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Badami Cave Temples, Badami
Badami, one of the many historic towns in Karnataka is located at the northern part of the State. It comes under Bagalkot District. Badami was formerly known as Vatapi and was the capital city of the Badami Chalukyas which ruled from 540 to 757 AD.
Badami is located between two huge Rocky Mountains. It is surrounded by the Agasthya lake. It is approximately 500 kilometers from Bangalore. The closest town to Badami is Aihole, another ancient town just 46 kilometers away. The next two towns are Hubli 132 km and Bijapur 128 km.
As per the legend, there were two demon siblings Vatapi and Ilvala. They used to kill all mendicants by trapping them in a surprising way. Their tricks of Killing worked until Sage Agastya counter-tricked them and brought an end to Vatapi's life. Two of the hills in Badami represent the demons Vatapi and Ilvala.
Since it is situated between two rocky mountains, it is possible that one comes around so many cave temples; which were carved between 6th and 8th centuries. These temples are carved with many Hindu deities such as Ganapati, Mahishasura Mardhini, Sankara Narayana, Vishnu, Trivikrama, Shanmuka, Ardha Nariswara among many. Another unique feature of the carvings is the many dance poses of Nataraja, the dance God of Hindus.
The history of the cave temples at Badami can be traced back to 600 and 700 CE. The architecture is a mixture of North Indian Nagara style and South Indian Dravidian style. Each cave temple at Badami has a Garbha Griha (a sanctum sanctorum), a mandata, a verandah and the pillars. The cave temples at Badami also houses exquisite carvings, sculptures and beautiful murals.
Some other temples found at Badami are The Bhutanatha temple, Malegitti Shivalaya, The Dattatreya temple, The Mallikarjuna temple, Banashankari Temple.
Apart from the Hindu temples, we also come across Jain temples, which has carvings of Jain Tirthankaras Mahavira, Parshwanatha and Padmavati. There is also a Buddhist cave, where, one has to enter only by crawling on the knees.
Badami is also inundated with gateways, forts, inscriptions and sculptures. The Badami Fort is situated on top of the hill.
We come across many monkeys, this could be because of the two hills surrounding the town. There are glass enclosures in trees so that the tourists can watch the animals in their close proximity.
Badami could be one of the best examples for South Indian architecture.
Distance from Badami
Mahakuta: 14 km
Aihole: 46 km
Bangalore: 500 km
Hubli: 132 km
Bijapur: 128 km
How to get there
Nearest Airport: Dabolim (Goa)
Nearest Railhead: Hubli
Road: Badami is well connected by roads.
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