40K kms right at that moment. Right next to the highway, we came across this restaurant called Sugar and Spice and decided to halt here, take picture of Hulk and have our quick lunch as well. When we entered the place, the guy there informed that we would be getting only noodles, fried rice and some paneer/chicken gravy. Now since we already sat here, we didn’t want to go further looking for another place, stop again, agreed to eat here itself. We ordered some chicken fried rice, chicken manchurian gravy and butter milk. Looks like it was a bad decision to have our food in this place, they took a lot of time to prepare the food and we had to keep asking almost 4-5 times. Finally, after a long wait of almost 45mins, the food came, less in quantity not very good in taste, however, we decided to gulp down whatever came and leave as early as possible. Done with food, paid bills, we started our ride back home, almost 425kms left!

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Just after leaving the restaurant, we did a quick pit stop to tank up Hulk and keep going on for the next couple of hours. The sun was setting down and the day light was almost getting over, considering the bad roads, diversions all along the highway, Atul had to be extremely careful while riding. With almost close to no breaks at all, both of us kept moving ahead until we reached Chitradurga around 8:45pm. Atul wanted to have a quick cup of tea to get refreshed and finish the remaining 200 odd kms. Right after the Chitradurga toll booth, we stopped by the road-side eatery, ordered two cups of tea, couple of sunny side ups and a pack of small biscuit. Done with the food and tea, we once again started the journey.

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Close to 10:45pm we reached Tumkur and there was a sense of relief that home wasn’t far away. In no time we reached Nelamangala, took NICE road to exit via Bannerghatta Road (paid a toll of Rs 48). Time was about 12:20am, we had to wake up our apartment security guy to open the main gate. Both of us reached home! Immediately, we unloaded the luggage, took everything and entered home.

So yet again another set of unexplored places are visited and ticked off from our bucket list. It was a weekend well-spent and until we are back with another travelogue of ours, stay safe and keep travelling!
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Old 21st April 2019, 13:30   #4
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Default re: Badami, Pattadakal and Aihole – A weekend temple run on our Kawasaki Versys 650

Some more pics from Day 2 (Pattadakal and Aihole)

By the side of River Malaprabha
Badami, Pattadakal and Aihole – A weekend temple run on our Kawasaki Versys 650-801.jpg

Few more clicks while we were at the Pattadakal Heritage Site
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Few more clicks while we were at the Aihole Heritage Site
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En-route Hubbali from Badami
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Last edited by nandita_bayan21 : 21st April 2019 at 13:32. Reason: Spelling mistake
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Old 21st April 2019, 13:57   #5
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Default re: Badami, Pattadakal and Aihole – A weekend temple run on our Kawasaki Versys 650

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 22nd April 2019, 10:30   #6
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Default Re: Badami, Pattadakal and Aihole – A weekend temple run on our Kawasaki Versys 650

Nice travelogue nandita_bayan21, and as usual, some really amazing pics.

Somehow, I have never visited these historical places, including Hampi. These temples are an architectural wonder and are hopefully maintained well so that they last a long time.

How long would it take to cover Hampi, Badami, Pattadakal and Aihole all together? Can they be covered over 1 weekend?
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Old 22nd April 2019, 18:14   #7
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Default Re: Badami, Pattadakal and Aihole – A weekend temple run on our Kawasaki Versys 650

An amazing trip indeed returning well into the night. I must compliment you on your riding skills, writing skills, superb pictures, great sense of religious history and lastly an iron constitution given the food you consumed.
The Versys looks very macho too.
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Old 23rd April 2019, 09:57   #8
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Default Re: Badami, Pattadakal and Aihole – A weekend temple run on our Kawasaki Versys 650

Wonderful and as always inspirational. Beautiful pictures of the monuments.
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Old 23rd April 2019, 10:48   #9
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Default Re: Badami, Pattadakal and Aihole – A weekend temple run on our Kawasaki Versys 650

Another gem from the Explorer Couple Nandi & Atul. Truly impressive travelogue interspersed with coffee table kind of photographs.

