27 March 2015 We had planned to leave early, but the bed was comfortable that I just couldnt resist sleeping longer. Finally at about ...

The Lost Treasures of Chalukyas Part - II

27 March 2015

We had planned to leave early, but the bed was comfortable that I just couldnt resist sleeping longer. Finally at about 9, we checked out and drove off to Aihole.

Aihole is barely 44 kms from Badami and the road is small tar road with pretty much less traffic. It was about 10 when we reached there.

First thing we saw was a house like structure on the left side of the road. The sign read "Huchchiappa Gudi". We left our car near the entrance and entered the well
cared ruins. There is no idol inside the temple. When we were descending the steps, we saw another structure towards our right side, we planned to there after exploring this one.

The temples of Aihole are grouped as Konthi, Tryambakeshwara, Galaganatha and Jain Basadis.

Huchichiappa Gudi is a small structure so quickly we moved to the next ruins. When we were entering these ruins, we saw another one a bit further, so it was next in line and another one even more further... Soon I realized that there is a series of ruins and the exploration is going to take long time. in fact it was going to be much more than what I had anticipated. 

We went around for quiet sometime and then drove off to Lad Khan Temple. This complex, again under ASI is well maintained facility. There are number of ruins here namely, Durga Temple, Ladkhan Temple etc.

We had cane juice before entering here. It is very important to keep yourself hydrated on a sunny day like this one. 

Durga Temple
The Durga Temple and Ladkhan temple, both are architectural wonders. My friend is an architect and she kept mentioning about both these temples. Apart from these two the complex also houses a well and a few other temples. It was 1:30 when I checked my watch and we decided to leave immediately as we needed to reach Pune by day end.
Google counted the distance as 458KM from Aihole to my place. However, since the highways are of superb quality we were much sure that we will cover the distance.

The Rath at Kudal Sangam
We were told to have lunch at Kudal Sangam. Kudal Sangam is a confluence of two rivers, Krishna and Malaprabha. We went round and round before we could find Kamat. Kamat Served yet another tasty meal and we drove off towards Vijapur.

The road... I tell you... "it is amazing" is only an ordinary description. I am sad that I was not driving a SUV but I am happy that my car is in awesome condition even at 14.

In no time, we were passing from the outskirts of Bijapur. The Gol Ghumbaz marked the skyline of the city. I almost coerced my buddy to visit the monument. Being an architect, She was also fascinated by the building yet was doing her best to avoid this.

Near Bijapur

Finally we were in the parking and she almost warned me to leave at the earliest. The people were acting crazy and shouting on top of their voices and the entire place felt like a mental institution. Our guide was also upset as his demonstrations were hampered by the public around. He suggested exploring the horizon for some time. Soon it was 6 PM and most of the people left. Now, he started his demonstrations all over again. I was amazed by this engineering marvel. The building is constructed in such a way that sound as small as palms being rubbed against each other is also heard all over the place. I am still amazed by this. 

Gol Ghumbaz

It was closure time and we were asked to leave. Apart from Gol Ghumbaz. I wanted to visit the cannon Malika-E-Maidan. Since it was already sundown, we had to trash that idea and move ahead.

Jnana Prabodhini Bhavan
We realized that it would be a daring idea to drive to Pune late in night on a highway and we decided not to take chances. So per discussions, we decided to stay at our Alma Mater - Jnana Prabodhini's Solapur Branch. I have no words to describe the feeling. I was also elevated by idea of attending Upasana next morning.

We had reached late and the kitchen was left open only for us to have dinner. The lovely food was kept for us on the table. We were about to serve ourselves when Amol dada and another guy came over to serve the food. They made us comfortable like being at home. We hurried back to the room, put up all gadgets on charging and slept early as we wanted to attend Upasana next morning.

Jnana Prabodhini is the foundation of my soul and character, an eternal source of strength. I draw most of my power from the firm principles it has instilled in me. Missing Upasana when everything was on my side would have been the greatest sin of my life.

28 March 2015:

It was about 5:00 AM when we woke up. Both of us rushed to the bathroom and quickly got ready for Upasana.

Upasana Mandir
Everyone associated with JnanaPrabodhini attends Upasana. Upasana is way of meditation. During the school days, I never understood the importance of this process however life's various experiences taught me the importance.

So, at sharp 6:15 AM we were at the Upasana Mandir. The Upasana Mandir resembled very much like the one at the Pune Building. Humming the same old mantras, I could feel the positivity blooming inside me. The experience was beyond words. All I can say here is, it felt like a homecoming of a reincarnated soul.

Near Pune
 At 7, we were back on the highway. I am really impressed with the quality of the roads. Hats off to the unknown people who all constructed those roads.

We made handful pit stops before reaching my place at about 12:30.