Badami Cave Temples are located in the town of Badami in the north-central part of Karnataka, India. The temples are about 88 miles (142 km) east of Belgavi (IATA Code: IXT), and 87 miles (140 km) northwest of Hampi. The Malaprabha River is 3 miles away. 14 miles (23 km) from Pattadakal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and 22 miles (35 km) from Aihole, is another site with other ancient and medieval Hindu, Jain and Buddhist monuments.
Badami, the ancient capital of the Chalukyas, mentions several 6th and 7th-century temples, some structural rock cuts, and others. The foundation of Badami, or Vatapi, as it was called, was laid by Pulakeshi I (535 – 566 AD) his son Kirtivarman, the Ist (567 – 598 AD), beautified the town with temples & other buildings.
Kirtivarman’s brother, Manglesha (598 – 610), built cave temples and built temples throughout the village to establish the Vishnu statue. The greatest ruler of the dynasty was Pulakeshi II (610–642 AD) who defeated King Pallava Mahendra Verman 1, among others. The Pallavas later captured and destroyed Badami to avenge their defeat, Badami was also in the possession of Adil Shahis, the kings of Vijayanagar. The Savanur Nawabs, Marathas, Hyder Ali and finally the British made them part of the Bombay Presidency.
At 1 km, this group of 4 cave temples is carved into the hill opposite Badami Fort. King Chalukya, Mangalesa (598–610 AD) was responsible for the completion of these cave temples. Three of the four are Brahminical, while the fourth is Jain. To get to the cave you have to climb about 2000 stairs.
This is a Shaivite cave. Important carvings in this cave are an 18-armed Shiva dance, two-handed Ganesha, Mahishasura Mardini, Ardh Nareshwar, and Sankaranarayan. The roof is adorned with a serpent motif and other carved figures.
This cave is a Vaishnavite influenced by a panel of Trivikrama and Bhuvaraha. The roof has carvings of Anantasayana, Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva &other Ashtadikpalas.
Another flight of steps takes one to the third cave, which is the largest and best among them. This cave has carvings related to Shaiva and Vaishnavite themes. Trivikram, Narasimha, Sankaranarayana, Bhuvaraha, Anantasayana and Harihara are inscribed in vigorous style. An inscription found here records the construction of the temple by Mangalesha in 578 AD. The pillars of this cave have fine bracket figures.
The cave is located to the east of cave three, the fourth cave is Jain. There is an image of Mahavira adorning the sanctum. Other carvings here are of Padmavati and other Thirthankaras . Asteep climb up some steps cut in a crevice between Astdeep Caves II and III leads to the southern part of the Badami Fort and an old gun placed by Tipu Sultan.
2 km, Strategically located at the top of the hill, the fort has large granaries, a treasury impressive temple situated at the top of the northern end of the hill. Malegitti Shivalaya, perhaps the oldest temple, is dedicated to the benign aspect of Shiva as a garlander. Situated at the top of a rocky hill, the temple is made of stone, finely mortar and with Dravidian tower. The lower Shivalaya has a Dravidian tower of which only the sanctum remains now.
The town of Badami has a few more temples and several of them dotting the banks of a well-built tank locally called the Agasthya Tirtha.
There are no special restaurants available in Aihole. Badami city has Moderate Indian style restaurants. Hotel Mayura Chalukya can serve Chinese and Continental cuisine with prior notice.
Cultural significance of the city
- Banashankari Temple Festival near Badami during January- February.
- Virupaksha temple Car Festival in Pattadakal in March.
- Mallikarjuna Temple Festival in Pattadakal in March-Ap
How To Reach Badami
By Air: The closest airports to Badami are Hubli (some 106 km) and Belgaum (some 150 km).
By Rail: The ‘Badami Railway Station’ is quite nearby to the ‘Badami Bus Stand’ which is at a distance of some 5 km.
By Road: It is strongly connected via roads. Badami can be traversed via road connectivity from Hubli, Dharwad, Belgaum, Bangalore, Bagalkot, Hampi, Bijapur and a lot of other cities.