Badami, Aihole and Pattadakal, Karnataka
The heritage sites of Badami (formerly Vatapi), Aihole and Pattadakal are a worthwhile side trip from Hampi. They're rich in monuments, temples and ruins from the Chalukya empire, which ruled there between the 4th to 8th centuries. The renowned Chalukya style of architecture originated in Aihole and the village is filled with around 125 stone temples, which unfortunately don't get the attention they deserve. Badami is one of the top places to see caves in India, with four sets of magnificent ancient rock-cut cave temples. Pattadakal is smaller, with one impressive temple complex.