AsiaIndiaBadami

A taste of rural India

Badami Travel Blog

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Washer women - Badami

Badami was one of the most rewarding places we visited in our time in India. It's quite a small town, and the area around is quite rural. It provided a contrast with the time we spent in the big cities.

Ironically Badami had been one of a very few places which I'd shortlisted as places I really wanted to go in India, before leaving home. I'd then lost that list, which I only rediscovered after we left India! But we ended up going there anyway, because it was near where we were.

Badami's biggest attraction is a set of cave temples, carved into a cliff face overlooking the big tank (huge pond in the town, where the clothes are washed - you can also hire pedalos!) There are also other old temples in the town, and a ruined fort up on the cliff top overlooking the tank.

Pattadakal
There's really quite a lot to see for a small town, and the cave temples in particular are very impressive.

Near Badami are two villages where there are further temple complexes: Pattadakal and Aihole. The temples date from about the 7th century onwards.

We looked round the sights of Badami one day. We got talking to the washer women at the tank (not sure how, because I can't remember how much English they spoke - obviously enough), and ended up taking photos of them, and making a note of their addresses. (We managed to get the pictures printed and posted when we got to Hyderabad a few days later.)

One day we took a local bus to Pattadakal.

Pattadakal
Like many of the archaeological sites in India, the entrance fee is significantly higher for foreigners than for Indians; I think it was US$10 to get into the temples in Pattadakal. We were of great interest to an Indian school party who were also visiting the ruins, and ended up shaking about fifty little hands, and answering the question "what is your name" almost as many times. Even the teachers joined in! The temples at Pattadakal are a UNESCO heritage site, and were undergoing "renovations", which seemed to involve scrubbing the intricate carving with detergent and stiff brushes: go and see these temples before they disappear entirely! On our way back to find a bus back to Badami, we were press-ganged into joining in a game of cricket which the local boys were playing in the street. Zoe managed to hit the ball against some unfortunate woman who was passing with a basket of things on her head.
Badami tank and town
She didn't look impressed, and we made our excuses and left!

The following day we'd planned to go to Aihole on the bus, but hadn't been organised enough to check the bus times. When we got to the bus station it turned out we'd missed the morning bus, and that was the only option for getting there that day, so we decided to take an auto-rickshaw instead (same as a tuk-tuk in Thailand). It was not a great journey: a 70km round trip in a vehicle with almost no suspension on a rural Indian road, full of holes! At one point on the way back we went over a bump so fast that the whole thing lifted into the air, and landed slightly sideways! The driver looked about 14, and spent the whole of the drive chewing 'pan' (the red betel nut drug that everyone in India chews). I kept having visions of just how many hours it would be between having an accident, and getting to a nice clean hospital somewhere!

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Washer women - Badami
Washer women - Badami
Pattadakal
Pattadakal
Pattadakal
Pattadakal
Badami tank and town
Badami tank and town
Zoe in Badami cave temples
Zoe in Badami cave temples
View over Badami
View over Badami
Schoolgirls at the tank
Schoolgirls at the tank
Washer women
Washer women
Washer women at work
Washer women at work
Pedalo on the tank
Pedalo on the tank
Main street - Badami
Main street - Badami
Small temple in Pattadakal
Small temple in Pattadakal
View through a temple window - Pat…
View through a temple window - Pa…
Temple detail - Pattadakal
Temple detail - Pattadakal
Bhutanatha temple, Badami
Bhutanatha temple, Badami
Scrubbing the temples - Pattadakal
Scrubbing the temples - Pattadakal
Street cricket
Street cricket
Monkeys at the Badami cave temples
Monkeys at the Badami cave temples
These guys wanted us to take their…
These guys wanted us to take thei…
Carving at Badami cave temples
Carving at Badami cave temples
Our room, complete with ingeniousl…
Our room, complete with ingenious…
Temple in Aihole
Temple in Aihole
Aihole temple detail
Aihole temple detail
Durga temple, Aihole
Durga temple, Aihole
Temple interior - Aihole
Temple interior - Aihole
Badami
photo by: altmtl