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Situated in the northern part of Karnataka is Bagalkote. Bagalkote is flanked by Vijayapura in the north, Gadag in the south, Raichur towards east, Koppal towards southeast and Belagavi towards the west. The Ghataprabha River, Malaprabha River and Krishna River flow through the district.
The legendary Chalukya Dynasty ruled over the place in and around Bagalkote. The renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site Pattadakal along with the cave temples of Badami and the temple complex at Aihole are the major attractions here. The exquisite Ilkal sarees also take its name from a quaint little village here. Bagalkote is also home to the Mudhol Hound, an indigenous dog breed which has even been inducted into the Indian Army.
September to April is the best season to visit Bagalkote.
For further information, visit the official district website click here!
- Badami Rock Climbing: Rock Climbing is a must-try adventure activity while visiting Badami. Badami offers several climbing routes hidden in between various cliffs and can be attempted by both amateurs and experts. The sandstone cliffs of Badami are very ideal for rock climbing and the region is often referred to as “Mecca of Rock Climbing”. Free climbing, rappelling and bouldering are popular activities.
- Badami Photography Tours: Badami also attracts photography enthusiasts because of stunning landscapes with cave temples and forts in the backdrop of Agastya Lake. Private companies organize landscape photography tours and workshops at Badami. Details at https://www.darter.in/photography-tours/travel/badami-travel-photography-workshop/
- Pattadakallu: Located on the banks of the Malaprabha River, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a testament to the richness of Chalukyan architecture during the 7th and 8th centuries and is renowned for its intricately chiselled temples. The temples bear testimony to the richness and timeless splendour of the Chalukyan architecture. It has a cluster of 10 major temples, which showcase some striking architectural features. The world-famous geographer Ptolemy (150 AD) has documented the town as “Perti gal”. It was even used as the ceremonial centre where kings were crowned and commemorated. Pattadakal has temple architecture from Dravidian, Aryan and a mixture of both styles in its temple complex; probably making it the only one of its kind in India. There is a sculpture gallery maintained by Archeological Survey of India within the Pattadakal temple complex.
- Badami Cave Temples: 23 km from Pattadakal is Badami that occupies an important place in the heritage history of Karnataka. Badami is picturesquely nestled at the mouth of a ravine between two rocky hills. The exquisite sculptures and sandstone cliffs of Badami bring forth many a tale from the yesteryears. Four rock-cut caves adorned with ancient carved pillars and bracket figures cut out of red sandstone is just a flight of steps away. The caves overlook the Agastya Theertha Tank, its banks dotted with a group of Bhoothanatha temples. The caves are best seen at sunset when the evening sun captures the rust-red tint of the sandstone. Badami is the district headquarters of Bagalkote district.
- Aihole: Heralded as the ‘cradle of Hindu/ Dravidian temple architecture’, Aihole is a tranquil village on the banks of Malaprabha River. Hundreds of temples built in 4th Century AD, pepper the villages and fields nearby. The most noteworthy among them is the Durga Temple composed of a semicircular apse, an elevated plinth and a gallery encircling the sanctum. The Lad Khan Temple is one of the earliest temples in the region and was initially a royal assembly hall and marriage mantapa. It was the chosen abode of the Muslim chief Lad Khan. Other major attractions in the area are the Huchimalli Temple with a sculpture of Lord Vishnu sitting atop a cobra, the Ravalphadi Cave Temple which celebrates the various incarnations of Lord Shiva, the Konti Temple Complex, the Umamaheswari Temple, the Jain Meguti Temple, and the two-storied Buddhist temple.
- Ravana Phadi Cave: Ravanaphadi is a 6th-century rock-cut cave temple in Aihole housing Shiva and Parvathi. Ravanaphadi is about a km from Durga temple complex. Extensive artwork featuring Shiva, Parvathi, Ganesha and Vishnu can be seen inside the cave.
- Mahakoota Temples: Mahakoota is a temple town in Bagalkot district of Karnataka, 6 km from Badami cave temples. Mahakoota group of temples were built between 6th and 8th century AD, during the rule of Chalukya Kingdom of Badami.Surrounded by hills, the Mahakuta group of temples is an important place of worship for Hindus and is the location of a well-known Shaiva monastery.There are primarily 2 temples here with the sacred temple tank 'Vishu Pushkarni' located between them. The older of the two is Mahakuteshwara Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva with many smaller shrines surrounding it. In the middle of the Vishnu Pushkarni tank, is a pavilion where a Shiva linga with 4 faces can be seen. The Mallikarjuna Temple has finely chiselled carvings depicting Hindu gods and goddesses surrounded by other smaller shrines.
- Jamakhandi: Popular for Patvardhan’s Palace, Jambukeshwara Temple, Kadapatti Basaveshwara temple and Tripura Sundari temple. Several Kalyana Chalukya era monuments are found in Jamakhandi
- Kulahalli: A village known for pre-historic artworks
- Karadi: Said to be the capital of Nanda Empire, gets its name from a Basavanna temple which is said to have the shape of a bear (Karadi). Karadi also has an old fort and an Ishwara temple.
- Terdal: Has remains of an ancient fort and ancient artifacts. Terdal was a major commercial town during the 11th and 12th
- Banashankari: Taking its name from Goddess Banashankari, it is a quaint hamlet en route to Badami. A temple dedicated to Goddess Banashankari, built in the Dravidian style of architecture, forms the main attraction here. The idol in this temple depicts Goddess Banashankari, seated on a snarling lion. An incarnation of Goddess Parvathi, she is highly revered by the local weaver community.
