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2 August 2018 | 5 min read

5 Monuments For The Perfect Instagram Shot

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If you’re in Bangalore, you probably know that the city has tons to offer its locals- from great nightlife to scrumptious food, adventure sports to breweries. Did you also know that not far from Bangalore are some stunning structures?

Here is a list of architectural marvels that will make your Instagram feed stand apart from everyone else’s.

World’s Tallest Monolithic Statue at Gomateshwara Temple

Source: Ananth HV via Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Located about three hours away from Bengaluru stands Gomateshwara Temple, which features the world’s tallest monolithic stone statue. The temple and the statue in the town of Shravanabelagola are an ode to Bahubali- a Jain preacher who is said to have meditated there. An ascent of 600 steps will take you to the spot, and the natural beauty around the hill will make sure you love every minute of the climb.

Distance – 143 km from Bangalore city and approximately three hours by road.
Getting there – Bus, train, cab or private car
By train – The closest train station to this site is Mandagere Railway Station (MGF). You can board a train from Bengaluru Cantonment or Bengaluru City Railway Station.
By bus – Take a bus from Kempegowda Bus Station to Shravanabelagola.

You can also hire a car online and drive here. Use your digibank debit Card and get exclusive discounts.

Capital of The Vijayanagar Empire- Hampi

Source: Harshap3001 vis Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 4.0)

This UNESCO World Heritage Site was once the capital of the Vijayanagar Empire, and its prosperity attracted travellers from all over the world.

To truly understand the city, visit three zones – the scared centre- housing several temples, the royal centre – comprising a mix of temples and public infrastructure, and the third zone – a metropolitan Vijayanagara. A lesser-known fact (and a compelling reason to visit) is that Hampi is a mixture of cultures reflected in its ruins. You can find Muslim and Jain influences throughout the city!

Getting there – Bus, train, private vehicle
By train – Take the Hampi Express from Bengaluru Cantonment or Bengaluru City Railway Station to Hospet Junction. From there take a taxi or local transport to Hampi.
By bus – There is no direct bus, but you can a take a bus from Kempegowda Bus Station in Bangalore to Hospet bus station.
Distance- 357 kilometres and under seven hours of travel time by road. By train, the journey is about nine hours

Northern Architecture in South- Pattadakal

Source: Sarah Welch via Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, Pattadakal is unique due to its architectural influences from North India. Snippets of the Mahabharata, Panchatantra and other Hindu mythologies echo through the nine temples at Pattadakal. The 10th major temple on site is Jain.

Did you know? The reason behind Pattakdakal’s rich architecture is because the city hosted coronations during the Chalukya Dynasty!

Getting there – Train, bus or make it a road trip!
By train – Take the Golgumbaz Express train from Bengaluru Cantonment or Bengaluru City Railway Station to Badami railway station. From there, take a taxi or local transport to Pattadakal.
By bus – Board a bus from Kempegowda Bus Station in Bangalore to Badami Bus Stand. Complete the remaining 30 kilometres by taxi.
Distance – The distance by road is 448 kilometres, while the train covers 589 kilometres. However, both means of transport can take up to at least 12 hours.

A round trip by train would cost under INR 600, while a round trip by a bus would be about INR 1,000. Accommodation would cost about INR 2,000 for one night.

Chennakeshava and Hoysaleswara Temple

Source: Anks.manuja via Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Built in the 12th century as an ode to Vishnu, the Chennakeshava Temple has miraculously never been out of function, despite facing countless wars. Spread over a complex of 1.6 lakh square feet, the structure boasts of shrines and temples.

The Hoysaleswar temple succeeded Chennakeshava in construction and is dedicated to Shiva. Though both temples were built under the same ruler, the latter couldn’t be more different in aesthetics, so make it a point to visit both!

Getting there – Train, bus or private vehicle
By train – Take the Kannur Express or Karwar Express train from Bangalore City Junction to Hassan Junction railway station and then make your way to Belur.
By bus-  You can find state Transport Buses between Bangalore (Kempegowda Bus Station) and Belur (Belur Bus Stand), making for a hassle-free option.
Distance – 223 kilometres, 4 hours by road via NH 75. The bus journey is longer and can take up to 6 hours.
The expenses – A round trip by bus can amount to INR 800, while a taxi can cost up to INR 4,500. Accommodation can vary from INR 1,500 to INR 5,000 per night

Badami Caves

Source: Anirudh Bhat via Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Badami Caves is where nature meets architecture. The caves here are cut from a cliff of red sandstone, overlooking the untouched Agastya Lake. Each cave is deep with details, (quite literally) and is almost like a library of countless stories on Hinduism and Jainism from the Chalukya Dynasty. The several forms of inscription set the Badami caves apart from other historical sites in the state.

Once you’ve had your fill of history, you can have a tryst with free climbing on Badami’s red sandstone, which beckons many a climber to the site.

Getting there – Train, bus or private vehicle
By train – Take the Golgumbaz Express train from Bengaluru Cantonment or Bengaluru City Railway Station to Badami railway station.
By bus- Board the bus from Kempegowda Bus Station in Bangalore and get off at Badami Bus Stand.
Distance – By road, the distance is about 450 kilometres and driving via NH 48 is a 9-hour journey. Meanwhile, the train covers 589 kilometres and is often an overnight journey. Use your digibank UPI handle and get discounts on Indian railway tickets as well.

So, go ahead and revel in the beautiful and ancient Indian architectural masterpieces. You can even make a road-trip out of the whole outing by renting your very own car online. Make sure you carry your Debit Card for easy transactions.

Feature photo source: Mukul Banerjee via Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)

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