Not many people combine Hampi expedition with Badami, Pattadakal and Aihole. I covered Hampi some time ago. The remnants of Vijayanagara empire take at least a couple of days to cover. It is another 150 km to Pattadakal and so it was decided to cover them in a later date.


Keep up the good work ! You guys are very good with what you do - Travel with an eye for detail.

BTW your Versys appear to have returned a mileage of around 27km/liter - not bad for its size.
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Old 23rd April 2019, 20:27   #10
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Default Re: Badami, Pattadakal and Aihole – A weekend temple run on our Kawasaki Versys 650

Here are the videos for both the days:



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Old 24th April 2019, 09:12   #11
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Default Re: Badami, Pattadakal and Aihole – A weekend temple run on our Kawasaki Versys 650

Lovely thread and lovely photographs. Some of the photographs remind me of our trip to all these locations in January-2019.

Here's a link to our travelogue.

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/trave...ml#post4530365 (Road Trip: Heritage Karnataka)

We felt that Hampi itself deserves an entire week, to properly explore and admire the beauty of the heritage structures around it. Our hotel manager was telling us that most foreigners spend 2-3 weeks only in Hampi.

We felt that the whole approach road and surrounding area near Badami temple needs to be revamped. I found the houses to be too close to the heritage site and kind of spoiling the atmosphere.
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Old 26th April 2019, 15:41   #12
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Default Re: Badami, Pattadakal and Aihole – A weekend temple run on our Kawasaki Versys 650

Very comprehensive and excellent write-up as always - with a great eye for detail!

Hampi and Badami has always been on my wishlist, but somehow haven't been there yet. Now after your North-East and Hampi / Badami rides, I guess I have to gear up as well. And yes, Versys 650 is on my list too!
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Old 26th April 2019, 16:00   #13
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Default Re: Badami, Pattadakal and Aihole – A weekend temple run on our Kawasaki Versys 650

Excellent writeup! Great to see you both kitted up. I LOLed at the sight of Atul holding helmets in each hand Plight of a motorcyclist.

The Badami caves and Aihole temple group are truly mesmerizing. Did you find undue attention to your motorcycle when parked in public? That was my worry because of which I did not take my Ninja for my Hampi tour.

Clark hotel in Hampi is nice. There is another one called Heritage something, even that is a good hotel. Food options are severely limited, though. I am sure you know this already, but as public announcement, try and avoid non-veg items in off-run hotels. One is never sure how stale the ingredients are. Simple veg items are best in such hotels even with low turn-around.
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Old 27th April 2019, 18:25   #14
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Default Re: Badami, Pattadakal and Aihole – A weekend temple run on our Kawasaki Versys 650

Quote:
Originally Posted by nandita_bayan21 View Post
En-route Hubbali from Badami
Quote:
Originally Posted by atul.ktm View Post
Here are the videos for both the days
First of all let me congratulate both of you for adding another feather in your "helmet" and completing this successful trip. Also many thanks for sharing the pictures and videos, they have come out really awesome. I felt as if I was also traveling along with you, that's the power of your videos/pictures. In the videos, I loved the simplicity of your narration, your excitement to explore these wonders and above all your "Live to Ride" spirit. Hats off to you both.

Edit: Before I forget many congratulations on reaching the 40K milestone on your hulk. Here's wishing both of you thousands of wonderful (s)miles on your hulk and many more such travelogues. Keep'em coming

Last edited by AutoIndian : 27th April 2019 at 18:28.
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Old 28th April 2019, 11:00   #15
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Default Re: Badami, Pattadakal and Aihole – A weekend temple run on our Kawasaki Versys 650

Epic thread and as always lots of information shared. Beautiful pictures of the structures.
Architectural photography has its own charm. Your Versys is munching miles like a monster. Keep travelling and sharing your experiences.
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