Previously known as Vatapi, Badami is the centre of ancient Chalukyan glory. It is situated at a distance of about 500 km from Bangalore in the Bagalkot district of Karnataka. Founded by Pulakesi I, this magnificent town is located amidst the rocky hills. Renowned for its amazing rock-cut cave temples in Chalukyan style, a travel to Badami takes you to the wonderful attractions like majestic forts, cave temples, serene lakes and colourful festivals.
Badami was the capital of the early Chalukyas rulers. They ruled Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh between 6th to 8th centuries. Originally, it was founded by Pulakesi I in 540 A. D. Later on his son, Kirthivarman (567-598 AD) and his brother Mangalesha I (598-610 AD) built amazing cave temples during their reign. The Chalukya kings were great patrons of literature, arts and philosophy that can be seen in the forms of architectural wonders.
Major Tourist Attractions
It is the group of four cave temples that are beautifully carved out of red sandstone hills situated opposite to Badami Fort. Out of these four cave temples, three temples are based on Brahmanical theology and one on Jain.
Badami Cave Temples Karnataka are the finest example of sculptures as well as stone carvings that depict of several mythological themes. Through all these temples are equally amazing yet the Cave Temple is very popular. Built of red sandstone, the temple has a hall with many pillars and a square shrine hollowed in the back wall. It houses the statues of Lord Shiva along with his consort Parvati. Another popular attraction of the place is the eighteen-armed Nataraja displaying 81 dance poses. The third temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu is another amazing attraction of the place.
This fort is situated on the hill top that is famous for its two Shivalayas. Due to its majestic location, the fort offers a bird-eye view of Badami. One can also see here the ruins of a watch over, treasury and large granaries. The beautiful temples of the fort also depict the legends of Krishna through its various murals, frescoes and sculptures.
Bhutanatha Group of Temples
These temples are made of soft sandstone which is found here in abundance. They were constructed by Badami Chalukyas between the 7th and the 11th centuries AD. This remains a famous Hindu pilgrimage as these temples are dedicated to Hindu deity Bhutanatha. Their Badami Chalukya architecture looks exceptional and their stone carved structures tell a lot about the history of this place.
Mallikarjuna Group of Temples
The Mallikarjuna Group of Temples is situated very close to the Bhutanatha Group of Temples. The pyramidal shape of the buildings looks dramatic and makes many jaws drop. These temples belong to 11th century and were raised by the Badami Chalukyas.
This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Overlooking the gorgeous Agastya Lake, it remains the oldest temple in Badami belonging to the 6th century AD. Check out the vistas from this temple which look wonderful with beautiful surroundings.
This famous museum boasts of its unique collections of ancient specimens that offer the glimpses of historical era. Dedicated to art and architectural work of the bygone era, are the four galleries inside the museum. The prime attractions of the museum include beautifully carved Makara Torana, the Lajja Gauri images of a fertility cult and a panel depicting scenes from Bhagwad Gita as well as animal dummies. You can visit this museum between 9 am to 5 pm.
Due to its historical associations, Badami is gifted with several fairs and festivals that are celebrated with great enthusiasm and unlimited joy. Held at Banashankari in the month of January/February is the Annual Temple Festival, which is very famous here. Other popular festivals include the Mallikarjuna Temple Festival and the Virupaksha Temple Car Festival celebrated in the month of March/April.
Best Time to Visit
October to April serve as the best months for a perfect Badami Travel. The area is pleasant throughout the year. However, summers can have the temperature shooting making journey uncomfortable.
The cuisine of the city has the three staples-rice, ragi and jowar. Meat and fish dishes are also available. Tourists can get regular fast food, South Indian and Chinese delicacies.
Badami is famous for its hand-made artifacts and rugs. Sandalwood and rosewood sculptures as well as traditional jewellery are worth taking back home.
Badami has a very good number of accommodations. One can choose from KSTDC hotels, budget hotels, villas on rent and also homestays.
How to Reach
By Air: Nearest airport to Badami is in Belgaum, which is well connected to major cities of India.
By Rail: Nearest railway station to Badami is in Hubli which is situated 100 kms away from this city. Hubli runs state bus to Badami directly and you can also hire a prepaid taxi to reach this city from Hubli directly.
By Road: Badami is located in between Belgaum and Bangalore which are directly connected via national highway hence you can reach this city easily by bus or by personal vehicle.
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