This place was not a part of the itinerary until last-minute nor I had any fixed plans of visiting since all I knew about the place was its name. But on reaching Badami I saw road signs of this and decided to visit as it is on the way to Pattadkal. Huge prop roots welcome you at the temple and you find numerous banyan trees all over the place.
The temples are dated to 6th-7th century AD during the reign of the Chalukyas of Badami. It looked like there was a huge forest surrounding this complex long back. As I bowed to Lord Shiva in the temple complex I could hear screams of joy and noises of splashing water.Intrigued I followed the sounds and found myself at Pushkarini (water tank) where people were busy taking bath.
A natural spring flows through the temple complex that feeds fresh water into the Pushkarini continuously.The sheer joy of children and teenagers can be seen and felt.Apparently, there is a Shrine down below in the tank and one needs to have breath control to reach that point. The boys were competing with each other to reach the shrine first. I spent good time watching them race and build a human pyramid.
I moved to view the remaining part of the temple complex. Most of them have weathered and the government has undertaken renovation work and has fixed most of the broken parts of the temple. But the difference is easily noticeable even to the amateur eye. The rest of the temples seemed to have become changing and resting rooms for the day.
Unlike other temples this place was bustling with high energy and excitement.The shouts can be heard at all corners of this complex which makes this temple lively. I sat watching,absorbing and soaking in the enthusiasm of the people around and then finally had to leave since I had lot of places to cover.
- Badami is best visited during October- March when you can escape the scroching heat.I personally think monsoons will also be good.You can stay in Badami where there are hotels to suit every budget located in and around the Badami Bus Stand.
- Mahakuta is 12 kms away from Badami and is best visited on the way to Pattadkal.
- One can also trek to this place from Badami. The trek usually lasts for an hour.Check with local folks on the trail.