Badami Cave Temples – Mesmerizing and Unforgettable Heritage Tourist Destination

Badami Cave Temples

Mesmerizing and Unforgettable Heritage Tourist Destination

Badami previously known as Vatapi is a town in Bagalkot district Karnataka, India. Badami is very well known for its rock carvings and temple planning. Badami symbolizes the rich traditional heritage of Karnataka. The Chalukyas sovereign Pulakeshi I founded it in the year 540 A D. the caves temples characterizes the  temperament of the rulers then with religious tolerance  that predispose towards Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.

badami cave temples karnataka

History of Badami

Badami was the primordial center of the early Chalukyas who ruled most of Karnataka and the neighboring Andhra Pradesh amid the 6th and 8th century. The celebrated Badami Rock-Cut Temples were engraved largely within this period. Badami became a spectator of chief authority resistance between the Pallavas, Chalukyas and the Rashtrakutas, in the epoch between the 7th and 12th century. It was later occupied by the Vijaynagar Empire, the Marathas and Hyder Ali before the British incorporated it in the Bombay government.

Tourist Attractions in Badami

1. Bhuthanatha Temples

badami cave temples karnataka

The two temples facing the Agastya Lake, are known as the Bhuthanatha Temples. Built of local sandstone, they are dedicated to Lord Shiva, in the form of Bhuthanatha. The sandstone used to build these temples gives them a beautiful glittering tint in the afternoon sun.

2. Cave Temples of Badami

badami cave temples karnataka

The four cave temples of Badami have elaborate carvings, alluding to the legendary proceedings and spiritual experience of Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism.

Cave Temple 1 – It is dedicated to lord Shiva. One can find the statuette of Shiva in his various avatars such as Nataraja, Harihara and Ardhanareeswara etc. the cave has enormous hall with many bastions.

badami cave temples karnataka

Cave Temple 2 – It is devoted to Lord Vishnu,one can find his avatars of Trivikrama and Varaha. One has to climb the flight of stairs from the previous temple to reach here. The upper limit of the cave is put up with carvings of Vishnu from prospect of Puranas.

badami cave temples karnataka

Cave Temple 3 – One has to climb the flight of stairs from the previous temple to reach here. This 100 feet unfathomable cave temple was constructed during the period of Chalukya  Kritivarma approximately 578 AD. In the interior of the temple one can find Lord Vishnu in carved avatars of Narasimha and Trivikrama. It also houses mural paintings that showcase the wedding ceremony of Shiva and Parvati.

Cave Temple 4 It is committed to Jainism. One can find statuette of Tirthankaras carved within the cave.

badami cave temples karnataka

3. Badami Fort

Badami Fort

The Badami Fort is seated on the top of a hill adjoining two Shivalaya multifaceted. In the 5th era emperor Pulakeshi II constructed these Shivalayas. The greater Shivalaya is dedicated to Lord Shiva while the lesser one is dedicated to Lord Ganesh.

Badami Fort is was built by Chalukyan King Pulakesgi in 543 AD. Perched on the top of a cliff, this fort is accompanied by two Shivalaya complexes dating back to the 5th century. A 16th century and a 14th century watchtower are also featured atop this hill.

4. Open Air Museum

Open Air Museum

The museum is positioned at the northern citadel. It was established in the year 1979. The museum mostly comprises of primordial rock tools and statuette which dates back to 6th to 16th AD.

Other Interesting Places in and around Badami

  • Sangameshwara temple
  • Banashankari Temple
  • Aihole
  • Ravanaphadi Cave
  • Pattadakkal
  • Agastya Lake
  • Tipu’s Fort
  • Durga Temple

Best season to visit Badami

September to March is reasonable and the perfect time to visit Badami. The summers are very hot and not suitable for travelling. The monsoon reason has heavy rain falls. The winter is fairly good for excursion. In the spring time it looks enchanted.

