Journeys around Hampi

Pattadakal: Twenty-two km from Aihole, on the left bank of the Malaprabha River is Pattadakal, second capital of the Chalukyas. Pattadakal, a World Heritage Site. Therefore one can see two main types of temple architecture side by side. On one hand you see the curvilinear Shiakaras (spires) of the Kashivishweshwara, Jambvilinga and Galaganatha temples. On the other hand you see the Temples of Mallikarjuna, Sangameshwara and Virupaksha with their square roofs and receding tiers. The most important monuments here are the Virupaksha and the Mallikarjuna temples built 740-745 A.D.

Most Famous Attractions in pattadakal – Virupaksha temple, Nagara styled Papanatha Temple and Jambulinga, Monolithic stone pillar bearing inscriptions, Naganatha emple, Chandrashekara temple and inscriptions in the Mahakuteshwara temple.

Aihole: Aihole was the capital of the Chalukyan Kings located about 124 km / 77 miles northwest of Hampi. One sees the embryonic stage in Konthigudi group and the Lad Khan Temple. Aihole has over 125 Temples, all intricately carved and rich in detail, in which Lad Khan Temple dating back to the 5th Century A.D and Durga Temple has a semicircular apse and a sanctum, circles by a richly carved colonnade passageway. The Hutchamalli Temple, the Ravalphadi Cave Temple, the Konthi Temple Complex, the Jain Meghuthi Temple and the Two Storied Buddhist Temple are worth visiting. Durga temple known for its peculiar architecture, the hilltop Meguti Jain Temple, the Suryanarayana Temple dedicated to the sun God and the Ravanaphadi Temple which is a rock cut temple.

Badami: Badami or Vatapi was the center of ancient Chalukyan glory. It was home to several rock-cut temples and structural temples. It is 22 km, from Pattadakal. It was once the capital of the Chalukyas. The site is a treasure house of architecture, sculpture and marks some of the earliest and finest examples of rock cut caves and free standing temple. They provided the blueprints for the later built South Indian temples. The 4 caves, can be reached by climbing the stone steps that are cut on the face of the sandstone cliffs. The first temple has gigantic carvings of Ardhanageswara and Harira manifestations of Shiva in bas relief. In the adjacent wall there is a carving of the cosmic dance of Shiva Nataraja depicted with eighteen arms. The second temple bears images of Vishnu in his Varaha and Trivikrama incarnations. It is reached through a flight of 64 stairs from the first one. On its celing, are carvings of Vishnu on Garuda and several other scenes from the puranas. The third rock cut temple is reached from the 2nd temple through a flight of 60 steps. Here there are carved images of the Narasimha and Trivikrama avataras of Vishnu. There are also murals depicting the divine marriage of Shiva and Parvati.

Bijapur: Bijapur is a treasure house of Islamic Architecture, situated in the Northern part of Karnataka. It is very famous for its Gol Gumbuz, which dominates the skyline of Bijapur. It is the World's Second Largest Dome, after St.Peter's at Rome. This enormous dome has an internal diameter of 38 meters, and has a gallery around its base. The remarkable feature of this gallery is the Acoustics, where the slightest whisper is magnified ten times, earning it a name of "Whispering Gallery". It is considered to be a daring feat of Engineering in the country. Other important monuments in Bijapur are Taj Bavadi, Ibrahim Roza, Juma Masjid, Gagan Mahal, Bara Kaman and Malik-E-Maidan which has a raised circular platform on which lies the 55 ton cannon, one of the largest mediaeval cannons in India, which had the capacity to fire upto a distance of 40 kms.