Badami Cave Temples At Badami

Agasthya Lake At Badami

Badami alias Vatapi is a town located in the Bagalkot district of Karnataka state in India.  It was the capital city of Badami Chalukyas between the 6th and 8th centuries. It is famous for cave temples located near Agasthya Lake, which adds spellbinding beauty covered with rock-cut structural temples, built during the reign of early Chalukya rule under Pulakeshin.

Badami-In Its Full Splendor

Pulakeshin’s choice of this location for his capital was due to its strategic importance since Badami is protected on three sides by rugged sandstone cliffs.  His sons Kirtivarman I (AD 567–598) and his brother Mangalesha (AD 598–610) constructed the cave temples.  

There are four cave temples numbered in order with the first one dedicated to Lord Shiva and two dedicated to Lord Vishnu.  One cave temple is dedicated to Jainism.  The oldest rock depictions in Badami suggest the same with inscriptions dating back to the 6th century.

Badami has 18 inscriptions.  The first Sanskrit inscription which is in old Kannada script is on a hillock and dates back to 543 CE.  The second, which was in  578 CE, is a  cave inscription of Mangalesha in Kannada language and script.  The third is the Kappe Arabhatta records which is the earliest available Kannada poetry in tripadi (three line) meter. 

One inscription near the Bhuthanatha temple too has inscriptions dating back to the 12th century in Jain rock-cut temple which is dedicated to the Tirthankara Adinatha.  Bhutanath temples and Mallikarjuna temples in Badami have a different architectural style similar to the pyramid style.

Badami fort on top of the hill is another architectural beauty from Chalukyas.

Fort

Banashankari Amma temple and Badami mosque are two other historical attractions. 

This red sandstone town unlocks the cave of the history of Chalukyas and the influence of Jainism in Karnataka in the 6th to 8th centuries.

The temperature here ranges from a minimum of 23 degrees to 45 degrees in summer and from 15 to 29 degrees during winter.  The best time to tour this place is between November and March.

Due to its red sandstone cliffs, this place is a popular climbing spot and is a major attraction for national and international climbers.  As the cliffs have horizontal crack systems, it is a great location for free sport climbing and bouldering.  There are roughly 150 bolted routes and numerous routes for free climbing.  

Badami can be reached via air from Hubballi airport which is about 105 kilometers away.

Badami has a railway station and Hubballi–Solapur rail route is the most commonly used rail route to reach the town.

Badami is well-connected by road to Hubballi and Bijapur, (now Vijayapura).  It can be reached from Bangalore by bus or by a direct train “Solapur Gol Gumbaz Express”.  Local transportation is by city buses and rickshaws.