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It had been a long unfulfilled dream of visiting Hampi ever since I heard about in my 8th standard and it was finally realised in Feb 2014, when I visited the place along with my kid brother Vaithy. BTW Vaithy is no more a kid because he in the process of producing a kid in next few months. Visiting a historical place will be more enjoyable when you have a companion who is also equally passionate as you.

"We don't know what is the destination, yet we are roaming in the streets of an unknown town.. this is not craziness but madness".. this is what I told to my kid friend Vaithy when we were going to search and see the Aathankudi tiles factory in Karaikudi. Our travels become memorable when we get such like minded crazy friends and I was lucky to have this kid as my travel mate on this Karaikudi trip. We just took his brother's Hero Honda without informing that we are going for a long drive and explored the culture or legacy that is rooted in the red soils of Karaikudi.

Pattadakal Temple Complex

The next day we checked the places to be visited in Badami. There were few locations that were near and far by - Banashankari Temple, Mahakuta, Pattadakal, Aihole. The Banashankari and Mahakuta temple were offway to Pattadakal, which was our priority. Pattadakal houses several temples in a single location whereas Aihole was the school of architecture where the prototypes of temples (that were built later time & several locations) were made. Since I always prefer the local public transport for commuting, we enquired about the bus service in the Badami bus stand. A conductor suggested to take the bus 738 for reaching Pattadakal. With my basic alphabet knowledge I read the bus board written in Kannada as "Koodala Sangama".

It was a strange feeling of venturing into an enemy's place while landing in Badami, which was called as "Vadapi" earlier. For those who couldn't get the link - Vadapi was the capital of Chalukya Kingdom ruled by King Pulikesi, who is the arch rival of King Mahendra Varma Pallava. Infact whatever ruins we see in Mahabalipuram was the remains of the Pulikesi - Pallava war. As I was taking the sides of Mahendra Varma Pallava, I thought that Pulikesi is not so artistically inclined because he destroyed the sculptures in Mahabalipuram and Kanchipuram. But after visiting Badami I realised that he too is equally artistically inclined as Pallava. You can get a feel of this rivalry in the classic - Sivakamiyin Sapatham written by Kalki krishnamurthy.

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