A taste of rural India
Badami Travel Blog› entry 4 of 37 › view all entries
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.
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.
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!