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Published: February 26th 2012
Pattadakal World Heritage Site
India can be difficult place in which to travel, the dirt and the filth becomes depressing so I ensure that I bathe every evening no matter the water temperature. I can’t ever remember being so consistently filthy anywhere I have previously travelled.
Next morning after another poor attempt at an edible breakfast we hit the road stopping briefly to look at an interesting temple in Hospet before negotiating about three hours of bad roads before eventually stopping briefly at a dodgy looking road side diner for a surprisingly cold Sprite and to watch a few minutes of the cricket on the beat up TV in the corner.
It was then on to Aihole pronounced Ay-hol-eh where we would see some stunning 6th century temples, Padraic says we should have started here and travelled south as the temples are getting progressively older as we continue further north. The Durga Temple and the Museum were the highlights at Aihole and in particular the precinct where the temples were much simpler and more solid looking then later architectural designs.
From Aihole it was only a few kilometres to the World Heritage listed Pattadakal complex which was once a capital of the
Chalukyas empire and has temples dating back as far as the 3rd century. It was an amazing complex although it was extremely hot and dusty; I was initially in my element.
A world heritage site and only a small crowd of visitors how refreshing, until they all began following me around, I couldn’t escape them. Every time I turned around there were at least thirty people following me, Padaic thought it was hilarious, eventually I agreed to a few photos with their kids and they left me alone.
From here we headed to Badami along a rough road where we would spend the night, stopping briefly at a very old Jain Temple which had fantastic carved elephant heads on each side of the entrance. Badami is an attractive shady town located in a canyon encircled by forts and old temples decorating the cliff tops. The down also has the lovely Agastyatirtha tank with the gorgeous Bhutanatha Temple jutting out from its shore but the real attraction here are the caves.
The caves are early fifth century rock cut temples containing superb carvings of Hindu and Jain deities. I have always had a passion for rock cut cave
temples and would have enjoyed these more if not for the large crowds swarming all over the place.
There are four caves the first about ten metres up the rock cut stairs carved into the cliff, these stairs then continue to the other three caves about fifty metres further up, as I climbed up the stairs to the third cave I was surround by about forty school children all clapping and cheering me, I have no idea why, I was somewhat embarrassed and extremely confused.
After the caves I walked around the tank visiting the old temples, near the Bhutanatha Temple I was attacked (again) by Macaques and this time they weren’t intimidated, I had to go get a security guard, as they were surrounding me the little hairy bastards.
I was going to visit the museum but some kid was defecating in the entrance way so I wandered off into Badami's attractive old town, Indians shit and piss anywhere they please, while we were enjoying our breakfast this morning five little girls climbed the fence and all defecated near one of temples on Hemakuta Hill in Hampi, so much for world heritage protection.
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