Accessibility to Badami

  • By Road: Badami is connected to major towns in and around Karnataka. Numerous KSRTC and private buses ply to Badami.
  • By Rail: The nearest rail head is Bagalkot Railway Station situated 38 kms away and Hubli Railway Station 103 km away from the city. The station connects the city to the northern and southern parts of India.
  • By Air: The nearest airport is Belgaum Airport 139 km away from the city. The Bangalore International Airport is 509 km away from the city and connects it to the major towns around the globe.

badami cave temples balgalkot karnataka

Accommodations in Badami

Badami is the best tourist spot in Karnataka. It has many hotels, resorts, guest house, home stay and lodges that provide indispensable facilities at reasonable prices. The charges may differ from hotel to hotel and most of them offer advanced booking and reservations for safe and comfortable stay of the visitors. List of hotels located in Badami are:

  • Badami Court Hotel
  • Rajsangam International Hotel
  • Anugraha Deluxe Hotel
  • Mayura Chalukya Hotel
  • Hotel Geeta
  • Ayodhya Hotel
  • Sanman Hotel
  • Akashata Darshini Hotel
  • Hotel Mookambika Deluxe
  • Hotel Travel Inn
  • Pulakeshi Hotel
  • New Satkar Delux Hotel
  • Homestay-inn And Guesthouse
  • Hotel New Satkar
  • Anand Deluxe Hotel

Full History

Badami is one of the most important centers of temple architecture, related to the Early Chalukyan period of rule. It is situated around 500 kilometers away from Bangalore (the Karnataka capital) and is well connected by any means of transport.

You have always heard how Karnataka is one of the ultimate heritage destinations in the whole India. When you are looking to taste some rich cultural and historical flavor of India, Karnataka is one of the best tourist destinations to where most people flock. Yes, the place, being a modern IT sector hub albeit, has a mystical charm about it when it comes to old traditions, customs and heritage. And when you visit Karnataka, how can you not visit one of the most popular heritage destinations in Karnataka, that is, Badami. Today, Badami stands as a crumple of ruins of the archaic monuments and temples on a red ridge of sandstone. Once, Badami was a manifestation of the glorious early Chalukyan age. It was founded and made the capital of the Chalukyan kingdom during the reign of Pulakeshi I.

According to Indian mythological legend, there lived two demons called Ilvala and Vatapi, who used to trick and eat passing mendicants. But when they were demolished by the ‘Agastya muni’, they turned into twin hills of Badami. This place saw much bloodshed, mainly between the Pallava and the Chalukyan dynasties. But during this bloodshed, there was also a glorious phase for the Indian temple architecture where both the dynasties contributed their part and evolved there was a Dravidian style of architecture that blended north Indian and south Indian styles.

Out of all the main temples, there are a group of four cave temples that the main historical attraction of Karnataka. The four caves are dedicated to Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu, Goddess Parvati and Adinath (Jain thirthankara).

In the first cave temple, you will find the different carvings and paintings of Lord Shiva in his ‘Nataraja’ pose. Dating back to that 5th century CE, it has some manifestations of Lord Shiva in his ‘Ardhanareeswara’ and ‘Harihara’ incarnations. You will find reliefs of Shanmukha, Ganapati and Mahishasuramardhini reliefs over there as well.

In second cave temple, you will find the images of Trivikrama and Varaha incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Covering the flight of sixty-four stairs, you reach the cave temple where you find images of Garuda and Vishnu, and so forth.

In the third cave temple, reached over 60 steps into a 100-feet cave, you will find the Trivikrama and Narasimha avatar images of Lord Vishnu. Dating back to around 578 CE, this cave temple also contains images of the Lord Shiva-Goddess Parvati divine marriage. It all flourished during the age of Kiritivarma Chalukya.

In the fourth one, you will get a glimpse of the sixth Jain culture. You will find the carving of the Parshavnatha thirthankara, Mahavira and Adinath thirthankara in this temple.

Apart from these temple caves, there are two other noteworthy temples of Dattatreya and Mallikarjuna, especially the latter one that was built on star shaped platform.

Then you cannot miss the Badami archaeological museum with the Nandi (bull of Lord Shiva) at the entrance. Moreover, you will get some of the best demonstrations of the Lajja-Gauri (fertility cult). You will also find the Shivalayas on the nearby hillocks. While the upper one, formed during the reign of Pulakeshi II, is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the lower one is dedicated to Lord Ganesh. You get to see the firsthand show of Indian artillery (cannon) and a watchtower over there.

Constructed during the 5th century, there was a temple raised to the Lord Shiva, the lord of the five ‘Bhuta’ elements, and was called the Bhutanatha temple.

Well, that was quite a demonstration of the heritage destination, Badami of Karnataka.

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