About Badami India
The ancient town of Badami situated on a red sandstone ridge at the mouth of a ravine, placed between two rocky hills was once the capital of the powerful Chalukya Kings. The Chalukyas controlled most parts of peninsular India from the period of the 4th to 8th century AD. The best traditions of the Dravidian architecture combined with the experimental blend of the older version of the south Indian temple architecture is at best seen. The nagara style is also prominent in the temples built here in South India.
Badami is also known as Vatapi well exemplifies the rock-cut cave temples, the gateways, the inscriptions on the pillars, and structures well crafted. The city was founded by Pulkeshin I, The Lion King under whom the city was transformed into a center of rock-cut caves along with Aihole and Pattadakal. Badami is an interesting place in Karnataka, India replete with an artificial lake, temples, and the renowned Jain and Hindu caves in the sandstone hills.
Major Travel Attractions of Badami
The Badami Caves:
The caves are placed at a greater height shaped out of red sandstone. There are four caves in all. Among the total of four, the first three belongs to the Vedic faith and the fourth cave is dedicated to the Jain Religion. The first cave temple is honored in the name of Lord Shiva and there is to be seen the eighteen armed Nataraja with about 81 different dancing poses. There are also carvings of the Tandava Lord in the form of a half-man and half-woman. The half-women represent Parvati, the wife of Shiva. In another carving Harihara is depicted which represents Shiva, the destroyer, and to the left Vishnu, the preserver.
The 2nd cave and the 3rd cave are entirely dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The most ornamented in the third cave temple is the carving of Vishnu, one of the Trimurti’s of Hinduism in its different avatars. Inside the cave, some explicit carvings of the Narasimha avatar of Vishnu and Narayana reclining on the Anantha, the Sheesh snake is to be found.
The 4th cave preserves ancient Paintings that are to be found on the ceiling and on the piers. To the east of the cave on top of a cliff is the Jain temple with many deities and a figure of Parshwanath. The cave also has an image of the Jain Tirthankara, Adinath.
The Bhoothnath Temple:
The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, the destroyer. The form of Bhoothnath is said to be the combination of the God of soul. spirit and the Ghost The temple all dark inside has an image of Shiva in an angry and irate temper. The temple is situated near the Agastyatirtha Tank.
The archaeological museum set up by the archaeological survey of India exhibits innumerable sculptures including the remarkable Lajja-Gauri images of a fertility cult, which rose to eminence during the period of the Chalukyas. A visit to the museum takes its visitor to the wonders of the ancient ages.
This temple complex is located in a valley with tall trees and a cool atmosphere. There is to be found behind the doorway the sculpture of Nandi facing towards the Mahakuteshvarnatha temple near to the pond which is used by pilgrims for their sacred bath.
The North Fort:
The elongated stairways lead to the North Fort where another set of temples is to be found. The Fort, one of the major travel attractions of Badami is situated behind the museum and a cannon is placed towards the southern end of the temple. The cannon bears testimony to the power of Tipu Sultan and it was positioned there by the great ruler. The fort offers a good view of the Badami town. Inside are to be found the Upper Shivalaya temples which are the early forms of the Chalukyan temples. There are scenes depicted from Lord Krishna’s past time clearly carved on the base of the temple.
Nearby Travel Attractions of Badami
On the way to Badami, tourists can find the quaint hamlet place of Banashankari. The temples, there are built in the Dravidian style and dedicated to Banashankari, a form of Parvati, the wife of Shiva. It was believed that Parvati was once revered by the weaver community. The idol of Parvati reveals the powerful eight-armed goddess seated on a snarling lion. A large pond rests in front of the temple by the name of Harida Trirtha.
Accommodation at Badami
Being a small place Badami offers a few excellent hotels for a comfortable stay. The prominent ones are Mookambika Hotel with running water on the station road. The Badami Court another good hotel is well furnished with a health club and swimming pool.
How to Reach
By Air: The nearest airport is situated at Belgaum at a distance of 150 km.
By Rail: Badami is on the Hubli-Sholapur rail route in Karnataka, India. Train services are available to Gadag from where one can catch trains to Mumbai, Secunderabad, and Chennai.
By Road: Regular buses are available from Badami to Bijapur, Bangalore, Hubli, Gadag, and Ilkal.