Saturday, April 18, 2015

Badami, beyond the four caves -1

It was after a decade and a half that I visited Badami for the second time. My last visit was limited only to four  cave temples. This time I wanted to explore it more and  in detail. While  watching the rocky outcrops on the other side of the  cave temples from 4th cave, I couldn’t resist  the desire to go to the other side in spite of scorching  Sun.  Basavarajappa, my  guide discouraged  me going there in the beginning saying there is nothing to see. He then agreed to  accompany me only when I offered him little more money as guide charges. They call this side of the hill as fort. But what I saw was more than the fort. I am making this post into two parts as beyond the caves is a bigger story to tell.
We were getting down from the 4th cave towards the courtyard. I was surprised to see current conquerors of Badami boulders  whom I didn’t see while climbing up.  Did you guess ? Yes. Monkeys .. My guide clarified me that they had been to Monday market. Now they are returning !!  Hmm… They do shop ..  As I was not carrying anything in my hand it was not difficult to escape from them. I was scared though.
When I look back after entering the fort
 After buying a water bottle from the canteen, we stop a while in front of  the monument  built by the Muslim rulers after the Chalukyas. That is an old dome. To  reach the fort side of the monuments we have to go through the village which is certainly a blot on the landscape. The Path was littered and full of pigs wandering around.  We made a  brief visit to the museum maintained by ASI and then  started climbing the  steps. After a few steps, my guide  all of a sudden takes me to a narrow path which could only accommodate a person to slip through. It opened upto into a flat surface where few monuments were there and the view of the Agastaya theertha(lake) was spectacular. There were few ruins which once probably would have been the part of the glory.
Narrow path when only one person could slip in

Some ruins inside the fort
I get  down from that place and walk ahead through an impressive arched entry which leads to another small temple. Entry has sculpted images on both sides . The temple is standing alone. This again is a ruins of some temple of which only the  inner shrine is  left out. 
Arched entry
Though there is nothing to see in the temple, this place  offers a  great view of the lake and the village around. Behind the temple there is a canon scribble on that reads 1550. From here I can see another temple on the hill ahead and also part of  the fort and a beautiful watch tower. On other side cave temples were crowded with tourists.Their  colorful cloth  was breaking the monotone of the sepia colored rocks.
Canon which read 1550

Watch tower and fort

Spectacular Agastaya theertha , Badami
 I blindly follow my guide who was guiding me into a maze of rocks and forts. I had no clue where I was going. This place doesn’t have anyone around. Hardly any tourists go there I believe. Everything was a kind of standstill. Not even a breeze around to make some strange sounds and nor the movement of the bushes. After there was  very few vegetation. It was as if I am in an eternal silence. Oh! I loved it so much !

Rock formations  had drawn many designs on the floor with the light and shadow play which looked like an abstract rangoli . We walk through the spellbound rocks and climb up a  few stairs to reach the watch tower.
Shadow play

Watch tower
It looks   like a huge well and  there is a flag pole which comes alive only  during August 15, I was told.  The panoramic view of the town and the Badami world  from here is worth the sweat shed to reach here.Sun had made me tired. Accepting the truth of  my falling fitness I rested for a while there.

Pls click here for  Part 2  - Badami beyond the caves

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  1. Looks a wonderful place...I am anyway fascinated by historic sites.
    Lovely pictures.

    1. Thanks Alok. There are plenty of historic sites around Badami. Apart from the famous pattadakal and Aihole, there are many less traveled historic destinations. You should go there once

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Anuradha. Happy to see a seasoned blogger visiting my blog :-)

  3. Wonderful Giri....the heat is killing yeh. which is why you are discouraged to go time I too wish to visit these places..

    1. Yes. Preety you are from that side of the world. You should see them

  4. Go in January. It's lovely and not hot. I leaped over a narrow chasm up on the north fort cliffs, very exciting. Climbed all over. Luckily no accidents up there. Would love to do it on South Fort, also.

    1. Agree. January would be better. Wow! Isn't it captivating ? I love to go there again

  5. Wonderful trip. Thanks for sharing your experience. Renowned for its sandstone cave temples, Badami (Vatapi) (Vatapi) is a delightful destination for both the religious lot and the archaeologists. Having served once as the capital to the Chalukya Dynasty, it is now a quiet town. Its sandstone cliffs attract climbers from all over the world for climbing and bouldering. Check out all best hotels in Badami also.

  6. Situated in Badami, Karnataka – The buckle sanctuaries were worked amid the sixth and the eighth hundreds of years by the Badami Chalukyas. There are 5 surrender sanctuaries altogether, with 3 devoted to the Hindu.
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