Badami is an ancient town situated in the Bagalkot district of Karnataka. It was originally named as Vatapi and was the capital of the Chalukya Dynasty that ruled over the most parts of peninsular India. Situated at an average elevation of 1922 ft above the sea level at the mouth a ravine, Badami is tucked in between two rugged sandstone outcrops. The innovative constructions that are now in its ruins were made by Chalukya king Kirti Varma and his brother Mongolesa. Badami is also famous as the city of the cave temples and attracts a number of tourists annually.
Places to see at Badami: The chief attraction of Badami is the cave temple. There are some other sight seeing location too which include,
The Badami Cave Temples
Badami is famous for its four cave temples – all carved out of sand stone on the precipice of a hill. They all share the same plan – a veranda with columns and brackets leading to a main hall, the pillared maha mandapa which in turn leads to the small sanctum which houses the sculpture. The four cave temples represent the secular nature of the rulers then, with tolerance and a religious following that inclines towards Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.
The First Cave
The first temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. You would have to climb about 40 steps to reach it. Built around 578 AD, this is believed to be the earliest of the fourtemples. This cave depicts Shiva in his dancing form – as Nataraja depicted with eighteen arms. There are no less than 81 different dancing poses of Nataraja depicted in this cave. The first cave has gigantic carvings of Ardhanareeswara and Harira manifestations of Shiva in bas relief.There are also reliefs of Ganapati, Shanmukha and Mahishasuramardhini, and may be the oldest in Badami. It is made of red sandstone and has a hall with numerous pillars and a square shaped sanctum hollowed in the control back wall.
The Second Cave
This cave temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Here he is depicted in the magnificent Trivikrama form, where he is measuring the earth with one foot, and the sky with the other, with a third food resting on the head of Mahabali.
The Third Cave
The third cave is dedicated to Vishnu, and is the best and the biggest, and it has splendid giant figures of Paravasudeva, Bhuvaraha, Harihara and Narasimha. All these statues are engraved in a vigorous style. An inscription found here records the creation of the shrine by Mangalesha in 578. There are some paintings on the ceiling and the style indicates maturity but has lost its original dazzling colour. The bracket figures on the piers here are some of the finest.
The Fourth Cave
The fourth cave is Jaina which lies a little east of cave III. The sanctum is adorned by the image of Mahavira. The pedestal contains an old Kannada inscription of the 8th century A.D. which registers the death of one Jakkave. A number of Jaina Thirthankara images have been engraved in the inner pillars and walls. In addition to it, there are some idols of Bahubali, Yakshas and Yakshis. Some scholars assign the cave to the 8th century.
The Bhutanatha group of temples comprises of a group of sandstone temples, all dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Bhutanatha group includes two major temples, one on the east and the other on the north-east side of the Agasthya Tirtha or AgasthyaLake. The temple is situated on the eastern side of the Agasthya Tirtha. It is one of the earliest examples of structural temples in South India. This edifice was built during the reign of the Chalukyas of Vatapi, as Badami was known then. Later additions were built by the Kalyani Chalukyas of the west.
The lake is named after one of the Saptarishis, Agasthya.
The BanashankariAmmaTemple was originally built by the Chalukyas during the 7th century. The Goddess Banashankari was their family deity. According to an inscription, this image of the Banashankari Amma was installed by Jagadekamalla I in 630 AD. This temple was later renovated by the Marathas in the 18th century. Its modern structure now reflects the Vijayanagara style of architecture more than the original Chalukya style.
Nearby attractions around Badami: The place is also dotted by some architecturally rich destinations located nearby.
Located at a distance of 38 km from Badami Aihole is a historical town situated on the banks of Malaprabha River in Bagalkot district of Karnataka. Earlier, this historical town was also called as “Ayyavole” and “Aryapura”. Aihole was once capital of the early Chalukyan dynasty (6th to 8th centuries). Aihole is rewarded as “the cradle of Hindu rock architecture”. There are about 125 temples divided into 22 groups spread all over the villages and nearby fields. Most of these temples at Aihole were built between the 6th and 8th centuries.
Just 20 km from Badami, Pattadakal located in Bijapur district of Karnataka was not only popular for Chalukyan architectural activities but also a holy place for royal coronation, ‘Pattadakisuvolal’. Temples constructed here mark the blending of the Rekha, Nagara, Prasada and the Dravida Vimana styles of temple building.
Things to do in Badami: The unique cave temple which is the chief attraction of Badami will undoubtedly attract you. It is really a wonder. Apart from this the sight seeing trip is also worth enjoying.
Best time to visit Badami: Badami has a pleasant climate during winters and spring. The best time to visit the place is from September to February.
How to go ?
The nearest airport to reach Badami is at Belgaum (150 kms). The nearest international airport is at Bangalore (504 kms). Domestic flights like Jet Airways and Kingfisher are available for Belgaum.
Badami, the beautiful town is situated on the Hubli-Sholapur rail route which is exactly 163 kms from Bijapur and 128 kms from Hubli.
Badami is connected by road to Pattadakal (22 kms), Aihole (44 kms) and Hubli (128 kms). Karnataka State Transport Corporation buses ply from Badami to different major locations of the state.
Where to stay ?
There are a number of accommodation options at Badami. Some are:
Mayura Chalukya(Karnataka Tourism): +91-08357-220046
Hotel Moombalika Deluxe:+91-08357-220067, 720637
Hotel Anand Deluxe: +91-08357-220074, 221074 Website: www.hotelananddeluxe.com
Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.