Mahakuta Temples (also known as Mahakoota temples) is an important place of worship for Hindus near Badami cave temples. On second day of our visit to Badami, we had planned to visit Mahakuta temples which is ~14 KMS from Badami, by road. When we enquired at the bus stop, we came to know that there are only 3 to 4 buses in the day . Mahakuta Temple is located right on the opposite side of the hill next to Badami cave temples but road goes all around in a circle as we explored more on the Google Map.
Hike to Mahakuta Temples
We somehow had this hunch that there has to be some path directly from Badami cave temples to Mahakuta that we can hike through. Curious minds itched and when we inquired from security guards and few locals, we came to know that a road visible from the top of cave temple goes to Mahakuta and is used by locals to go to the temples. Eureka!!. Though people warned us of long walk and very few people using it, still, 10 minutes later, we were on our way up that hill. Yes!! unplanned venture on an unknown path 🙂
The terrain was barren but a path could be clearly seen leading to “probably” Mahakuta. Though, at times, we walked out of hunch on stone path and hill but wherever we felt slight confusion, we immediately found arrows marked in white paint on the way.
Suddenly, one dhoti clad old villager just briskly walked past us, smiling at us. We quickly confirmed with him about the way and took a sigh of relief as he confirmed to us. The hike is easy but be wary of the heat. It was Amavasya (full moon) hence we met more souls on the way heading to temple for the worship. One such soul was Vijay appa, who immediately became our friend and guide for rest of the hike.
As we moved on the stone laid path amid brown and green landscape, we could find some old stone milestones on the side. These milestones have the distance to Mahakuta and Badami engraved on them and give you confidence on being on the right path and closer to your destination.
We could barely manage a conversation in Kannada and tried hard to match his pace. He was considerate enough to stop for us till we can click pictures, drink water, and tie our shoe laces and what not. After sometime we passed vast recently harvested fields, a well, sheep herds and big green shady trees.
It did not seem like a 5KM hike (took us around 1.5 hours), all because of the company of Vijay Appa who kept on smiling and talking to us despite us knowing nothing of each other’s mother tongue :). Soon, we could hear the human noises, knowing that we are now very close to the Mahakuta temples.
On our way, we also took a selfie as Vijay Appa smiled for us. He showed us his identity card and pointed at his date of birth as we realized that he is more than 60 years old. We were surprised at his energy and pace. He kept on beating us all along the hike and smiling as he stopped till we caught up with him every time, of course, after falling behind 🙂
Inside Mahakuta Temples
Mahakuta group of temples is an important place of worship for Hindus. A large tank is fed by fresh water from a spring nearby. The tank was crowded with people taking a holy dip but also carrying out all kinds of water acrobatics. The temple compound had changed into a huge drying ground for clothes. Vijay Appa took us around the temple. He also showed us a place opposite where we could have rice and dal as prasadam.
Here is how we captured the Mahakuta temple through our lens as we walked across the compound.
After visiting temple and taking rest for around 30 minutes, we decided to head for our next destination of the day -Banashankari Temples. There are no direct buses for Banashankari from Mahakuta but we were lucky enough to get a shared rickshaw for Banashankari as soon as we stepped out of the temple complex. And yes, we packed ourself on the back seat for another ride 🙂