badami bhoothnnath temple

Travel guide to Badami, Aihole, Pattadakal and Mahakuta

A better place to understand India’s heritage and experience the rural side of the country; journey to Aihole, Badami and Pattadakal can be summarised like this. These places are less popular on the tourism map, hence very suitable for those preferring an offbeat destination for their travel. You can visit these three places in two days, a weekend is more enough. But if you have more time, you can include few more places nearby like Hampi and Bijapur.

How to reach Badami?

Overnight buses are there from Bangalore. So better try to catch a bus that reaches Badami by morning next day. Buses are always available from Hampi and Mangalore also. If you wish to travel in train. Find any passing through Hubli station. From there Badami is around 120 km away. Trains are also available from Hubli to Badami. Badami railway station is about 2-3 km from the town.

For return also either you can take train or bus. Bus booking offices can be found along the main street itself.

Aihole temples
Aihole temple complex

Badami is the only option for accommodation. It is big compared to Aihole and Pattadakal. You will easily find hotels in the main city centre itself. During peak times, make sure you book rooms in advance. The rooms are economical in general. If coming in groups, it is better to get a bigger room that can accommodate minimum 4-5 people, so per head expense will be around 400 INR.

Things to do

If you are reaching Badami by morning, find a hotel so that you can fresh up and keep your bag. It is better to visit Aihole first. Buses are available from Badami. But they are not frequent and you will find little difficult to find buses at right time. Another option is hiring an auto rickshaw. I hired an auto for 800 INR for 5 people for a day. You can hitchhike also.


Aihole is 35 km from Badami. The temple complex is preserved the Archaeological Survey of India. The complex is open from 6 AM to 5.30 PM all the days of the week. There are other monuments spread across the village. The entry fee to the complex is INR 10 for Indian citizens and INR 250 for the foreign citizen.  If you have time, it is good to explore the village. You can find many interesting things while walking inside the village. The people here are very friendly and welcoming. So don’t hesitate to start a conversation and understand the life and culture here.

Few small tea shops are the only refreshment options in Aihole.



Pattadakal is between Aihole and Badami, 22 km from Badami. You can spend the second half of the day there. The temple complex is a UNESCO world heritage site. It remains open from 6 AM to 6 PM. Evenings are the best here. This temple complex is not so big,  so you can reach back Badami by nightfall. There are few basic shops outside the complex.


There is plenty to see in Badami. One day is needed to visit all the important places. The monuments are spread in three regions across the city but nearby. The rock cave temples are on one side of the hill.

Once you come to the opposite side, there is a museum and Badami fort. You have to trek up to reach the fort, from the top you will get the view of Badami and the surrounding areas. All the monuments in Badami are open from 6 AM to 6 PM. The entry fees to  Badami cave temples are 10 INR for Indians and 100 INR for foreign citizens.

On the banks of Agasthya lake, you will see the Bhoothnath temple situated in a surreal backdrop of Badami hills. The temple is best during evenings. The timings are same as other monuments.


So if you want to explore more here, trek up to Mahakuta early in the morning. The trek route is about 6 km, it will take 1-2 hours depending on your walking speed to reach there. You can experience the landscapes and flora of this region during the trek. Temple will be less crowded if you reach early in Mahakuta, you can have a dip in the Vishnu pushkarni (tank). Inside the pond, there is a small chamber and we can go inside the chamber through a very small gap beneath the pond.

Mahakuta temples

I came to know about Mahakuta from our auto-rickshaw driver. He insisted us to definitely visit the temple complex and it is worth visiting, especially the trek.

Either you can trek back the same route or take a taxi. It will be better to take a taxi so that you can save time. Moreover, it will be very hot during mid-day time.

Click here to read more about Aihole and Pattadakal

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  1. I’ve never been to India, so it was very interesting to read about these places. Those temples look beautiful! When I make it to India, I will def. use this as a guide. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. Welcome Sina, Am glad that you are interested in visiting India. There are lots of places in India that are still unexplored. I will be sharing about many such places soon.

  2. This looks like such an incredible place to visit! I think I could spend hours exploring the architecture. It all looks so intricate and complex.

    1. Thanks Courtney..Am glad that you like the post. Visit Badami on your visit to India.

  3. Your images are stunning! I have never been to India but it is definitely on my travel list.

    xo, Elizabeth //

    1. Thanks Elizabeth

  4. Lovely photographs of your experience in India. I hope to visit the country myself someday.

    1. Thanks Missy. Am glad that you liked the post.

  5. Such beautiful architecture! Your pictures are also amazing. You mentioned peak times to travel – what are the peak times there?

