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Badami – A Great Place for People Interested In Arts and Architecture
About Badami
Badami is a sleepy town located in Karnataka’s Bagalkot district and is primarily known for its rock carvings and temple architecture. Badami is placed in a ravine situated at the base of a jagged ridge of red sandstone. The town was previously known by the name of Vatapi, and according to legend, Badami is the place where Rishi Agastya slayed the evil demon Vatapi, after whom, it was later named. It was the capital of kingdom under the reign of the Chalukya dynasty between the 6th and the 8th century. The city is believed to have been founded in the 6th century by the Chalukya king Pulakeshi around 540 AD.

Some Prominent Tourist Sites of Badami
Cave Temples: There are four cave temples in Badami, which are the most significant tourist destination of this small town. These cave temples are famous for their intricate carvings, which depict various mythological events and the holy teachings of Hindu, Buddhist and Jain religions. The first and the oldest cave temple feature the carvings of Lord Shiva in the form of Ardhanareeswara, Natraja and Harihara. These carvings are believed to have been created in the 5th century CE. The cave is constructed from red sandstone and features a Shivalingam along with the sculptures of Shanmukha, Mahishasuramardhini and Ganapati along with a multi-pillared hall. The second cave temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and he can be seen here in the form of Varaha and Trivikrama, besides which its ceiling depicts the carved images of the scenes from the Puranas and Vishnu’s Garud avatar. Visitors need to climb up a flight of 64 stairs from the first cave temple to reach here. After climbing another flight of 60 steps, visitors can get to the third cave temple, which was constructed around 578 CE during the time of Kritivarma Chalukya. The cave has a depth of 100 ft and depicts the images of Lord Vishnu in the form of Trivikrama and Narasimha. In addition the cave also features paintings depicting the wedding of Lord Shiva and Parvati. The fourth and the last of the cave temples is devoted to Jainism and features a carved sculpture of Tirthankara Parshavnatha along with Lord Mahavira in a sitting position. This cave is believed to have been constructed in the 6th century. 

 Badami Fort: The fort is located on the crest of a hill, which also houses two Shivalaya complexes, constructed by King Pulakeshi II, who was a devotee of Lord Shiva, in the 5th century. The higher of the two Shivalayas is dedicated to Lord Shiva, the master of the five elements, while the lower Shivalaya is dedicated to lord Ganesha. The fort was constructed much later by Tipu Sultan, who was extremely impressed by the place during his visit to Badami. Visitors need to climb the hill to reach the fort, which also features a cannon located to the north of the lower Shivalaya, dating back to the 16th century along with watchtower located nearby, which dates back to the 14th century.

Agastya Lake: This Lake presents a magnificent view as it is situated in the midst temples made from red sandstone. It is believed that the waters of this lake have healing powers too. There are large gaps within the rocks of sandstone that border the lake, which are used by visitors to reach the top of a hill located nearby. The famous temple caves of Badami face towards this lake which features the Bhuthanatha Temple on its northern edge. There is also a small cave having a rundown idol of Buddha located on the eastern side of Bhuthanatha Temple.


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