Saturday, April 18, 2015

Badami, beyond the four caves -2

This is the second post of the series 'Badami beyond the four caves '. Read part 1 here Part 1
Whether it is Hampi or Badami Ruins are magnetic. They pull  us towards them and enthralls.  May be the huge spaces they provide to our imaginative eyes, make us to visualize the beauty and glory of the very place. We will be lost in love with our imagination. Badami fort is one such skeleton of the past. I kept on filling flesh and life and enjoyed the walk thoroughly.

View of Badami town and malegitti shivalaya from the watch tower
Temple and fort view from the watch tower
 From the watch tower we could see many structures. My guide clarified them  as granaries. We walk through the silent rocks to see granaries and treasuries used during Muslim rulers. Granaries were hollow and well secured with a small opening.

Then we reach a place full remnants of a building  which were said to be the ruins of sandlewood palace. It was burnt hundreds of years back.There is nothing much left intact in this place except the 
underground storage. 

Remnants of  Palace
Next to it is a beautiful temple. I recognize this is the same temple I saw it from the canon location. Its windows are so different from each other. Looking at the remnants I could imagine a gorgeous temple which once stood and worshiped by the royal family. They call this temple as Upper Shivalaya. This temple is constructed out of stone. It is dedicated to Shiva. Only sanctum remains on top of the rocky hill. It is one of the oldest temples of the region I was told.

Window or jalandra

Upper Shivalaya
Few meters away there is a Darga still worshipped and there is a temple next to the Darga making it a harmonious place for both Hindu and Muslims.

Pointing to a deep rocks separated by a meter my guide explains that the place was used for many Bollywood shootings. It was once used as a tunnel to escape.

Shooting spot for movies
Panoramic view from the fort
 We walk further. In the horizon is a series of  rocky structures giving the feeling of natural fort. I was lost to understand which is the man built fort and which is natural.After a big round of the fort we  come out and get down on other side of the fort. It is Bhootnath temple complex on the bank of Agastya theertha(lake). 

Bhootnath temple
There are 2 Bhootnath temples. One was looking not so old. But the one adjacent to the lake was  picturesque with the backdrop of golden colored rocks and the foreground of the lake. It was calm. Entering into a cool temple from the blazing sun was such a heavenly feeling. These temples are not live temples. In the Hindu culture any broken image will make the temple unworthy for worshipping. Even though most of the things look good, a minor defacing of the idol or broken column has made these temples dead. Bhootnath being the form of Shiva, this temple is also dedicated to Shiva.

Main Bhootnath temple
After a peaceful rest at the temple I walk upto the tiny shrines behind the Bhootnath temple. There was a small mantap. Inside that was a finely carved Ananthashayana which is a form of Vishnu. The rock itself was different and with dashavatara( Vishnu's 10 incarnations) carved around him was such a rare image. This stood as my favorite for the day. Few meters around the temple will unveil few more carvings in the stone. There is another cave with Buddha image inside. We need to crawl inside to see that. I feel wow ! Badami is such an amalgamation of Vaishnav, Shaiva, Buddha and Jain architecture.  The rocks around this area has a stains of water flow. My guide told me that   during monsoon there would be few waterfalls . I can imagine how heavenly it would be to see them.

Buddha cave
 Next time when you to go Badami, keep a day and explore the fort. It is worth. But go there when the sun is smiling at you. I am not a student of history, art and architecture. Even then it was a pleasure exploring Badami. For you, history and architecture lovers, I can promise it would be a feast.

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