    1. Thanks Tina,
      Badami is an offbeat travel destination. The crowd will be less throughout the year. It is better to avoid visiting during summer. Best time is June to March.

  6. Stunning photos, and I look forward to seeing more. So different from where I live, and it’s nice to be able to be exposed to it this way.

    1. Thanks Jolane

  7. I’ve never been to India before. Your photographs make your experience look very nice. What a blessing to be able to travel and explore like you do!

    1. Thanks Jennifer. Am glad that you liked

  8. Thank you so much for such a thorough guide to this area! Especially about a destination that I dont know much about

    1. Thanks Claudia

  9. The Mister and I are over halfway completed with our Travel Bucket List. Next we’re making one for Unique Travels. I saw photos of this on FB and knew I wanted to add it to our new list.

    1. Thanks Candy

  10. Wow….this is a great post! I’ve never been to India but this post makes me want to go! Wonderful pictures and information!

    1. Thanks Jayme…
      Welcome to India

  11. The temples look amazing! I worked in Delhi for 2 years and there is always so much to explore in India. Didn’t manage to get to this part of the country. Your post has provided inspiration for my next trip.

    1. Thanks Daleya..
      Delhi is a wonderful place tp explore, so much heritage buildings. Next time, visit south India.

  12. What a lovely place! I love traveling and seeing such beautiful architecture. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks Erica..Am glad that you liked.

  13. Great adventure. On my bucket list now. Thanks for the information.

    1. Hi Yeu…happy to know that you included India in your bucket list.

  14. This looks so beautiful there! I would love to visit, and I am not sure I’ll be able to or not, but it is amazing to be able to read and see in a blog post that you have written!

    1. Thanks EH..

  15. These are some stunning Pictures and they are giving me some real Travel goals.

    1. Thanks Laveena,
      Am glad that you liked the post.

  16. Never been to this side of India. Will surely go there next time I’m in India. I have always been a fan of Indian architecture!!

  17. I missed all these temple complexes on a recent visit to India. I did take an overnight bus from Bangalore but I forget where to. I love visiting UNESCO sites so would love to visit the temple complexes.

  18. I have not done a lot of traveling, in fact if I am honest, nothing outside of the US. But it is a dream of my hubby and I to someday be able to do so. I love your post and your pics give a wonderful experience , and allow me to dream in the meantime!! Thank you so much for your detailed descriptions!!

    1. Hi Sandy,
      Thanks for the good comments. Hope that your first destination will be definitely India.

  19. I have never heard of these places but I am definitely adding them to my bucket list! Excellent guide and inspirational post, Thomas!

    1. Hi Agness
      Am very happy that you liked the post. Keep supporting.

  20. […] Read Travel guide to Aihole and Badami […]

  21. […] can also visit Badami, Aihole and Pattadkal, the ancient Chalukya dynasty […]

  22. I adore traveling in rural areas, this is by far my favorite way to explore new countries. Big cities tend to be bland and all and the same all over the world, while small settlements preserve their unique atmosphere.

    1. I completely agree with you, Maria. Rural places are more unique. I think you should visit India to experience its villages. It will be amazing.

  23. There are some beautiful temples in this area! It sounds like a fun place to travel.

    1. Yes, it is an interesting place to travel.

  24. The Aihole Temple Complex is my favorite from your pics so far. Will have to add it to my list!

    1. Thanks Sarah, Am glad that you liked the post.

  25. Hi Jithin,
    Nice write up… I wish to travel all these places. Can you please suggest me a budget for the backpacker?

    1. Ebbin, you can travel to these three places on a minimum budget. An overnight bus journey from Banglore will cost you about 700 INR for a sleeper bus. The expense for stay is also comparatively low. You can find budget hotels in Badami.

  26. Trekking up to Mahakuta nice and early sounds lovely! That must have been an amazing sunrise!

    1. Nina, Trek to Mahakuta was an incredible experience.

  27. I planned on doing the same itinerary covering these places along with Hampi. However those plans didnt go through. I also heard there are sunflower fields between Hampi & Badami and they bloom after rains. Did you happen to see them. Are they any good?

    1. Yeah, I have seen the vast sunflower fields. It is a common scene in North Karnataka.

  28. I shall be visiting Badami pattadakkal aihole this spring(late feb 18). how will be the session and what will be tentative auto fare from Badami and back in the same evening ?

    1. Hi Vivek, it will be better to visit Badami before March. Summers will be hot there. You can hire an auto for a day, we paid Rs.800 for five people.

    1. Thanks Sangeet, Am glad that you liked the post.

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