• Aihole and Pattadakal

Aihole and Pattadakal |100’s of barely visited temples

Before the Chalukya ruled Badami and made all those cave rock carvings, Aihole was the location of the Empire with the capital in Pattadakal. I visited Aihole and Pattadakal these places with goMowgli on a three-day tour from Hampi.

Update: As of 2018, GoMowgli is no longer in operation. If you want a tour to Aihole and Pattadakal, check out which includes the nearby awesome caves of Badami which I wrote about here.

Aihole

Here at Aihole there are over 100 temples, but like Badami aren’t in the best condition. They are from the 4th and 5th centuries, made of sandstone, and have town people living here per usual, so what can you expect? I think knowing all that, it’s amazing how intact they are. This was the playground of architecture for the Chalukya. They did some practice here before shifting to Badami and making all those cave temples, some more than one story high.

Aihole and Pattadakalcave temple

Aihole and Pattadakal

Aihole and PattadakalFYI it smells like bats inside! yuck

The one people rave about is the Durga Temple, where you’ll have to pay a very worth-it fee to see the temple, an optional more to see the museum behind. Other popular temples are the Ladkhan and Meguti. The first being the oldest, and the last the later type. There is a Buddha temple that has a great view that my goMowgli guide took me up to see. Because many of the idols are broken, most of these temples aren’t in use.

Aihole and Pattadakal

Aihole and Pattadakal

Aihole and PattadakalI was getting a little templed out to be honest, and actually really enjoyed just walking through the village here and taking photos of the kids and animals. It wasn’t hard since everywhere I looked was a sleepy cow or little girl who wanted her picture taken.

Aihole and Pattadakal

Aihole and Pattadakal

Aihole and Pattadakal

Aihole and Pattadakal

Aihole and Pattadakal

Aihole and Pattadakal

Aihole and Pattadakal

Aihole and Pattadakal

Aihole and Pattadakal

Aihole and Pattadakal

Pattadakal

This was another trial place for Badami in terms of architecture and was the capital of the Chalukya empire. Three main temples to see are the Jain Papanatha temple, the Mallikarjuna temple, and the Virupaksha temple with a huge Nandi next to it.

Aihole and Pattadakal

Aihole and Pattadakal

Aihole and Pattadakalyou can see numbers here where these stones were added later as renovation

Unlike Aihole which has multiple complexes spread around, here there is just one complex that foreigners pay 200 and Indians (I think) 30 rupees to get into. Temple wise, this one was my favorite. You can see where they experimented trying to find their own style with temples from the South and North of India. 

Aihole and Pattadakal

Aihole and Pattadakal

Aihole and Pattadakal

Practical Information:

From Badami, Pattadakal is 20 km away and Aihole is 40 km away. You can take local bus. I was with on this tour so used their hop-on hop-off services.

When leaving, your closest big hub is Hubli which is a crappy unique little city with well, nothing not much. The hotel I stayed at had terrible customer service, no WiFi (even though they actually had it and wouldn’t give me us the password), and no working electricity sockets in my room. There is a KFC which I didn’t see until on the way out, but if you’re touring Badami, Aihole, etc you’ll be eating hotel/dhabba food- which for me means sort of starving- so that KFC would have been ideal to fatten up a bit! Apparently Hubli has a really nice train station though- so there’s that…

 

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2018-06-12T04:24:13+00:00

About the Author:

Rachel Jones left a career in nursing and lived on the beaches of Goa, India for the five years. Now she lives in Mexico where she gives advice on the 40+ countries she’s visited in the last 10 years. She’s the author of two India travel e-books: Guide to India and Insider’s Guide to Goa. Her blog, Werkenntwen, like its name, is a contradiction combining off-beat adventurous places with glamorous and bespoke travel. Werkenntwen has been featured in ELLE, Marie Claire, Grazia, and Cosmopolitan magazines. She’s a writer for Bravo TV.

4 Comments

  1. travelFREAK February 17, 2015 at 5:34 pm - Reply

    Great post, Rachel! The group of temples in Pattadakal is very well maintaned!

    • Rachel Jones February 17, 2015 at 7:39 pm - Reply

      yeah, it was so nice and clean – maybe easier to keep up with because less visitors? i’m not sure.

  2. Laura Vrieswijk October 24, 2017 at 11:24 pm - Reply

    HI! Looks amazing! I’ll be around Hampi soon and would love to book this tour. When I go to the GoMowgli site I can only find a one day tour, where you did it in three which I think I would prefer. How did you book this tour?

    • Rachel Jones October 25, 2017 at 11:24 am - Reply

      Hey Laura, it was through Gomowgli, but it was a few years ago and I think they have changed their tours since then. You should email them and ask!

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