By – Tarushi Thakur
This weekend students of grade 11 went on their much-awaited overnight excursion to two historically esteemed places- Badami and Bijapur. On Friday night we left from Bangalore at 10 PM, heading towards our first destination- Badami. The bus ride soon turned into a disco, as peppy tunes filled the air and got everyone on their feet! The students thoroughly enjoyed the embarkment of their trip.
We reached our designated hotel in Badami on Saturday at 8 AM. After quick refreshments, we headed to Badami cave temples, also known as Badami Fort, for our first sightseeing escapade. Badami is an important historical town that is known for housing a number of historical structures, one of which is Badami Fort. Though now in shambles, this fort is a testimony of an era that was culturally rich. Badami was the capital of the Chalukya rulers from 540 AD to 757 AD and the fort was the official residence of the Chalukyan kings. The caves are considered an example of Indian rock-cut architecture, especially Badami Chalukya architecture, which dates from the 6th century. Our exploration was made informative by a guide who took us to all the temples and gave interesting information on the deities, the history of the temple, the different styles of architecture, and much more.
After a scrumptious meal at our hotel, the afternoon was spent in the glory of the architectural marvels at Pattadakal and Aihole. Both these heritage sights were adorned with temples that had their own significant history. Some of these temples even dated back to the 4thcentury! Learning about such fast-fading history filled the students with admiration for the wonders of our country. Quoting our guide who accompanied us all day to every sightseeing trip, “You cannot build history until you study history.”
On Sunday morning, we were off to our second destination. Bijapur city is known for its historical monuments of architectural importance built during the rule of the Adil Shahi dynasty. The city was established in the 10th-11th centuries by the Kalyani Chalukyas and was initially known as Vijayapura (City of victory). Our first stop in Bijapur was Gol Gumbaz which is the mausoleum of king Mohammed Adil Shah, Sultan of Bijapur. Gol Gumbaz literally means ‘circular dome’. It is built in Deccan style of architecture. Housing the tomb of Mohammed Adil Shah, the dome of this monument is a notable 124 feet in diameter. It was constructed such that voices from the top of the dome would reverberate and would be heard by everyone in the vicinity.
Next, we headed to Bara Kaman, meaning ‘12 arches’. Also known as Ali Rauza tomb, these arches are unfinished structures whose construction was stopped after the death of the ruler. A notable feature of all these places that we visited was that each place had its own unique style of architecture. Some of these were Chalukyan, Dravidian, Deccan and many more.
After stopping at Gagan Mahal which was close to Bara Kaman, we headed to the mall in the heart of Bijapur. Following the shopping spree and some delicious dinner, we headed for Bangalore on Sunday night. While enjoying a fun-filled weekend with friends, our students also got the chance to discover the architectural and historical marvels of Karnataka. We hope this expedition helped students to learn beyond their textbooks and develop respect for the heritage of our country.