Karnataka

Group of Monuments at Aihole

Group of Monuments at Aihole

Today we drive to Aiholi, said to be one of the first regional capital of the Karnakata region under the rule of the Calukyas. The town contains a large number of early Hindu temples and shrines including some outside the walled site that mostly date from the 6th to 8th century CE when the city was at its zenith of prosperity and power.

Today we drive to Aihole, said to be one of the first regional capital of the Karnakata region under the rule of the Chalukyas The town contains a large number of early experimental Hindu temples and shrines that date between the 6th to 12th century CE It was a beautiful morning as we left for Aihole The heritage town is about 35 km from Badami and 11 km from Pattadakal, both of which are major centers of historically important Chalukya monuments Highway to Aihole Along the way we passed vast spaces of empty terrain with nothing but brown bushes The desolate landscape
Pattadakal Group of Monuments

Group of Monuments at Pattadakal

Pattadakal, also called Paṭṭadakallu, is a collection of temples from 7th and 8th century CE Hindu and Jain temples in northern Karnataka. Declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site, it is a historically significant cultural center and religious site to witness the structural tastes during the times of the Chalukya dynasty.

Pattadakal, also called Paṭṭadakallu, is a collection of temples from 7th and 8th century CE Hindu and Jain temples in northern Karnataka Declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site, it is a historically significant cultural center and religious site to witness the structural tastes during the times of the Chalukya dynasty We were staying in Badami, which is just about 23 km from Pattadakal The drive to Pattadakal is beautiful Surrounding by empty vastness along a beautifully paved road, you will find the ride very satisfying Road to Pattadakal The heritage site falls on the main road and very easy to find using Google Maps The
Cave Temples of Badami

Cave Temples of Badami

Today we hike up a small hill in the quaint town of Badami, in northern Karnataka, to explore the rock-cut cave temples dating back to the 6th century. Primarily commissioned during the times of Chalukya reign, the temples provide an insight into the Indian architecture that influenced the next generation of sculpturing style surrounding regions of south India.

Today we hike up a small hill in the quaint town of Badami, in northern Karnataka, to explore the rock-cut cave temples dating back to the 6th century Primarily commissioned during the times of Chalukya reign, the temples provide an insight into the Indian architecture that influenced the next generation of sculpturing style surrounding regions of south India We were staying at Clark’s Inn, which in my opinion is the best hotel in this area It is also a good base, if you have Aihole and Pattadakal planned in your itinerary Both heritage sites are located within an hours drive from Badami Deluxe Room at Clarks Inn, Badami Badami
Stone Chariot at Vittala Temple in Hampi

Photowalk to Vijaya Vittala Temple

A simple journal of my third visit to the heritage temple.

While in Hampi, it is discourteous not to visit the Vijay Vittala Temple This was my third visit to the UNESCO world heritage temple grounds and I was not sure what to capture I have gone over the temple grounds pillar by pillar with my camera Anyways I left for the Temple early at dawn This time I drove from Bangalore, so I had my car available to me at all times during the visit It makes life a hell lot convenient having your own ride in a place like Hampi which spreads over acres of land I had booked my lodgings at Clark’s Inn, which is a
Hemkuta Hill

Monuments on Hemkuta Hill

Hemkuta hill with its gentle slopes offers a remarkable view of the sprawling ruins of Hampi. The hill contains many abandoned temples and boulder carvings scattered across along with two huge monolithic statues of Ganesha. It is also one of the best places to witness sunsets in Hampi.

India is a country, rich in cultural heritage with hundreds of ancient archaeological sites – each with its own mythical stories The monuments on Hemakuta Hill in Hampi is one such cluster of ancient temples, archways and pavilions with local folklore spread over centuries Hampi’s claim to fame began when it became the capital of the Vijayanagara empire However these temples on the Hemakuta Hill are among the oldest cluster of shrines in Hampi, preceding even the Vijayanagara reign The hill is located on the southern side of the Virupaksha temple, identified quite easily by the slopes dotted with a number of abandoned monuments When the revered Virupaksha temple was still in its infancy, this hill used to be occupied by
Virupaksha Temple

Shades of Virupaksha Temple

Virupaksha was the main center of pilgrimage at Hampi since the dawn of the 7th century. Since then this UNESCO World Heritage Site has been elaborated on by future rulers and especially Krishnadevaraya, the most famous kings of the Vijayanagara Empire, who commissioned the iconic nine-tiered gateway that we identify the temple with today.

This was my third visit to Hampi, but the first time that I drove myself to the historical city Hampi sits on the banks of the Tungabhadra river in the ruins of the ancient city of Vijayanagar, capital of the once flourishing Vijayanagara empire The road to Hampi is pretty straightforward I took the NH48 from Bangalore and then slid into NH50 near Chitradurga The NH50 is under major repairs but its still faster than any alternative routes On the way we passed the Tungabhadra reservoir The national highway leads directly to the town of Hospet, from where we drove into Kamlapur, where our hotel was located Clark’s
Avani Betta

Hike to Avani Betta

The vivid blue skies of Bangalore pushed me out of the cozy sanctity of my home towards this little known hillock in Avani. Just about 80 km away from the bustling city of Bangalore this site finds its name in the legendary tale of Ramayana. Yes, this hill, hidden far away from away from the casual tourists is said to be the location of the ancient ashram of sage Valmiki, who sheltered Sita during her exile, where she gave birth to Luv & Kush.

This is a two-part series I started writing it as one story, because they are so intimately intertwined, but the article got so big that it made more sense to break it up into two parts for ease of reading Avani is a tiny hamlet in the Mulbagal Taluk (group of villages) of Kolar district, just 80 km away from Bangalore The first part of my journal describes the history of Avani and the story behind the creation of the Ramalingeswara group of temples that lie at the base of Avani hill or Avani Betta as it is locally called After a thorough exploration of the 10th century Ramalingeswara temple,
Ramalingeshwara Temple complex

Exploring the Ramalingeswara Temple

Today we go to explore a Shiva temple raised to cleanse the sins of Rama and his brothers. The Avani village forms an intricate part of the story of Ramayana, as the birthplace of Luv & Kush. The shivalings at the Ramalingeshwara Temple here is said to be established by the Ayodhya princes themselves to absolve them of their sins of waging war against the twin adolescents.

The amazing thing about living in Bangalore is that any direction I choose, each road going out of the city leads us to some special location, all within a radius of 100 kilometers Today we drive to a remote village called Avani to explore a 10th century temple Avani is a small village in Karnataka in the Kolar district, situated at a distance of 80 km from Bangalore It was February and the skies appeared so blue and devoid of haze, it was just vanilla to the eyes So on an early Saturday morning, we jumped into our SUV and left towards Kolar Bangalore to Avani
Vitthala Temple in Hampi

Heritage walk to Vittala Temple

Today I go on a heritage walk to the majestic Vittala Temple, dedicated to Vitthala, the South India name of Vishnu. Built around the 15th Century CE, and expanded several times by succeeding kings of the Vijaynagar empire with the most extravagant architecture and exceptional craftsmanship, the temple is the main attraction of Hampi.

Today I went on a heritage walk to the majestic Vittala Temple Built around the 15th century CE, and expanded several times by succeeding kings of the Vijayanagar empire, it is the epicenter of Hampi’s attractions This time, I was in Hampi along with a trekking group from Bangalore It was another day of missed opportunities I was awake at 5 am, ready for new experiences in Hampi We were supposed to observe the sunrise from Anjaneya hill as per schedule but our trek leader himself got up at 6 am and by that time hiking up Anjaneya hill was a lost cause I wandered around the open spaces near our

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