India is a land of ancient wonders,
some of which have been washed away and buried in the sands of time, whereas a
handful of them have survived the onslaught of time and transition. One such
successfully striving story is that of the Ancient Town of Badami, formerly
known better as Vatapi. Vatapi (Badami) has been existent for almost 1500 years,
and it is an integral hub for religion and tradition in the Bagalkot district and is popualr place included in most of Karnataka tour packages.
History of Badami
This city got the name Badami as it
was the capital city of the Badami Chalukya clan. Another rich attribute that
made the Ancient Town of Badami a much sought after destination was its divine
heritage in rock cut and other well designed structural temples.
located near the Agastya lake; according to an ancient legend, the mythological
demon Vatapi helped the city acquire its famous name. However, with the
development of more prominent local structures and temples in sandstone
resembling ‘badaam’ (which means almonds in Hindi), the name of the city
finally changed to Badami.
The historical facts can be traced
back to the early fifth century when the Chalukya dynasty developed the then
Vatapi with some magnificent creation of cave structures. Furthermore, the Badami
Cave Temples that gave this place a distinct recognition came about somewhere
between the sixth and eighth centuries AD.
These cave temples adjoining the
Ancient Town of Badami are dedicated to both Hindu and Buddhist Jain deities. Lord
Shiva, Lord Vishnu and the Jain Tirthankaras had a lot of followers, and relics
can still be obtained on exploration.
An interesting find are the century-old
caverns with depth and carved imagery. The main subject is keeping in line with
the prevailing trends back then. They mainly cover Hindu Gods and Goddesses
under boulder and red sandstone. Modern archeologists and historians find this
place a great legacy in order to further research the contemporary ethics and
styles in south Indian art and architecture. Do not miss to visit Badami and your South India trip.
Temples and Forts in Badami
In present-day Karnataka, the
Ancient Town of Badami occupies an important position in the cultural and
archeological legacy passed on from ancient civilizations. Along with the
revered cave temples, there is a host of forts, landmark gateways and
inscripted sculpture. Some famous national landmarks and venues of tourist
attraction are as follows:·
- The Bhootnath Temple
located atop a hillock with the shrine facing the forts.
- Buddhist caves amid
natural backdrops (famous for being accessed only by crawling).
- A string of
Shivalayas, including the Malegitti Shivalaya, dating back to origins from the
- The Dattatreya
and the Mallikarjuna Temples, which date back to the eleventh century, and the
famous temple of Banashankari, which is the family deity for innumerable clans.
- An Islamic
Dargah that is located in the south direction.
- Vista points on top of the
North Fort along with an archaeological museum, which is famous for its
collection of sculptures from Badami and Pattadakal.
The local population of Badami speaks
Kannada. Badami can be accessed at about 30 km from Bagalkot
and roughly at the same distance from Bijapur as well. Bangalore is roughly
around 600 km away.