While researching for Hyderabad and the places around it, I came across Bidar & Basavakalyan. The photo of the entrance actually made me blink twice.It was so majestic, that instantly, I started planning for it. Two days plan seemed better to execute it from Mumbai. I shared this plan with Jagdish who recommended me to put up the trip for others to join. Tickets were booked and a group of 6 people embarked on this journey to explore the architectural marvel of Magnanimous Bidar.
We left Mumbai on Friday night at 09:15 PM from Dadar. Reaching Bidar Station in the morning, by 10:30 AM (Train was late, supposed to reach at 09:15). With almost one and half hour delay, we reached Hotel Shiva International (Pre-booked). Freshened up and left for sightseeing of Basavakalyan, after breakfast at nearby Kamat hotel.
On the way to Basavakalyan, there were few places of interest, which I wanted to visit. First, was Jalasanghi, which was almost an hour away. Jalasanghi (Kamalishwara) temple was unique in its own way, it did not have a tall Gopuram, seen in most of the temples, instead it had flat roof like structure.
I couldn’t find much reference to this temple. Seemed like unexplored one. The main attraction of this temple is the Madanika Sculpture writing an epigraph praising the King Vikramaditya VI of Chalukya dynasty in Kannada Language. A fact that needs to be noted is, women of that era knew to read and write.
(Kamalishwara Temple is famous for its outstanding Salabhanjika and Madanika sculptures. The sculptures of the Jalasangvi temple were the source of inspiration for the later Hoysala bracket-figures of Belur Halebidu and Somnathapura. This Chalukya temple is built on a star-shaped plan.
The temple was constructed in the Besara style, a unique combination of North Indian Nagara and South Indian Chalukya with Shiva Linga in Garbagriha).
After spending 20 minutes, we went further for Humanabad temple called as Veer Bhadreshwar temple. The special feature of the temple was 50 feet tall deepa stambha on both sides of the entrance, which was partially hidden by the construction.
After spending fifteen minutes here, we proceeded to Basavakalyan. First stop was Statue of Basavanna. It is 108 feet tall statue, who was known for his rational and progressive thoughts in 12th Century.
Along with the two storeyed Platform to reach the Statue, there is an adjoining caves called as Sri Basaveswara cave and Akkamahadevi cave, that has been carved out beautifully in the laterite rock. There is a Shiva temple below the Statue.
You are first directed to the cave, then climbing up the steps to reach the Statue, being afternoon the climate was hot, after spending an hour or so. We reached Basavakalyan fort by 3.30, it closes by 5.30 pm. Took almost 2 hours to explore the vast fort.
(Basavakalyan Fort was also known as Kalyana Fort, built by Chalukas in 10th century. This fort was built by keeping defence in mind. Because the Fort is mostly undetectable. Basavakalyan Fort was created by intersecting huge rocks which are spread throughout the hills. It has guard rooms and towers. There are three concentric asymmetrical walls in the fort. It has seven entrances, out of which only five entrances are in good condition and 37 Bastions (Mostly circular, few square or octagonal).
Basavakalyan Fort was regarded as headquarter of the royal capital of Chalukya family, i.e. Kalyana. There is traces of different rulers who controlled the fort and renovated accordingly. There are several palaces, structures and temples inside the fort. Although at present, several parts of Basavakalyan Fort is in ruin, it is still worth visiting. There are some cannon placed inside. The bigger one called as Nav-gaz.
Inside the Fort, there is a temple, with no idol, but believed to be dedicated to Lakshmi. At the top of the frame of the temple, there is image of Ganapati.
The security guide helped us around with the important places inside the fort. Being vast, we would have just wandered without proper information.
We left the fort by 5.30 pm, there were few more places to see before the sun sets. First, we went to see the Anubhav Sthambha, it was a Hall. Further encircling the lake, we went for Akkannadevi caves.
It was an ancient temple with underground cave and well-maintained garden. There was one more addition to the itinerary the Uma Maheshwar temple in Umapur, unique feature of this temple was the carvings of Tortoise & Fish at the entrance of the temple on the footstep. It was almost dark, as we reached the village.
There was an annual fest going on.
We were invited for the dinner by the locals. Since, we didn’t have lunch (because of late breakfast), we relished the simple tasty food that was served to us.
We left for Bidar, after the ladies in group engaged in conversation with the local ladies, who were bit inquisitive about our visit.
We had our dinner again at Hotel Royal Anmol. Tried the biryani, which was not that great as recommended.
Bidar was our next destination for another day!