Location: 132 kms from Bijapur, Karnataka
Known For: Its Cave Temples
Best Season: October To February
Historical Significance: The Capital City of Chalukya Dynasty
The capital of the Early Chalukyas, Badami is picturesquely situated at the mouth of a ravine between two rocky hills, Badami is famous for its cave temples - all hewn out of sand stone on the precipice of a hill.
The largest and most ornamental is the third cave temple dedicated to Vishnu. Overlooking the cave temples is a reservoir dotted with temples dedicated to Vishnu and Shiva.
Also a must are the Bhutanath temples that lend their name to the lake beneath the cave temples.
Archaeological Museum: Nearby is the museum set up by the archaeological survey of India.
It houses superb examples of local sculptures, including the remarkable Lajja-Gauri images of fertility cult, which flourished in the era. A visit to the museum is sure to be a rewarding experience.
Jain Temple: A little east of the shrine, on top of this cliff is a Jain temple. Here one can find many Jain temples and a huge figure of Parswanatha.
Nataraja: The first cave temple, past Shiva's doorkeepers. Here one can see the eighteen-armed Nataraja striking 81 dances poses.
Vishnu: The largest and the most ornamental are the third cave temple dedicated to Vishnu. Here are some splendid carvings of the Hindu pantheon, such as Narasimha, the half-man-half-god lion incarnation of Vishnu, Harihara, the composite god who is half Shiva and half Vishnu and Vishnu, Narayana sitting as well as reclining on the snake 'Shesh' or 'Anantha' (eternity). There are also some paintings on the ceiling and wonderful bracket figures on the piers.
Cave Temple: 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.
Lake: A dip in the tranquil waters of this lake is said to cure leprosy as the water of the lake is said to have healing properties.
HOW TO GET THERE
Air: The nearest airport is Belgaum (150 kms).
Rail: Badami is on the Hubli - Sholapur rails route.
Road: Badami is connected by road to: Hubli (128 kms) Bijapur (132 kms.)
Local Transport: Cycle Rickshaws, Tongas, and City Bus Service.
Main Languages: Kannada, Hindi, and English.