A refreshing morning trek to Mahakuta

“Badami – Pattadakal – Aihole” – This is the standard tourist mantra in this region of Karnataka but very few bother to visit Mahakuta. Maybe because they have to take a minor detour to reach there. In fact the group of temples at Mahakuta are the oldest Chalukyan style shrines in Karnataka. You can say this is where it all began…

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If you go by road Mahakuta is about 17 KMs from Badami. I decided to take the 5 KMs trek route across the hills. I set off early in the morning went past the giant red sandstone cliffs of Badami – incidentally Badami is also known as “The Mecca of Rock Climbing” in India.

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The locals advised me against going on the trek alone because of the desolateness of the route but I went ahead. And I was glad I did..

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As is the case with most temples in India, Mahakuta also has several legends associated with it:

“Legend has it that this was the place where sage Agastya annihilated the two demon brothers, Vatapi and Ilvala. The two hillocks here are supposed to represent the dead demon brothers.”

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Parasurama is believed to have taken a bath in the Holy Temple Pond at Mahakuta to expiate his sins of killing thousands of Kshatriya warriors.

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And the faithful still come here to take a dip…
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“Mahakuta is the typical ‘dream spot’ for a visitor hoping to seek peace and commune with mother nature in silence. This is an ancient pilgrimage spot for Shaivites and the Saktas, worshippers of the Sakti cult. It was popularly called ‘Dakshina Kashi’.” 

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The local priest pointed out the Pancha – mukhi (5 faced) linga and informed me that the 
only other linga of this rare type is in Nepal.
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You can read all about Mahakuta here (from Deccan Herald):

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Categories: india, photo essay, photography | Leave a comment

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