Hampi to Badami: Road trip ๐Ÿ›•๐Ÿš™

Badami : 8 hours drive (to and fro) for 2 hours of sightseeing โ‰๏ธ

It was on a Sunday that we decided to head out to Badami, a four hour drive from our hotel. While Hampi lies in the Bellary district of Karnataka, Badami is located in another district called Bagalkot.

Road trip from Hampi to Badami

Badami, formerly called Vatapi, was the capital of the Chalukyas, an empire of south India in the 6th century. Besides reading about them in the history books in school, we also learnt about them when we visited Mahabalipuram earlier ๐Ÿ‘‰Magical monuments of Mahabalipuramโœจ. Mahabalipuram was a famed city of the Pallavas, another kingdom of south India with their capital at Kanchipuram. Both the kingdoms locked horns and their storeis are intertwined.

Imagine driving all the way down and finding the tourist places closed !?  But the hotel staff assured that it is open. And in good faith we set off by 9:30 am to Badami.

9:30 am setting off to to Badami from our hotel Hyatt Place

We drove through the Bellary district. The roads were empty on Sunday morning. There were elections happening in the local villages. The men were seen wearing dhotis and Nehru caps, there were ladies wearing sequinned ghagra choli, head covered, waiting to vote. The road and the the lining vegetation was red. The scenery was surreal !! The first time you see the red, it looks magical. Beyond thd vicinity of the leaves were green, but the vegetation was scanty.

The red from the iron ore mining in Bellary

Red dust from the iron ore mining !! The locals complain about health problems and crop destruction due to the dust. The pollution and damage to the environment due to mining is another major issue.

We were on the Sandur road bypass and heading to NH 50, There were portions of untarred stretches. The truck drivers didn’t seem to mind the rocky stretch, they drove with good speed raising dust clouds. 

Dust clouds on the untarred stretches

Finally on fresh tarmac, NH 50 is a great road, straight and wide. We saw the walls of the Tungabhadra dam at a distance. Impressive !!

Finally on the magnificent NH 50
The high walls of the Tungabhadra dam at a distance

11:30 am now and we were driving along SHs and NHs in succession, deep into the Karnataka hinterland. The fields on either side were being cultivated, watermelon, corn and even rice. The roads were mostly good, few bad stretches, but empty. We missed the heavy traffic and the company. A glimpse of the village life was like looking into another world. Hard life !!

Rice fields along the SH

Are we going to be there any time soon !? We were going to see the famous rock cut temples of Badami. “The caves must be really amazing !?” said the kid sarcastically. Fours hours one way !!

Found a place to park on a busy Sunday at Badami

By 1:00 pm we reached Badami. Being a holiday, there was a crowd. But we managed to get a parking space and met our guide for the tour, Basavaraj. He started by  pointing to the red sandstone cliffs saying they resemble almonds or badam (in Hindi) and hence the name Badami!? I cannot vouch for this info, but it seemed fitting enough.

First look at the cave temples of Badami

8 hours drive (to and fro) without a spare tyre in place. We always had the worst case scenario in our heads. But we carried on anyway !! It was worth it๐Ÿ˜€

More on magnificent cave temples of Badami in the next post !! Leaving you with more photos of the trip.

Take care !!

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