- Shivayogi Mandira: Shivayogi Mandira is a spiritual centre located on the banks of River Malaprabha near Badami, Shivayogi Mandira is a place with spiritual importance located on the banks of the Malaprabha River near Badami, Bagalkote district. The institution is an important place for Veerashaiva Lingayats which in turn trains and educates the Veershaiva Mathadhipathis (religious heads).
- Bhutanatha Temple Complex: Less than a km from Badami cave temple is a cluster of sandstone shrines. Components of the Bhutanatha group of temples were built over a period of time ranging from 7th to 11th Century AD.
- Hungund: Popular for Meguti Jain temple, Nageshwara, Kannika Parameshwara, Mallikarjuna and Sangameshwara temples
- Siddana Kolla: Popular for Siddheshwara and Sangameshwara Temples
- Yadahalli Chinkara Wildlife Sanctuary: Yadahalli Chinkara Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the dedicated sanctuaries for Chinkaras, a very shy and elusive antelope. Yadahalli Chinkara Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Bilagi and Mudhol ranges of Bagalkote Forest Division. The vegetation is typically deciduous and scrubs jungle in most of the places. The main purpose of this sanctuary is to protect, propagate and develop the Chinkara (Indian Gazelle) and other wildlife in its environment.
- Kudala Sangama(51 km): situated at the confluence of the rivers Krishna and Malaprabha, this pilgrim centre is associated with the great 12th century poet and reformer Basaveshwara. The Aikya Mantapa or the holy Samadhi of Basavanna, the founder of the Lingayat sect of Hindu religion along with a Linga, which is believed to be self-born (Swayambhu), is here. Kudala Sangama is also famed for its Chalukyan-style Sangameshwara Temple where it is believed that Basavanna had worshipped Lord Shiva here.Basavana Bagedwadi, 30km from Kudala Sangama, is a well-known pilgrim centre and the birthplace of Basaveshwara.
- Almatti Dam (45 km): The Almatti Dam is a hydroelectric project on the Krishna River and is located on the edge of Vijayapura and Bagalkote districts. Though the water is diverted for irrigation projects, it also plays host to many leisure activities like boating, musical fountain rock garden etc
- Lakkundi (105 km): Lakkundi is a modest village situated 12 km southeast of Gadag. This sedate village is peppered with over 50 stunning temples, 100 stepped wells and many inscriptions dating back to the Kalyana Chalukya period. The Kashi Vishwanatha Temple is the most intricately designed and poses a spectacular structure. The Jain Temple dedicated to Lord Mahavira is one of the largest and oldest shrines in the area. Lakkundi is known for its steep wells constructed with artistically placed canopied niches on its walls that enshrine Lingas. A sculpture gallery maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India is also a major attraction here.
- Navanagar Museum: Navanagar Museum is built in the Cultural Complex of Navanagar and portrays the lifestyles, artforms and culture of North Karnataka. Navanagar museum has a collection of artefacts and other objects of artistic, cultural and historical importance. Here you can find lifestyle exhibits wherein you can see village people celebrating with their folk dances, playing musical instruments, traditional homes and the like. All these rural scenes are designed with great attention to detail.
- Elite Vintage Winery: Elite Vintage Winery is one of the popular wine manufacturing facilities located on Jamakhandi road, Mudhol, Bagalkot district. Elite Vintage Winery is not organizing guided tours for visitors at present.
- Bilgi: Popular for old ponds and well, 30 kms north of Bagalkote. Bilgi is also home to several small shrines and mosques dating back to Adil Shahi times, Siddeshwara temple and Dargah of Hasan Dongri being major ones.
- Mudhol: Popular for its dog breed, saree weaving/handloom industry, Ramalinga temple, Banashankari temple, Mahalingeshwara temple and its annual fair. The Mudhol Hound, also known as Caravan Hound, gets its name from the small town of Mudhol in Bagalkote district. This breed was introduced by traders from Central Asia, who travelled in caravans with the dogs accompanying them; hence the name Caravan Hound. The erstwhile Maharaja of Mudhol, it is believed, presented King George V a pair of hounds, which popularized this breed. More recently, this lean yet sturdy-looking dog has found acceptance in the Indian Armed Forces for its obedience, intelligence, and strong sniffing ability to search for explosives and drugs.
- Rabkavi-Banahatti: The twin towns are popular for the handloom industry and temples of Kadasiddeshwara, Mallikarjuna, Danammadevi and Shankaralinga.
- Chikka Sangama: Place where rivers Krishna and Ghataprabha merge, also home to Sangamanath temple with beautiful architecture.
- Ilkal sarees: The Ilkal sarees take its name from a quaint little village in Bagalkote district which also has the prestigious Geographical Indication (GI) tag. These sarees are famous around the world for their unique weaving method – cotton for the body, art silk for the border, and art silk again for the pallav, which are then joined together with a series of loops. The patrons of these handmade sarees include celebrities and political figures.
Art & Festivals
- Pattadakallu Dance Festival: Pattadakallu Dance festival is held every year under the sponsorship of Govt of Karnataka. Invited dancers showcase their talent in the backdrop of famous temples of Pattadakal to the delight of spectators.
- Chalukya Utsava: Chalukya Utsava (festival) is an annual cultural and heritage festival held in historic cities of Badami and Aihole in north Karnataka. Chalukya Utsava is celebrated as a two or three-day event, usually early February. While the exact schedule varies each year, generic highlights of Chalukya festival are given below. Chalukya Festival gives perfect excuse to visit Badami and Aihole, explore ancient cave temples and historic sites while witnessing various cultural extravaganzas put forth by talented performers