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South India Temple tour



Badami or Vatapi was the center of ancient Chalukyan glory. It is located at a distance of about 500 km from Bangalore and is a taluk in the Bagalkot district of Karnataka. It was founded in 540 A.D. by Pulakesi I(535-566 AD), an early ruler of the Chalukyas. Badami, today a sleepy little town on a red sandstone ridge. The Chalukyas are credited with some of the best traditions of Dravidian including an experimental blend of older South Indian temple and the nagara style of north India.It was home to several rock-cut temples.
Badami saw a succession of rulers of which the Chalukyas were only the most important. There is architecture and sculpture here from periods ranging as far back as the 7th century AD Pallava rule to as recently as the 19th century Marathas. Badami was the capital of the early Chalukyas, who ruled much of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh between the 6th and 8th centuries. It was founded in 540 A.D. by Pulakesi I(535-566 AD), an early ruler of the Chalukyas.
Badami is famous for its four cave temples - all hewn out of sand stone on the precipice of a hill.Legend has it there were two demon siblings Vatapi and Ilvala, who had a trick by which they could kill and make a meal of mendicants passing by. Their tricks worked until Agastya muni came by and counter-tricked them and brought an end to Vatapi's life. Two of the hills in Badami are supposed to represent the demons Ilvalan and Vatapi.
The four cave temples represent the secular nature of the rulers then, with tolerance and a religious following that inclines towards Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.
Cave Temple 1
The first temple dating back to the 5th century CE has gigantic carvings of Ardhanareeswara and Harira manifestations of Shiva in bas relief. It enshrines a Shivalingam. In the adjacent wall there is a carving of the cosmic dance of Shiva Nataraja depicted with eighteen arms. There are also reliefs of Ganapati, Shanmukha and Mahishasuramardhini, and may be the oldest in Badami. It is made of red sandstone and has a hall with numerous pillars and a square shaped sanctum hollowed in the control back wall.
Cave Temple 2
The second temple bears images of Vishnu in his Varaha and Trivikrama incarnations. It is reached through a flight of 64 stairs from the first one. On its celing, are carvings of Vishnu on Garuda and several other scenes from the puranas.
Cave Temple 3
The third rock cut temple is reached from the 2nd temple through a flight of 60 steps. It is a 100 feet dep cave, with inscriptions dating this Vishnu temple to 578 CE during, the period of Kiritivarma Chalukya. Here there are carved images of the Narasimha and Trivikrama avataras of Vishnu. There are also murals depicting the divine marriage of
Cave Temple 4
Cave temple 4 relates to 6th century Jainism. There is a carving of the Tirthankara Parshavnatha (with a serpent at his feet). Mahavira is depicted in a sitting posture.
The archaeological museum of Badami has Nandi, Lord Shiva's bull, at its entrance. This museum is closed on Fridays. It houses superb examples of local sculptures, including the remarkable Lajja-Gauri images of fertility cult, which flourished in the era.
Badami Fort
Bhuthanatha temple Stroll along the edge of the serene lake to explore these two temples, one flanking the north and the other to its northeast. Raised to Lord Shiva as the lord of the five elements (bhuthaas) the temples was constructed in 5th century.
Fairs & Festivals
A number of annual temple festivals are held in towns near Badami. The annual temple festival, held at Banashankari, in the month of January-February is worth visiting; so are the Virupaksha Temple Car Festival and Mallikarjuna Temple Festival held in Pattadakal during March-April.
Best time to visit: October-February

How to Reach
30 kilometers from Bagalkot,
128 kilometers from Bijapur
132 kilometers from Hubli
500 kilometers from Bangalore