goa 2015: D38 – aihole temples tour karnataka india via goa roadtrip pattadakal

woke up in badami , if you have been following my blog for the last few entries youll have seen the epic 9 hour journey on a scooter from goa to get here , and have had an opportunity to see badami ruins lake caves and town . today we are going to do aihole .

Aihoḷe is a village having a historic temple complex in the Bagalkot district of Karnataka, India . It is known for Chalukyan architecture, with about 125 stone temples dating from 5th century , and is a popular tourist spot in north Karnataka. It lies to the east of Pattadakal, along the Malaprabha River, while Badami is to the west of both .

lets go … some things in india are too strange to think about , things like a third tap in my room …. hmm … imagine if draft kingfisher came out mmm


upon leaving the hotel [where all the hundreds of giant fruit bats are in the tree tops , the family of about 25 pigs and piglets pigs are rummaging in the pile of rubbish in the derelict corner] , this morning there where dozens of moneys of all ages charging round the hotel grounds . hilarious , could sit and watch them for hours . mischievous I guess youd describe them . theres also soooo many parrots and squirrels too . and in town its cleaned up 24 hours a day by pigs everywhere and loads of piglets .  not many cows or dogs like goa , the pigs clean everything up rubbish , scraps of food , food market cast offs , and human waste all gets taken care of lol . place stinks , still a culture shock to see people just blatantly shitting on the side of the road in full view in badami , pattadakal and aihole and all over the roads in the tiny villages in between these towns . .


so went for breakfast in badami town where I’m staying,  base camp . eating at hotel anand , located opposite the large modern almost out of place hotel rajsangam . indian breakfast – dosa , with some fresh fruit , with a cup of English tea . spot on


after breakfast I hit the road to aihole , passing pattadakal on the way . along the route they had built a new housing estate , hundreds of tiny new builds

widescreen panoramic shot [click] >>>>

P1050028P1050029but nobody appeared to have moved in and instead lived in crumbling roadside buildings . bizarre ghost town .


you pass some great scenery on the way , remote landscapes , decaying ruins , various animals , and vast fields of sunflowers at times many miles long in every direction

widescreen panoramic shot [click] >>>>P1050047P1050038P1050045

widescreen panoramic shot [click] >>>>P1050042P1050049P1050040

one state , many worlds … karnatakaP1050044

then you reach aihole . I didn’t know how many temples there would be , thought maybe a few and so spent a while looking round the first few , then I carried on and just found more and more around every corner I went to – it was almost never ending . other places like arvalem there is one rock cut cave , tambdi surla there is one temple . here it turns out there are 125 temples !!! this is the experimental site for the design of new temples , so every design is totally different . you can see the arvalem and tambdi surla templates here . amazing place that nobody ever comes to . for me it was a toss up of here or hampi , but everyone goes to hampi so thought id do something different . paid off big time !

check this out … on the way in i was met by a muzzled goat having a sh!t haha . lets see who bids me farewell in a moment 😉  this is the first place you come to , and behind it the next bigger complex




I thought that might be it , I had no map nor was any available , but no ! that is just the first two sites . you know I said the muzzled goat having a shit greeted me , heres the farewell


okayyyy , travelled a few hundred more metres and temples started appearing everywhere … heres another complex on the other side of the village , a rock cut cave with fantastic views to the hill top temples .




leaving here I passed one site being excavated / renovated / restored …


then it was stopping off for something to eat at the main junction in tow . nothing more than a series of a dozen or so street shops / cafes . I asked for a  cold drink , but nothing was too cold as it turns out they don’t get any power till it gets dark at about 7pm tonite ! no fridges , no fans , no wifi or phones , no nada .


at this junction there is another site with the ambigera gudi temple


look how the light is used to great effect in the designs …


also at this junction is the entrance to the main central site for temples , a huge cluster of awesomeness . this is the only site you have to pay to get in – a staggering 100Rps = 1 whole English pound at todays rates ! I think Indians had to pay 10Rps = 10p ! so many temples , just WOW !

important : note sign says Friday holiday [closed] .



from here I went to the top of the hill id seen earlier from the rock cut cave . at the bottom a gang of kids where playing cricket with an old rag and a branch of a tree for a  bat . 3 of them decided they would take me up the steps and show me around the jain temple . the oldest one was teaching the youngest one how to hustle . future hustlers for sure . infact future hustlers right now ! these guys are destined for goan shack jobs , or jobs at a Bangalore IT centre . First they befriended me , sticking to me like a hungry mosquito, then started asking opening qs like name, country, told me some facts about temple and india winning the cricket.  at the end of the impromptu ‘tour’ the oldest one asked for some money “for school books and pens”! he really knew how to work it lol . his rates where far too high tho …  50 rups! It was hilarious a lemon soda just got given to me for 10rps. Had to advise he was asking too much for a short tour . But he said “it is for schoolbooks and pen”!!! took them all for a bottle of coke each and gave them 20Rps  . they where made up with that . everyone was happy .

i did the jain temple on the hill last cos of climb/heat . its a great view down on what you have been seeing all day . i thought id go for an hour but i was there for about 5  . I’m sure they where many more things id like to see but didn’t . its about 30 mins to get to pattadakal from badami and pretty simple and quiet farm roads , then about 30 more to aihole . i didnt even use my sat nav it was signed and easy to reach these towns from badami .



what a trip its been up here , this place has been ace … aihole , its got the lot . theres 50 temples in the durga complex and over 50 more around it . you only pay for durga complex . its also got a museum for 5 rps more but i read it wasnt worth seeing . in durga there are tons of extra artifacts ‘hero stones’ mounted all around the temples . there is still a lot of restoration work being done In the main complex and sites around it , incl one big temple being improved and totally overhauled by traditional stone masons . its spetacular . durga is obvously the jewel in the crown , the level of detailing inside is immense . however i thought the cave was equally impressive with the life sized figures that’s located on the outskirts of the town and found only by chance really on my moped . the only downside is all the temples outside the complex are just anywhere so you have to seek them out but when you do encounter them but they do have dual indian/english information signs , and typically theres no map anywhere and a large map sign as you enter aihole would be really helpfull , or if you could even buy one im sure everyone would buy one . there are about 20 small shops selling drinks and snacks etc , plus another dozen fruit stalls and a great salt lemon soda guy for 10rps which is way cheaper than anywhere else ive had one . note : i made him rinse the glass out with my own fresh waster rather than his dirty week old bowl of water which looked totally rotten and brown eeeh  😉


here is the video of the monkeys at breakfast

this is the video for some of the aihole temple complex

thanks for reading , feel free to share to your social media groups , or make a comment here >>>

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2 Responses to goa 2015: D38 – aihole temples tour karnataka india via goa roadtrip pattadakal

  1. Graeme Reid says:

    Thanks Rob, another stunning report. Amazing photos! Don’t think I could suffer a journey of that length on a moped so I’ll just make do with reading your excellent blog!

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