What does evolution mean? As per its literal definition, it is stated as “The gradual process of change and development of something” in one’s life, it is not possible to experience the evolution of nature, as the cycle for its smallest deviation is not usually possible for a humans lifespan to witness.
One can only gather the changes over the information available, but there are few things that still are historical but can be cherished with human eyes, and one such area is architecture.
Modern architecture however sophisticated but has been garnered over centuries of betterment and evolution. One such marvel that provides a perfect setup of evolution is the trio setup of Aihole-Badami-Pataddakal present in the Bagalkot district of Karnataka.
The Badami Chalukya era rule was considered as one of the important phases for the development of South Indian architecture, these led to the foundation for the basics of building temples and monuments.
As a traveller it is not just about covering places, it is about knowing what makes those places special and this can only be known by getting to know about them. Aihole, Badami, or Pattadakal are absolutely amazing even if visited all by themselves or not in a particular order as they provide mesmerizing grandeur of the ancient structures there, but try visiting in the order of first Aihole, then to Badami and then finally to Pattadakal.
Question? Who built Aihole?
The temple was probably built in the late 7th century by the dynasty of the Chalukyas; it is the largest of a group of over 120 temples at Aihole
Let’s take Chalukyan architecture as an educational life student, A student goes through a phase Primary education, Secondary education, and then higher education, in this context Aihole-Badami-Pattadakal are quoted as the schools of architecture
Aihole is considered primary education, Badami the next level, and Pattadakal as higher education
Structures at Aihole are mostly simple structures that give dimensions of how structures or layouts were to be formulated or created which later provided genesis to many temples built across India.
Badami is known for its caves and caves in those days were made through the technique of sculpting, hence these provide the perfect setup for enthusiasts to look at the cravings made by great artisans of those days.
Pattadakal is deemed as the place of graduation where the structures are an amalgamation of Aihole and Badami where they are put into complete temples with structures and sculptures.
Some swap the order the way they plan their trip, some try covering Aihole- Pattadakal in one leg another Badami has different, mainly because Pattadakal falls on the way to Badami from Aihole.
Magnificant Aihole Temples
Aihole has around 120 temples but the primary attraction in Aihole is the Durga temple which is said to have been built around the 7th century, it is the largest among the temples in Aihole, now you might think the temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga but it isn’t.
its name is taken from the fact as the temple of the fortress(Durga means in the fort in the regional dialect), the deities present over there show reference to Shiva, Parvathi, and Vishnu. Another known sight to admire is Ladh Khan Temple, it was built by the Chalukyas but was converted to the residence of a Muslim prince.
Aihole-Badami Travel Circuit
Now let’s see what are the places in Badami that builds the aura it is known for, Badami is known for the cave temples, they are for reference labeled as cave 1-4 in order of their creation and each has their own story to tell with scriptures and inspirations.
These temples were carved out of sandstone on a hill cliff, a trek also becomes a part of the itinerary if you want to explore them, also to grandeur the view there is the Agastya lake right beneath the cave temples, according to the mythological sayings this lake has the divinity to was all sins away.
Then there is Badami fort right opposite the Badami caves, it gives magnificent views of the town and the structures.
One more fact of Badami not historically though but most of them have seen it without visiting it, few movies have been shot here, remember Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan(Movie: Guru) sitting on the hillock with historical monuments on the background, it is Badami 😊 , another notable film is Magadheera
Aihole-Badami-Pattadakal Travel Circuit
Pattadakal is by itself considered to be a complex with many temples within it.
There are ten major temples at Pattadakal, nine Hindu and one Jain, along with numerous small shrines. Eight of the major temples are clustered together, the ninth one about half a kilometer south of this cluster, and the tenth, a Jain temple, located about a kilometer to the west of the main cluster.
The Hindu temples are all connected by a walkway, while the Jain temple has road access.
Notable temples in Pattadakal are as below:
- Virupaksha Temple
- Mallikarjuna Temple
- Sangameswara Temple
- Galaganatha Temple
- Kashi Visweshwara Temple
- Papanatha Temple
- Jambulinga Temple
- Kadasiddeshwara Temple
- Jain Temple
Now makes sense why visit them in this circuit? Knowing something build over itself with an experience leaves one with immense satisfaction.
If you are up for a long weekend this can be clubbed with the Hampi circuit which is just around 150Kms from these sites, why not mix some Chalukyan aura with the grandness of the Vijayanagar empire.
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