Badami is a charming small town with friendly people, renowned for its rock-cut temples. But not many foreign tourists/travellers make it here; it's a little inconvenient to reach by train or bus. For me, though, it wasn't much of a detour. And the restaurants make wonderful masala dosas!
Whilst rehydrating with numerous lime-sodas at a little drink house, I learnt something of the area from a local engineer. But then a loud explosion from outside startled me (I'd been reading too much about terrorist activity in the Punjab and Kashmir in the newspapers!); it was only a firecracker. My engineer friend pointed to a new bright yellow truck, bedecked with palm leaves and garlands of flowers, out on the street. The owners, having ascertained that this was an auspicious day, were making a puja (offerings and prayers) for this drilling truck in the hope that it would be fortunate in its search for water.