First five days with Golden Chariot train has been very interesting. In first 5 days, we explored the historical places around Mysore & Shrirangapana, tiger & leopard sighting in Kabani, boat ride in Kabini river for bird watching, wandered around beautiful temples of Belur/Halebidu/Shravanbelagola and beautiful heritage sights of Hampi. And on 6th day, the plan was to visit Pattadakal temples and then magnificent Badami caves.
Sunrise through window of my room on Golden Chariot, when we were going towards Badami from Hospete, Karnataka. #mobilegiri #phonecamera #ttot #india #incredibleindia #instamoment #instagood #instamood #instadaily #Travelgram #travellingcamera #igers #Banglore #Karnataka #travel #instablogger #instajourney #instatravel #VisitKarnataka #train #indianrailways #luxury #luxurybag #Goldenchariot
Early in the morning the train was moving towards Badami Railway station and sunrise was looking awesome. I was still in my bed and didn't feel like getting up and grabbing my DSLR for clicking, so use phone camera for clicking these sunrise views.
Soon after reaching the railway station, we headed towards the breakfast. That was always a great way to start the day on Golden Chariot. If I haven't mentioned this earlier, Golden Chariot is only luxury train in South India. Other luxury trains in India include - Palace on Wheels, The Maharaja Express, Royal Rajasthan on Wheels and The Deccan Odyssey.
I didn't use the gym on Golden Chariot but thought of clicking at least one photograph of this place.
After breakfast, we headed towards our rooms for quick break before leaving for Pattadakal Temples. Everyone was supposed to meet in Madira coach of the train, which was dedicated as bar. From railway station, we boarded to KSTDC AC coach and headed towards Pattadakal which is famous for it's heritage sights.
We parked our coach just outside the Pattadakal temples and walked towards these beautiful temples. The whole compound is maintained pretty well. There is entry ticket for the entry and photography is allowed inside temples without any restriction. Entry fees is different for Indians and foreigner tourists. These lush green lawns add contrast to these stone temples beautifully.
Pattadakal is 22 km from Badami and about 10 km from Aihole, both of which are well known for Chalukya monuments. It is 514 km from Bengaluru, which is overnight journey but I am not very sure about bus connectivity.
Pattadakal is a UNESCO World Heritage site featuring 7th/8th century Hindu and Jain temples. Pattadakal is a village and an important tourist centre in Karnataka state of south India and is located on the left bank of the Malaprabha River in Bagalakote.
Pattadakal is locally called as Paṭṭadakallu. The Chalukya architecture style originated during the 5th – 8th centuries at Aihole in the Malaprabha river basin, which is known as Bagalkot district of Karnataka state as of today. Architects experimented with different architectural styles, blended the Nagara and Dravidian styles, and evolved their own distinctive styles. In the middle of the 7th century, temple building activity shifted from Badami to Pattadakal.
All these temples look beautiful and I tend to forget names of these temples. Thanks to all the notes I had taken when our guide was telling about these temples and history associated. We would be sharing a different post about Pattadakal and it's temples. Hopefully I would be able to share details in clearer way.
The Pre-Chalukya historical and archaeological site Bachinagudda is also near Pattadakal, but it was not possible to think of 3rd place to explore in a day. So our next destination as Badami caves.
There are numerous Kannada language inscriptions at Pattadakal temple complex. Important among them are at Virupaksha Temple, which is an 8th century Kannada inscription on victory pillar. And another is in the Sangameshwara temple which is a large old Kannada inscription describing grants made by King Vijayaditya for the construction of the temple.
There are beautiful temples in Pattadakal Campus dedicated as Jain Narayana Temple, Virupaksha Temple, Chandrashekhara Temple, Mallikarjuna Temple, Kashi Vishwanatha Temple, Galaganatha Temple, Kadasiddheshwara & Jambulingeshwara temples, Papanatha temple and many more.
These beautiful pillars around the temples helped me frame some of these views a little better. It was sunny out there and balancing light was little tricky.
The beautiful river flows just behind these temples and there is a village adjoining Pattadakal temples. While I was reading about Pattadakal Temples, I came across an interesting article which talks about the fact that temples were built by queens and not kings.
Most of the temples in Pattadakal temple complex are not live and there are only 2 where puja takes place. One can move between the temples with shoes and there is only one temple where you need to take off your shoes, if you want to go inside and see the Shivalimgam or the huge monolithic Nandi.
