Badami is a beautiful town located at about 450 km from Bangalore and Hyderabad. It used to be the capital of Chalukya Kingdom during 5th and 7th Centuries. While the region was ruled by several other dynasties, including the Vijayanagar empire, and the Marathas, it is the heritage of the Chalukya dynasty that still stands out at Badami. The Chalukya dynasty had a huge encouragement for art and architecture, and this can be seen and felt in the district of Bagalkot where Badami is located. If you are interested in exploring the architecturally rich heritage sites, then Badami, Aihole and Pattadakkal would impress you immensely.
Most of the places of interest today in Badami are found surrounding the beautiful Lake Agastya. You can find the abandoned Badami Fort, Rock-cut temples, beautifully carved cave temples around this lake. The carvings on the red sandstone rocks that is found all over Badami is a delight to watch!
Bhootnath Temple facing Agastya Lake
Badami Cave Temples
Badami cave temples are a group of four temples carved out of soft sandstone that form a very steep and tall rock. Badami cave temples are example of early Chalukya style architecture, and are carved out during 6th Century. The architecture and style of these temples are decided after building few “experimental” temples around Aihole and Pattadakkal. It is the result of those experimental temples, and the supposed brainstorming of the architectural finalization that lead to this intrinsically rock carved group of cave temples. Of the four caves, Cave 1 is dedicated to Lord Shiva, Cave 2 and 3 to Lord Vishnu, and Cave 4 is a Jain temple.
Badami Cave Temple
Cave 1 is dedicated to Lord Shiva. This cave has the carvings of Lord Shiva in his dancing form, Nataraja, depicted with 18 arms. As you enter and wander inside the cave, you will be awestruck by the beauty of several of the carvings related to Lord Shiva. More carvings of Nataraja, few related to Shiva-Parvati and several other sculptures. Even the ceilings and pillars are filled with carvings which adds to the beauty of the temple.
Nandi in front of Shiva Temple
If you climb up few steps from the Shiva temple, you will find the Caves 2 and 3 which have temples that are dedicated to Lord Vishnu. These caves have carvings of Lord Vishnu in his various avatars including Vamana, Varaha, Narasimha avatars.
Cave 4 is a Jain temple, dedicated to Lord Mahavira. This temple is considered to be built 100 years after the other three temples. This temple has carvings of Mahaveera, Parshvanatha and other Thirtankaras on the walls.
There is a stairway that leads you from one cave temple to the other, with about 60-70 steps to each level. You may be troubled by several monkeys that try to grab the eatables or loosely hung items (like handbags) you may have. Please be wary of the same when moving from one cave temple to the other.
From the open space in front of cave 4, you can also get a beautiful glimpse of Lake Agastya. The green water of the lake along with the reflection of the blue sky, and the surrounding temples adds to the beauty of the lake.
Badami is also a famous adventure destination. The presence of red sandstones cliffs, in the backdrop of Agastya Lake make this a favoured destination for rock climbers. Badami has several routes for rock climbing, and attracts both beginner and professional rock climbers.
Badami Fort is located opposite of Badami Cave Temples. This fort is now in a ruined and abandoned state, however, this is still very popular among tourists and travelers due to its quaint location, and picturesque surroundings.
And last, but not the least, please please please do not litter. The site has been preserved well for more than 1500 years, and we do not want to spoil the heritage by littering.
Where to stay?
|From||Distance (in km)|
|Pune / Hyderabad||420|