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THE CAVES OF BADAMI

Written on: Monday February 18th, 2008

A journal entry from: ASIA PART II

Hubli, Karnataka

Ashok Hotel

The caves of Badami, beautifully sculpted into red sandstone cliffs, they date as far back to the Chalukya period (between 4th and 8th century AD). The sculptural work found in Badami are some of the earliest and finest examples of Dravidian temples and rock-cut caves.

A side visit for me en route back to the coast, Jonathon decided to join me before settling at the school in Darwad. It was another beautiful drive through the countryside and when we arrived it was a busier scene than we had anticipated. The few budget accommodations in town had no vacancy due to a Bollywood filming at the time and where there was availability our wallets could not manage. Eventually, we were able to sort out a ?room? and ended up with our mattress on the floor and double the space. It ended up being quite the bargain!

It was a sleepless night for me, restless and febrile. Fortunately, I felt better in the morning and I was able to visit the caves. We powered up with some freshly squeezed sugarcane juice and Jonathon cleaned up with his routine barber?s shave before our sightseeing for the day. After visiting the caves, we found a peaceful spot overlooking the village. The sights and sounds were wonderful; children playing in the streets, every one of them exasperated from laughter; the women gathered on their front steps, cooking, cleaning and washing; the Adhan, the Muezzin?s call to prayer, echoed routinely throughout the village and those dressed in white streamed into the Mosque. We sat in silence appreciating the special moment and our panoramic views below and we stayed until daylight faded. Our evening was spent wandering the narrow laneway maze of the white stonehouses, peering into the open doorways and catching small glimpses of families as their evening routines unfolded.

We spent last night in Hubli, and now from here, Jonathon and I will part our separate ways. It was an incredible adventure to say the least, with his Indian antics and great sense of humor, we have shared many laughs, now I must brace myself for whatever or whoever will come next.