Places of Interest
PATTADAKAL – 44 KMS: With its beautifully chiselled temples, this World Heritage Site on the banks of the Malaprabha river bears testimony to the richness of Chalukyan architecture. Pattadakal reached its pinnacle of glory under the Chalukya kings and was once used as a ceremonial centre where kings were crowned and commemorated. It has a cluster of 10 major temples, each displaying interesting architectural features.
KUDALASANGAMA – 28 KMS: It’s located concerning 15 kilometer (9 mi) from the Almatti Dam in Bagalkot district of Karnataka state. The Sangameshwara Temple, a Shaivite temple, is a beautiful example of Hindu temple architecture. The Krishna and Malaprabha stream rivers merge here and flow east towards Srisaila (another pilgrim center) in Andhra Pradesh. TheAikya Mantapa or the holy Samādhi of Basavanna, the founder of the Lingayat religion together with Linga, that is believed to be self-born (Swayambhu), is here.An inscription in the temple of 1213 A.D. records a gift to the god Acheshvara. Another stone record of 1160 A.D. refers to land grant to deities, Kaleshvara and Achesvara.It is believed that in the 12th century Jathaveda Muni Sarangamath had set up an education centre here and Basaveshvara, Channabasavanna and Akkanagamma were students. Basaveshvara spent his boyhood here and, after his return from Kalyana, he is said to have became one with the God at this place. The vachanas composed by him are dedicated to the presiding deity here, Sangamanatha.
GALAGANATHA TEMPLE – 24 KMS: Galaganatha was formerly known as Palluni. The Galageshwara temple, an example of the Chalukya style of architecture, was built here around the 11th century. Sri Venkatesh Galaganath (Kadambari Pitamaha) worshiped at the Galageshwara temple, and he wrote his novels on the temple premises.A large inscription slab in the open hall of Galageshwara temple dates from AD 1080 and records a grant to the God Galageshvara. The date gives an indication of the era when the temple was built.The inscription here informs about the prevalence of the tradition of dance and music. The high state of development which the art of music had reached in the 11th century A.D. can be gathered from an inscription of Chalukya king Vikramaditya from Galaganath, Haveri Taluk and Haveri District, North Karnataka, which mentions a certain Mokhari Barmmayya, a musician of high order, titled Battisaraga-bahu-kala-Brahma meaning skilled in 32 ragas.
BADAMI – 34 KMS: Badami is at a distance of 30km from Bagalkot. Founded in 540 A.D. by Pulikesi I, Badami was the erstwhile capital of the Chalukya Empire in the 6th century AD and was formerly called as Vatapi. Badami is famous for its monuments, carvings and inscriptions and the credit for building such magnificent monuments and temples goes to the Chalukyas. Badami is noted for its rock-cut cave temples which are finest examples of Chalukaya architecture. The Chalukya style of temple architecture is a blend of the North Indian Nagara style and the South Indian Dravidian style. The four cave temples signify the secular nature of the rulers. These cave temples are carved out of sand stone on the precipice of a hill. Cave 1 is devoted to Shiva which was built during the 5th century. The cave has carvings of Shiva in Ardhanareeswara and Harihara avatatrs. Shiva is also depicted in in his dancing form – as Nataraja with eighteen arms. One has to climb about 40 steps to reach this cave.Caves 2 and 3 are dedicated to Vishnu. In cave 2 Vishnu is depicted in the Trivikrama form. This cave 2 can be reached by climbing 64 steps from the first cave. The ceilings of the cave have carvings of lord Vishnu on grauda along with many scenes from the puranans. In cave 3 lord Vishnu is depicted in different forms like the dwarf, as Trivikrama, as Narasimha and as Varaha.Cave 4 displays reliefs of Jain Tirthankaras. Lord Mahavira is depicted in a unique sitting posture here. The figure of Tirthankara Parshavnatha is also carved inside the cave.
BADAMI FORT -38 KMS: The Badami fort is located two kilometres from the town. This fort was constructed by great ruler Pulikeshi II during the 5th century. It has two huge temples for Lord Shiva. The Upper Shivalaya is devoted to Lord Shiva. Whereas the lower one is dedicated to Ganesha. The outer walls are sculpted with tales from mythology. There is also a 14th century watch tower
BHUTHANATHA TEMPLE – 29 KMS: Temples of Bhuthanatha dedicated to Lord Shiva face the Agastya Lake. Bhuthanatha means God of Souls. These temples are made from sandstone and there are two major temple one on the east and the other on the north-east side of the Agasthya Lake.
ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM – 5 KMS: The Archaeological Museum was founded in 1979. It is situated at the foothills of the northern hill which houses the northern fort. The museum has four galleries out of which two are open air. The museum displays prehistorical stone equipment’s and sculptures which dates between 6th to 16th century AD which is the main attraction here.
THE AGASTHYA TIRTHA SAROVAR
THE AGASTHYA TIRTHA SAROVAR – 38 KMS: This is a beautiful lake considered as holy by the pilgrims. It is situated at the foot of the hill that houses the cave temples. The water of this lake is believed to have healing powers.
AIHOLE – 35 KMS: This historical town is a very popular tourist spot located on the banks of Malaprabha River in Bagalkot district of Karnataka. Aihole was the first capital of Chalukya dynasty. Aihole which is about 26km from Bagalkot was also called as "Ayyavole" and "Aryapura" in earlier days. Aihole is known as the cradle of Hindu stone architecture. Aihole was the experimental ground for different styles of temple construction during the chalukya rule. There are about 125 intricately carved temples in various style and historians have divided all the temples into 22 groups.
Prominent temple groups at Aihole are the Kontigudi group and the Galaganatha group of temples. A group of three temples is referred to as the Kontigudi group of temples consisting of the Lad Khan temple, Huchiappayyagudi temple and the Huchiappayya math. The most prominent among these is Lad Khan temple built in late 7th or early 8th century. Here there is a shrine with two mantapas in front of it and the temple is constructed in a Panchayat hall style. The windows were filled up with lattice work in the northern style and the main shrine houses a Shiva Linga.