Badami, today a sleepy little town on a red sandstone ridge, was once the capital of the great Chalukyan Empire that controlled most of peninsular India between the 4th and 8th centuries AD.The Chalukyas are credited with some of the best traditions of Dravidian architecture including an experimental blend of older South Indian temple architecture and the nagara style of north India, which passed into the Dravidian temple-building convention.
¤ Places to See In Badami
Badami Cave Temples are group of 4 cave temples, carved out of a hill opposite Badami fort. of the four, three are Brahmanical, while the fourth is Jain. Almost 2000 steps have to be climbed to reach the cave.
These cave temples are just adjacent to the Bhutanatha tank where Nagamma, Siva & Vishnu shrines can also be seen. The first cave temple houses the Shiva manifested as the eighteen-armed Nataraja displaying remarkable 81 dance poses! The biggest and most enhancing 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 Bhutanatha temples that lend their name to the lake beneath the cave temples.
Perched on hill top about 2 km. from the town, the fort encompasses large granary, an underground chamber which must have served as a treasury or private audience hall, double fortification walls and many other architectural marvels. The fort also houses a carved temple raised on top of the northern end of the hill. Malegitti Shivalaya - one of the oldest temples in the region is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is constructed out of stone on a summit of a rocky hill.
It's a 4-hour journey from Bijapur and is connected by rail to Gadag, a convenient stop to get a connecting train to Hospet or Hubli.
Naganath Temple is one of the ancient Chalukyan temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple lies amidst the green forest on the way to Mahakuta about 10-km from the Badami town, definitely worth a visit site.
Aihole is well known for its cluster of magnificent temples constructed during the reign of Chalukyan rulers, dating from the sixth to the eighth centuries. The temple lies at a distance of 46 km from Badami.
Besides a picturesque location the lake flowing near the temple complex has its medicinal value. Visitors go for a holy dip in to the lake, according to a popular story, King Kushataraya was cured of leprosy here.
Archaeological Museum at Badami is known for some of its ancient specimens. Shiva's bull, "Nandi" at the entrance of the museum is its foremost attraction. The museum is nestling near the reservoir is worthwhile for the intellectuals. Timings: 0900 to 1700 hrs. This museum is closed on Fridays.
Banashankari (5 km.)
Travel to Banashankari, located at a distance of 5 km from Badami.Banashankari temple is dedicated to goddess Banashankari, a configuration of goddess Parvati. The temple is highly worshiped by the weaver community in the town. Built in the Dravidian style, the image depicts the mighty eight-armed goddess seated on a grumbling lion.
There is an annual temple festival celebration in Banashankari, the festival is celebrated with full devotion and enthusiasm. Whole town is decorated, the streets around the temple are taken over by a huge fair, marked by color and liveliness and attended by thousands of devotees.
Mahakuta (14 km.)
Mahakuta is a small town surrounded by hills ones known as a great center for the Shaiva sect. The place is famous for the Mahakuteshwara Temple, the holy deity of the temple is Lord Shiva. The temple is constructed in the Dravidian style with magnificent carvings and sculptures. The temple is surrounded by several small shrines bedecked by awesome carving on their walls, there is also a natural spring pond called Vishnu Pushkarni used as a relaxing joint by the visitors.
¤ The Festivities
Badami Town is throng by visitors all the year round due to its continuos festivals celebration throughout the year. 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.
¤ Accessibility To Badami
Air: The nearest airport is Belgaum located 192 km from the town. From there one gets direct flights to Mumbai.
Rail: It takes four hours to reach Badami by train Hampi. One can also reach the town by changing the train at Gadag station. The town is 4 km from the railway station and one can take an auto-rickshaw or a horse driven carts.
Road: Badami is well connected by road to all the major places in the south. Karnataka State Transport Corporation buses are available from Badami to Aihole, Bangalore, Bagalkot, Belgaum, Bijapur, Hubli and Pattadakal.
Private taxis and vans are also available to visit or travel in the town. Tongas- Horse-Cart is another mode of transport easily available in the city. The important places are - Ailhole -44 km, Bangalore -499 km, Bijapur -163 km, Hubli -128 km, Pattadakal -22 km.