Badami- The Land of the Chalukyas
Badami, once the capital of the Chalukyas of South India, is a city in present day Karnataka situated 502 km NW of Bangalore. The main attractions of this soapstone rocky hill surrounded settlement are its ancient temple architecture and rock-cut cave temples. Some of the earliest Hindu temples of India can be found here that influenced the architecture of the later South Indian temples.
What to see?
This ‘cradle of temple architecture’ is famous for its cave temples that have been carved out of the sandstone hills. These are situated about 1 km from the bus stand on the south of the Agasthya Tirtha Lake, also called the Bhutnath Lake. It has got its name from the Bhutnath Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. This lake is very popular among devotees.
Legend has it that a dip in its water can cure leprosy. There are four cave temples in all. Of the four two are dedicated to Lord Vishnu, one to Lord Shiva and the fourth one is a Jain Temple. These temples not only have noteworthy structures but also beautiful mural paintings, sculptures and carvings.
On the northern side of the lake is the Archaeological Museum, which is a storehouse of marvelous sculptures of the ancient era from Badami, Aihole, Pattadakal and other historical sites. Some other sites worth a tour are the ruins of the fort of Badami, Mahakuteshwara temple, Malegitti Sivalaya, Jambulinga temple, Bhutnath temple and Tipu Sultan’s fort that gives you a wonderful glimpse of the city.
Some of the destinations that can be conveniently visited from Badami are Aihole (42 kms), Pattadakal (22 kms), Mahakuta (5 kms), Shivayoga Temple (10 kms), Vanashankari temple (5 kms) and Bijapur (138 kms); the capital of the Adil Shahi Dynasty.
How to reach Badami?
The nearest airport is the Hubli Airport that is situated 110 kms from Badami. Bangalore is the other important airport that is well connected with the rest of the country.
The Badami Railway Station is situated 5 kms from the main city. You can take an autoricksha from the station to the city. The Badami Station is connected to the rail head Hubli, 130 kms away.
Buses are available from Badami to Hubli, Bijapur, and other places.