Aihole (110 km):
Aihole was the cultural capital of the early Chalukyas of Badami who ruled Badami during 6th-8th century AD. This village is of great architectural interest containing more than a hundred temples, built in different styles and periods, aptly designated as ‘the cradle of Indian architecture’.
The Durga temple is an example of southern (Dravidian) architectural type, with a later northern type superstructure imposed upon it. The advanced features of the temple, the variety of evolved shrine-fronts displayed in its niches, the style of its sculpture, its diverse corbel-forms and the existence in it of a chute, water-spout and the gargoyle-like pranala -- a late feature-would justify placing the temple in the eighth century. This is also indicated by an inscription of Chalukya Vikramaditya II (733-46) on the ruined gopura at the southeastern part of the enclosing-wall. The name 'Durga' for the temple is misleading, since it was not dedicated to Durga, and is due to the fact that till the earlier part of the last century the temple formed part of a fortification (durga), probably of the Marathas. Entrance Fee: Indians: Rs. 5 per head. Others: US $ 2 or Rs. 100 per head (free entry to children up to 15 years).
Badami (132 km):
Badami was the capital of the early Chalukyas of Badami, who ruled from this place during 6th-8th century AD. The place is known with ancient names Vatapi, Vatapiadhistana and Badavi. Even during the succeeding centuries, right up to the beginning of 19th century, it was an important politically strategic place forming part of the dominions of many later dynasties. A number of religious and defence structures were built during these periods at Badami. Beautifully excavated rock caves of Bramhanical, Buddhist and Jaina affinity with massive sculptures, structural temples of Dravida vimana type illustrating different stages of experimentations all set around Agasthya Theertha tank with in the scenic beauty of sand stone formations, make this place a unique tourist destination.
Jamkhandi (62 km):
It was the capital of the former Maratha principality of the Patavardhans and derives its name from the old Chalukyan temple dedicated to Jambukeswara. The festival of Basaveswara and cattle fair attract a lot of people.
Built of sandstone and has a beautiful sculpture of Shiva.
A small temple, with a figure of dancing Shiva with Nandi & Parvati.
The museum is located at the foothills of the northern hill containing the northern fort and near the famous Pallava Narasimhavarmman’s inscription. The museum mainly comprises of pre-historic stone implements and sculptures, architectural members, inscriptions, hero stones etc. datable from 6th to 16th century AD. Timings: 10.00 am to 5.00 pm. Closed on Fridays. Entrance Fee:Rs. 2 per head (children up to 15 years free).
Rock cut temples:
The Early Chalukyas chose the finely-grained and horizontally-stratified sandstone cliffs of Badami (Bijapur District), for rock excavations, which facilitated excavation of comparatively large cave-temples and the execution of fine sculptures and intricate carvings in them.There are four such cave-temples, three Brahmanical and the fourth Jaina. The earliest of them (Cave 3), dedicated to Vishnu, is the largest of the series and was excavated, according to its inscription, in Saka 500, i.e., AD 578, by Mangalesa, a powerful ruler. It was followed in quick succession by the other two, Cave 2, the smallest, also dedicated to Vishnu, and Cave 1, of medium size, dedicated to Siva. The Jaina cave-temple at the very top of the hill is later by about a century from the rest. Entrance Fee: Indians: Rs 5 per head. Others:US $ 2 or Indian Rs. 100 per head (free entry to children up to 15 years).
Sahasraphani Parshwanatha Basadi:
This temple situated on the outskirts of Bijapur, has unique idol of Parshwanatha. The beautifully sculptured idol of black stone that is about 1500 years old has a halo of 1008 snake holds each of which are interconnected.
Pattadakal (148 km):
Chalukyan rulers were not only empire builders, but great patrons of art whose encouragement prompted the artists and craftsmen to experiment and innovate in different architectural styles and giving it a new dimension. It is in their period that transition from rock-cut medium to structural temples took place. Pattadakal was not only popular for Chalukyan architectural activities but also a holy place for royal coronation, 'Pattadakisuvolal'. Temples constructed here mark the blending of the Rekha, Nagara, Prasada and the Dravida Vimana styles of temple building. The oldest temple at Pattadakal is Sangamesvara built by Vijayaditya Satyasraya (AD 697-733). This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Built in the Dravidian style. It has some beautiful 9th century sculptures.
Kada Siddeshwar Temple:
This small temple, built in the north Indian style, has a fine sculpture depicting Shiva holding a serpent & trident in his arms with Parvati by his side.
Built by Trailokyamahadevi, the queen of Vikramaditya II.
A very ornate temple built in the Dravidian style.
This temple was built to commemorate three victorious campaigns of Vikaramaditya II against the Pallavas. It has huge gateway, several inscriptions, and a profusion of friezes from the epics. Facing the temple is a pavilion containing a massive Nandi (Bull).
GULBARGA (159 km):
Gulbarga was a part of the Bahmani Kingdom, which was subjugated by Aurangzeb in the 17th century. A Hindu city before the Muslim invasions, Gulbarga is a beautiful synthesis of the two cultures. It has a formidable fort with 15 towers and a large mosque - the Jumma Masjid.
Ghanagapur (40 km west of Gulbarga):
The confluence place of rivers Bhima and Amerja is known for the sacred shrine of Sri Narasimha Swaraswati Mutt.
BIDAR (273 km):
Capital of the Bahmani Kings in the early 15th century, it is remarkable for the ruins of its fort within which there are three palaces, the Rangeen Mahal, Chini Mahal and Turkish Mahal. There is a Gurudwara in Bidar, the Nanak Jeera Gurudwara. It is connected by road with Gulbarga (120 Km.), Hyderabad (136 Km.).
Kumtagi (16 km):
The lake and water pavilion built here by the Adil Shahis here are striking constructions. There are some fading paintings on the pavilion walls.
Basavana Bagewadi (43 km):
Bagewadi was the birthplace of Basaveswara, the great social and religious reformer of Karnataka. The presiding deity of the main temple here is Shiva as Sangananatha, popularly called Basavana or Basaveswara.
The museum mainly comprises of stone sculptures of Brahmanical, Jaina and Buddhist faith, fragmentary carved architectural members, inscriptions, hero stones, sati stones, etc. Period wise they range in date from 6th century AD to 15th century AD. A variety of Ganesha sculptures, Saptamatrikas with archaic features, Nataraja, Ambika of Jaina affinity, attractive sculpture of Bodhisatva and a mutilated anthropomorphic figure of Megalithic period are some of the important exhibits. Timings: 10.00 am to 5.00 pm. Closed on Friday. Entrance Fee:Rs. 2 per head (children up to 15 years free). Other monuments in Aihole include, Meguti Temple, Ravalphadi Cave, Suryanarayana Temple, etc.