Here is a photograph of Monolithic Nandi at Pattadakal Temples, Karantaka. If you intend to visit this temple, you need to take of your shoes. Golden Chariot staff provides you socks, but it's manageable without those socks as well :). Personally I prefer walking on bare feet.
If you are at Pattadakal, Karanataka do ensure that you have a good guide with you. Without a knowledgable guide you would waste the opportunity to explore this place well.
Here is another shiva temple at Pattadakal, where you need to take off your shoes.
After exploring these beautiful temples of Pattadakal, we headed towards Badami Cave temples. The second half was free for everyone to take rest on the train. I always looked forward to surprises chefs plan on this luxury train. There are bakery chefs on the train who make cakes & cookies, which are served in rooms when guests come back to the train after exploring all these places.
As we reach the railway platform after exploring places, these folks used to wait for us outside the train with cold towels and refreshing drinks. Although I felt that these things are much needed when we guests board the bus after exploring different places in scorching heat. At that time, cold towels can be big relief.
Badami caves are quite popular but I loved the place where it's situated and it's surroundings. Whole setup looks like some shooting spot. Huge rocks with saves carved out of them and a lake in front of it. Folks swimming in this lake and another mountain with red rocks, situated across the lake. 360 degree view from the 4th and top most cave is brilliant. One has to be there to believe it.
Just look at the photograph above and compare the size of man walking up against these huge rocks. This photograph beautifully shows the scale of this place. The Badami cave temples are a complex of four Hindu, Jain and possibly Buddhist cave temples located in Badami. Badami is a town in the Bagalkot district in northern part of Karnataka state in south India. The caves are considered an example of Indian rock-cut architecture, especially Badami Chalukya architecture , which dates from the 6th century.
There are lot monkeys around these caves, so try not carrying anything there. If you are carrying cameras, be very careful.
There is this beautiful water pond in front of Badami Caves and the views is just amazing. Also notice the mountain on the other side. I wish I had my own time to explore this place. I would have loved to walk around this water body and climb up the other hill to see other tiny temples I could see from Badami caves.
Here you see one of the caves in Badami. This is called as 3rd cave and the biggest one. There are 4 such caves in Badami and all of these are carved out of one huge mountain. You have to climb few stairs to reach first cave and then keep moving to explore all 4. 4th one is the topmost cave in Badami and probably the smallest of all. You can compare the size of man sitting in front of the cave and then the size of this mountain. And this was probably 10-15% of the mountain vertically. The Badami cave temples represent some of the earliest known examples of Hindu temples. UNESCO has described the designs of the Badami cave temples and those in Aihole, as having transformed the Malaprabha River valley into a cradle of temple architecture that defined the components of later Hindu temples elsewhere in India.
As you enter into these caves at Badami, you would notice these beautifully carved statues. Badami Caves 1 to 4 are on a hill in soft Badami sandstone formation. In Cave 1, among various sculptures of Hindu divinities and themes, a prominent carving is of the Tandava Shiva as Nataraja. The very first photograph of this post is clicked outside the first cave in Badami. Above photograph shows Vishnu in cave-3 at Badami.
Badami was previously known as Vataapi Badami, the capital of the early Chalukya dynasty , which ruled most of Karnataka from the 6th to the 8th century. Badami is situated on the west bank of an artificial lake ringed by an earthen wall with stone steps. The lake is surrounded on the north and south by forts built in later times.
Badami Cave 2 is mostly similar to Cave 1 in terms of its layout and dimensions, featuring Hindu subjects of which the relief of Vishnu as Trivikrama is the largest.
The largest cave in Badami is Cave 3, featuring Vishnu-related mythology, and it is also the most intricately carved cave in the complex. Badami Cave 4 is dedicated to revered figures of Jainism.
After spending good time around Badami cave temples, it was time to head back to the Golden Chariot train and plan was that train would start the next journey towards Goa. We had lunch in moving train and then went back to out rooms for some rest and enjoy countryside when the train was moving.
In the evening, DJ was arranged for dance party before we hit Goa. Folks enjoyed the DJ and he played quite well by keeping the demands in mind. It was fun to dance with co-travellers and especially Golden Chariot staff. It was the moment when some of us were already thinking of going back home after a day.
Can you imagine DJ night on a train? ww.travellingcamera.com #mobilegiri #phonecamera #ttot #india #incredibleindia #instamoment #instagood #instamood #instadaily #Travelgram #travellingcamera #igers #Banglore #Karnataka #travel #instablogger #instajourney #instatravel #VisitKarnataka #train #indianrailways #luxury #luxurybag #Goldenchariot