The capital of the Early Chalukyas, Badami
(also known as Vatapi), is picturesquely situated at
the mouth of a Ravine between two rocky hills.
Rock-cut cave temples, gateways, forts, inscriptions,
sculptures that seem to come alive under your eyes…
Badami has to be seen to be believed. Climb a flight
of steps to reach the ancient caves all hewn out of
sand stone on the precipice of a hill.
There are four caves here. The first three belong to
the Vedic faith and the fourth cave is the only
Jain temple in Badami.
Enter the first cave temple past Shiva's door keepers
and there he is ! The eighteen armed Nataraja
stricking 81 dance poses !
The largest and most ornamental is the third cave
temple dedicated to Vishnu. Here are some splendid
carvings of the Hindu Pantheon. Narasimha the half-man
half Lion avatar of Vishnu Hari Hara, the composite
god who is half-Shiva and half-Vishnu. Vishnu Narayana
sitting as well as reclining on the snake Shesh or
Ananta (Eternity )… There are also some painting on
the ceiling and wonderful bracket figures on the
A little to the east of this shrin, on top of a cliff
is a Jain temple. Here you will find many Jain deities
and a huge figure of Parshwanatha.
Overlooking the cave temples is a reservoir dotted
with temples dedicated to Vishnu and Shiva. Also a
must are the Bhutanatha temples that lend their name
to the lake just beneath the cave temples.
Take a dip in this green tranquil lake. It is said to
have healing properties. According to a popular story,
King Kushataraya was cured of leprosy here.
Badami also has eighteen inscriptionsranging
from the sixth to the sixteenth century. After you
have exclaimed over the beautiful sculptures and
admired the exquisite carvings, stop by at the museum
set up by the Archaeological Survey of India.
Kannada, Hindi, English.
When to go there:
Anytime from October to February.
How to get there:
The nearest airport is Belgaum (150 kms).
Badami is on the Hubli-Sholapur rail route.
Badami is connected by road to : · Hubli (128 kms) ·
Bijapur (132 kms).