Badami Travel Guide

Cave Temple, Badami

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 Badamicave 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 piers.

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.

Badamialso has eighteen inscriptionsHarishchandra Teertha ranging 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:
Air: The nearest airport is Belgaum (150 kms).
Rail: Badami is on the Hubli-Sholapur rail route.
Road: Badami is connected by road to : · Hubli (128 kms) · Bijapur (132 kms).

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