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Badami, Karnataka

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The town of Badami, in the Bagalkot district of Karnataka, is nestled in a gorge between two rugged sandstone hills. The area is a stunning expanse of rocky terrain, dotted with rock-cut cave temples and red sandstone cliffs. Built around the pristine and revered Agastya Lake, which has a few temples scattered along its shores, Badami is a testament to a glorious past that left it with a rich heritage of carvings, fortresses, and cave temples. The town is a hub for rock climbing, luring adventurers from far and wide to test their mettle against craggy rocks. It is strewn with boulders and sandstone rocks with cracks that help with a better grip. A number of Dravidian-era archaeological structures from the Chalukyan empire can be found in Badami. Legend has it that gold and precious stones were traded in these markets, which at the time served as a significant commercial hub for the town. Majestic buildings and intricate sculptures from the times of the Rashtrakutas, Pallavas, and Marathas can be found in Badami, making it an archaeological paradise. In fact, some of the temples in Badami exhibit a fusion of the North Indian Nagara style and South Indian architecture. Badami astounds visitors with its rich history, gorgeous architecture, historic temples, and opportunities for rock climbing.

Nearby Places to See

Aihole is a significant centre of mediaeval Indian art and architecture that is situated on the banks of the River Malaprabha. Dotted by hundreds of large and small shrines, it depicts the illustrious past of the numerous dynasties that once ruled Karnataka, including the Chalukyas.
Known for its ornate temples, this UNESCO World Heritage Site can be found on the banks of the Malaprabha River and serves as a testament to the wealth of Chalukyan architecture in the seventh and eighth centuries. The temples in Pattadakal attest to the opulence and enduring beauty of Chalukyan design. There are ten major temples here, each with its own unique design. Moreover, it served as the royal coronation and memorial site. The temple complex at Pattadakal features Dravidian, Aryan, and a combination of the two architectural styles, making it likely the only one of its kind in India. The Pattadakal temple complex houses a sculpture gallery run by the Archeological Survey of India.
Badami Fort
The fortress sits atop the hill directly opposite the hill where the cave temples are. Pulakeshi II, a Badami Chalukya king, constructed this fort in 543 CE. Sandstone makes up the hill, and the fort wall surrounds it on all sides. The Badami Chalukyas constructed a few temples inside the fort as well. From CE 543 to 757, this fort served as the home of the Badami Chalukya kings. The fort was under Pallava control for a period of about 21 years before being retaken by the Badami Chalukyas.
Mahakuteshwara Temple
This temple is part of a collection of temples situated on a rectangular premise that also contains a pond. The Badami Chalukyas constructed the temples between the sixth and eighth centuries. The largest temple in this collection is the Mahakuteshwara temple.
Badami Cave Temples
Badami’s famed cave temples attract tourists from all over the nation. They are remnants of a fine architectural period from the sixth and seventh centuries. The massive complex comprises four cave temples, each of which features intricate carvings of Hindu deities. Each cave features a sanctum, a hall, pillars, and a verandah and is built in a style that combines North Indian and South Indian Dravidian architecture.
Mallikarjuna Temple
This temple complex is located in Aihole, which is 34 kilometres from Badami. After Badami and Mahakuta, Aihole is another location where the superior craftsmanship and distinctive architecture of the Badami Chalukya can be seen in temple construction. Five temples in this complex were constructed at various times under Badami Chalukya rule. The Mallikarjuna Temple is thought to have been built in the eighth century.
Agastya Lake
The vast Agastya Lake is situated beneath the cave temples, on the outskirts of the city. Devotees bathe in the lake’s waters to atone for their sins because it is revered as holy. The well-known Bhoothanatha Temple is located on the lake’s eastern bank, while the cave temples are located on its southwest side. The last cave of the temples faces the serene vistas of the lake. Sitting on the temple’s rocks will give you a stunning view of the sun setting over the lake.