To start the year, I had a lot of ambitions in terms of the number and quality of books I wanted to read in 2017. In early Jan, I was mid-way through Tolkein’s ‘Hobbit’ (still am), while I received ‘My Salinger year’ as a very late birthday gift from a dear old friend in early Jan. But as a surprise to myself, the first book I inadvertently finished reading this year, was a travel guidebook. It’s an excellent book about the Chalukya architecture of Badami, Aihole and Pattadakal. It has reaffirmed by belief that while visiting a site of architectural importance, it is better to invest your time and money in a well documented guidebook rather than a local guide (whose stories are influenced more by folklores rather than historical facts).
So yeah, as bewildering as it seems, George Michell’s ‘Badami Aihole Pattadakal’ was my first book of 2017. I would rate it as a 5/5 book, and highly recommend it to anyone visiting the region.