This weekend runners have a chance to explore a bit of history and architecture at the Badami Go Heritage Run. Dotted with cave temples, waterfalls and forts, this 6th century kingdom provides a rocky, picturesque landscape for a run – while the non-competitive nature of the event lets you take in your surroundings without the undue pressures of a race.

The Badami run is one among many in the Go Heritage Run series — an event that combines heritage, travel and health through runs that people of all ages and varied levels of fitness can participate in. Other destinations in India include Udaipur, Hampi, Hyderabad and Diu.

Home to some of India’s finest rock-cut architecture, Badami offers a glimpse into ancient history through majestic landmarks that dot the running route. It is also the closest town to the world heritage site of Pattadakal-Aihole. Badami was the capital of the Early Chalukyas, who ruled much of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh between the 6th and 8th centuries.

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The race is non-timed so everyone can run at their preferred pace, and while there’s no prize money at the end, the natural beauty of the route is an experience to savour in itself. It’s a great opportunity for new runners who don’t yet have the confidence to take up a timed race but are willing to test their training over longer distances. Besides, thanks to its limited restrictions, this might be one of the few races your can run and experience with family or friends, even those who don’t run regularly.

All events begin at the Archaeological Museum, Badami. The different race categories include the 5K, 10K and 21K.

Badami has a naturally rocky landscape so runners need to pay heed to the kind of shoes they carry and be generally careful about their tread. The routes all begin at the Archaeological Museum near the North Fort entrance and pass several landmarks such as Badami Fort, Agastya lake, Bhuthnatha temple, the 6th century Badami cave temples and the Mahakoota Temple before encircling adjoining villages on the way back. Depending on the weather, runners can also expect to see several stunning waterfalls along the way.

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