A tour in Karnataka for world heritage suggests that it is the perfect destination for those who like architecture. This tour will take you to explore beautiful monuments, palaces, temples, caves and sculptures and ancient architecture. Let yourself be intrigued by the warm hospitality, cuisine and excitement of this southern state of India.
“Karnataka is a state blessed with palaces, temples, beaches, natural parks full of wildlife and exciting metropolis.”
Hampi is one of the most extraordinary Indian archaeological sites!
Surrounded by mountains with rocky clusters – the monumental pebbles that are said to have been randomly thrown by giant hands into a landscape of luminous rice fields – the former imperial capital Vijayanagar, also known as Hampi. Hampi is a truly unique place. 1- the natural site is beautiful and 2- there are temples and ruins everywhere. In what would have housed a legendary kingdom of the state of Karnataka (South-West), mingle Hindu myths, historical events and peaceful life of the surrounding villages.
The legendary aspect of Hampi continues with the construction of Vijayanagar, “City of Victory”, the capital of one of the largest and most prosperous Hindu kingdoms in the history of India.
The temple of Vittala: Attention there is in the huge crowd, the tourist, of the triumphant UNESCO. It is the most beautiful of the site, the largest, and it was the royal temple. Now you have to stand in line to enter.
In the grand temples, there are also still used processional chariots. Here is a typical procedure in Indian architecture. The Queen’s Bath, without water or Queen, now but remains a beautiful vestige of Indo-Muslim art. Here we measure the fusion of different elements which is the characteristic of this period.
Beyond its historical importance, Hampi is one of the few, if not the last classified site of India still inhabited. This peculiarity conferred on him something unique, which unfortunately had to disappear. The first stop on a hill gives us beautiful views of the gopuram of 50 meters from the temple of Virupaksha. Its exterior statues are beautiful and immense, they cover the whole of the edifice.
Many monuments were built on the shores including in Antiquity. We visited other temples including that of Vitthala, endowed with three towering gopurams, and preceded by a stone ratha pulled by elephants. The hypostyle hall which precedes the temple is surrounded by Yalis (erect horses), while the cornice is decorated with the beautiful statues of the sacred dancers.
The afternoon is dedicated to the visit of the royal city. The neighborhood of the nobles contains beautiful demurs. The enclosure of the royal includes the Lotus Mahal which is a building that relies on various pillars with poly-lobed arches. The stables of the elephants and the accommodation of the grooms or guards are real places. Climbing onto this structure embraces the landscape that welcomed the crowd during the coronation ceremonies. But also during the many festivals and parades that took place on the Esplanade. The Queen’s Baths are enclosed in a beautiful structure of Muslim style. Lodges provide shelter from the sun.
Badami is another main tourist attraction of Karnataka!
Travel to this beautiful town, situated between rocky hills housing the fantastic rock-cut cave temples and the chalukyan style structural temples. You can start enjoying the visit to Badami starting from caves.
Caves of Badami: Badami (Vatapi) was the capital of the Chalukyas, who ruled in the 6th – 8th centuries. It has been popular for its several cave temples. Group of four cave temples have been carved out of red sandstone on the side of the hill, opposite to Badami fort.
The four caves are simple in style. The entrance is a verandah with stone columns and brackets, a unique feature of these caves, leading to a columned mantapa and then to the small square temple cut deep into the cave.
The temple caves are dedicated to Lord Vishnu, one to Lord Shiva and the fourth is a Jain temple. The first three are devoted to the Vedic assurance, and the fourth cave is the only Jain temple. What makes these cave temples extraordinary, are a significant number of exquisite carvings and sculptures. One of the many masterpieces to be found in these caves is the 18-armed Natyaraja (Shiva) who if observed carefully, strikes 81 poses.
We can also see beautiful paintings, bhoothanath temple complex and prasannavenkatadasara katte.
Things To Do In Badami – Visit Cave temples, Visit Agastya Theertha, Other Temples, ASI Museum, Rock Climbing, Shidlaphadi cave and Banashankari Temple.
Pattadakal is twenty kilometres from Badami. This site, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, houses a complex with a dozen temples. The Chalukya empire, which at the time of its splendour (7th century) stretched from Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu to Gujarat (north of Bombay), was regarded as the political capital of Badami, the economic capital of Aihole, and Pattadakal. There are numerous Kannada language inscriptions at Pattadakal.
The most famous temple of this complex is that of Virupaksha, not only for the grace of its dimensions but also for its status. One can, for example, admire the Dvarapala – the guardian demon of the temple gate, holding a club in his hand – which is posted at the entrance.
There are also many classical performances: Shiva Narayana, Shiva and Parvati, Vishnu in the avatars of the Lion, the Dwarf and the Wild Boar.
Things To Do Pattadakal – Visit Jain Narayana Temple, Virupaksha Temple, Kashi Vishwanatha Temple and Papanatha Temple.
Aihole – The Economic Capital of Chalukyas!
Aihole was the capital of the Chalukyas before Badami, but it was above all the economic centre of their kingdom. And all the wealthy merchants were real believers, and everyone was anxious to build a temple even more beautiful than that of his neighbour.
The most beautiful of the temples is undoubtedly the one of Durga with its form in half circle quite unusual. You can see the outer walls of the temple many sculptures that you already know like the Narasimha.
One can, of course, see a magnificent statue of the goddess Durga. Durga is a terrible form of Parvati, the wife of Shiva, who got that name for killing the eponymous demon who had conquered the three worlds. She has represented with the Lion his mount and the bull, mount of Shiva.
In Aihole, one can also discover on the hillside the first masonry temple of South India, dating from 634, named Mahuti. The hill is capped with another temple which gives a view over the whole archaeological complex and the houses that surround it.
One can see on this sculpture the king, emaciated by his austerities, on the left, praying Shiva, accompanied by Parvati on the right. From the ceiling, Ganga pours her water waves into Shiva’s hair.