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The Elephanta Caves

The Elephanta Caves , located on Elephanta Island, or Gharapuri, about 11 Km off the coast of the Gateway of India, Mumbai, are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A visit to these caves, excavated probably in the 6 th century CE, is awe-inspiring, and also thought-provoking. Over the years, I have visited the caves a number of times, and also attended a number of talks by experts in the fields of art, history and archaeology on the caves. Together, they help me understand these caves, their art, and the people they were created for, just a little bit better. Every new visit, every new talk, every new article I read about the caves, fleshes out the image of what the island and the caves would have been like, at their peak. I last wrote about the caves on this blog, in 2011, almost exactly 11 years ago. Since then, my understanding of the caves has, I would like to think, marginally improved. Hence this attempt to write a new and updated post, trying to bring to life, the caves of Elephan

Skywatch Friday - Silhouettes of Temples at Pattadakal

Pattadakal is on my mind...Its been almost a year since I visited the World Heritage Site, but the memories of the consummate artistic talent are as fresh as if it were yesterday!

Our first glimpse of the temples at Pattadakal .. the temple towers stand out tall against the clear sky..

Pattadakal is the third in the triad of Chalukyan temple architecture. Aihole, Badami and Pattadakal together show the development of temple architecture and building methods between the 6th and 8th centuries AD. While Badami was the capital of the Chalukyan kings, and Aihole drew the scholars, it was Pattadakal which is believed to have been chosen site for the coronation of the royals. The temples at Pattadakal are also among the finest among the three, and no wonder it is today classified as an UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Even to my untrained eye, it was apparent that here were two completely different styles of temples – some built in the northern style and some in the southern. In the language of architecture, these are the Rekha Nagara Prasada and Dravida Vimanas respectively. 

One only has to look to see the difference, yet, one has to look closer to see the similarities - in the work involved, in the intricacy and attention paid to the details, the talent and creativity of the artisans who built such works of art, and finally, in the Gods these temples were built for!

We spent just a few hours at Pattadakal, something I sorely regret! These temples deserve a day or more, and I could just sit and look at these temples for ever! Look out for more detailed posts coming up!

Fore more beautiful skies from around the world, go to SkyWatch Friday!

Pattadakal  Quick Facts
Getting there:
Nearest Airport: Hubli (about  120 Km )
Nearest Railway Station: Badami (29 Km)
Pattadakal is well connected by road to Badami (29 Km) and Aihole (24 Km).
Where to stay: There is practically no accommodation available at Pattadakal. The nearest city is Badami, where the KSRTC Mayura Chalukya is the best option. There are also other hotels and lodges in Badami. 


  1. Wonderful shots - love the architectural detail!

  2. i sure look forward to views and observation on these pieces of architecture... ruta

  3. So beautiful and I love the architectural details Anu!!
    Happy SWF and greetings from Holland,Anna :-))

  4. Lovely shots..reminds me of the trip made almost 20 years ago..shd go there again..

  5. Thanks Lady Fi! its absolutely amazing!

  6. Thanks Lakshmi! you should def go again! I think i can go again and again there!

  7. Thanks Ruta! u would have loved the place! It was full of art and architecture students looking at the structures, and drawing and painting them! it was so wonderful! would love to go there someday to draw them!

  8. Lovely captures in the golden light!

  9. Bright sky & lovely architecture. never been to this place. Shall we? Now that the ladies group is building up. :) 
    What say?

  10. lovely pics and description

  11. Its an amazing place, Nisha! just wait for some of the other pics I have clicked here! and I would love to go again, esp with our gang of girls!!! ha ha!

  12. Beautiful...and what artistic captures you made. Pleasing/. endearing images. 

  13. Oh! lovely. Your untrained {?} eyes catches heavenly bodies.I have been longing to visit the trio. May be next year. Right now I am touring Kerala.

  14. thanks PNS! you should def go! am sure you will love it! and Kerala sounds great!! am waiting for a chance to explore more of the wonderful state! dont know when i will be able to!

  15. this would help you ,if you are planning for a tour in kerala.

  16. These snaps implies there where the best achitechtures in 6th centuries AD.

  17. well, they are certainly among the best!

  18. Hi, Loved the images of Pattadakal. Fascinating temple architecture 1500 years ago never ceases to amaze. And there is hardly any crowd.

  19. Aah, thats because this pic is from far.... wait till u see the rest of my series.. esp the more popular temples!! thankfully, it was afternoon, so it wasnt too bad, though i had to wait to click pics without ppl in it!


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