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Destinations
Badami
Badami is renowned for its affluent history and ancient architecture. It was the prehistoric capital of the early Chalukya kingdom. One can see numerous splendidly carved monuments and caves of 6th and 7th centuries belonging to Chalukyas. The Chalukyas laid the base of the unique style of architecture, which is an excellent merge of North Indian Nagara style and the South Indian Dravidian style of architecture. The architecture and sculptures produced in Badami during the time of the Chalukyas motivated later-day architectural and sculpting traditions. There are few places of historical importance situated near Badami.

Badami is celebrated for its four cave temples - all carved out of sand stone on the face of a hill. The largest and most intricate is the third cave temple dedicated to Vishnu. In front of the cave temples is a reservoir speckled with temples dedicated to Vishnu and Shiva. Also a must are the Bhutanath temples that provide their name to the lake beneath the cave temples.
History of Badami
During 5th and 6th century, Badami was the place of the Chalukya kings. The city came into existence in the year 540 A.D founded by the Chalukya king, Pulakesi. The rock cut caves for which the town is renowned were constructed during 6th and 8th century. These caves are famous pilgrim centers of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism alike. The city came under the rule of King Narsimha of the Pallava dynasty in 654 A.D. Before the town went into the hands of Hosayala kings, it passed under hands of Rashtrakutas in 757 A.D. and Chalukyas of Kalayani from 973 to 1189 A.D. The town was in addition come under the rule of the Vijayanagar Empire, Adil Shah Dynasty, Nawabs of Savanur, Marathas and Hyder Ali, for some time. Badami was lastly taken over by the British and made it a part of the erstwhile Bombay Presidency.
Access
Air :The nearest airport is Belgaum (150 km).




Rail : The nearest railhead is at Badami, which is 4 km from Badami town. The trains that stop here are mainly second-class passenger trains running between Gadag and Bijapur. One can also catch trains from Bijapur (163 km) and Hubli (128 km), which are well connected by road to Badami.

Road : Badami is connected by road with Hubli (128 km), Bijapur (163 km) and Bangalore (550 km). Tongas can also be hired from the Station Road, near the main bus stand. One can also move around the town in auto-rickshaws and taxis or hire bicycles on hourly basis.
Climate
Badami has a pleasant climate during winters and spring. Summers (March to June) are scorching with the mercury level shoots more than 45°C. Tourists avoid the hot summer days in April and May. Monsoons (July to September) offers good rainfall bringing cheers of relief to the scorching summer days. Winters (November to January) have a modest cool with the temperature ranging between 15°C to 29°C. Spring is beautiful, pleasant and comes in January and March. The Best Season to visit Badami is between September and February.
Tourist Attractions
Archaeological Museum
The archaeological museum sited at the foothills of the northern hill, was established in year 1982. It is a treasure trove of primeval stone implements, statuettes, architectural parts, writings, hero stones etc. dating from 6th to 16th century AD. The museum has got four galleries, an open gallery in the veranda and an open air gallery in front. The galleries house excellent examples of local sculptures; the highlights include the notable Krishna panel, and other panels depicting vignettes from the Ramayana, Mahabharata, Bhagwad Gita and the Makara Torana carved on both the sides. One of the galleries has a scaled model of a pre-historic rock shelter (Shidlaphadi cave). The other attractions are Lajja-Gauri images of fertility cult and Shiva's bull, "Nandi" at the entrance of the museum.
Badami Fort
The Badami fort is best approached by the steep and winding flight of steps between caves 2 and 3. The fort encloses a large granary, an underground chamber which could have been used as a treasury or private audience hall and many other architectural marvels. The fort, whose chief attraction is the 16th century Tipu's cannon, also has several carved temples on top of the northern end of the hill. The most unusual of them all is the Malegitti Shivalaya. Perhaps the oldest temple of the lot, it is dedicated to the benign aspect of Shiva and represents him as the garland maker. The temple which has a Dravidian tower is built entirely of stone and is joined without mortar. The lower Shivalaya was dedicated to Lord Ganesh. It too has a Dravidian tower of which only the sanctum remains now.
Badami Caves
Carved on top of a hill, there are four major caves. These are not just plain caves; they are temples dedicated to different religions. They generally are temples dedicated to Hindu and Jain temples. All the four caves are carved out of Deccan sandstone.
Cave 1
Carved in 578 AD, this is probably the oldest of the four caves. As you climb 40 odd steps, you come across a hall full of pillars and a square shaped sanctum. From top to bottom, the cave is filled with splendid carvings and paintings that will mesmerize you, the moment you get a glimpse of them. Apart from the walls, even the ceilings have some exceptional art work. The ceiling has painting of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Verandah has a painting of Lord Shiva as Nataraja. The Lord is shown with 18 hands and in 81 dance poses.
Cave 2
Cave 2 is situated just above cave 1 and is a cave temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. You will find different forms of Lord Vishnu portrayed here. Lord Vishnu is shown as Trivikrama. The image is shown with one foot conquering the earth and the other covering the sky. There is another image of Lord Vishnu in incarnation as Varaha, 'a boar'. Then there is one that is in form of Lord Krishna, riding a Garnda and the lotus encircled by 16 fishes.
Cave 3
Few more steps above Cave 2, is the biggest and most attractive caves of the four caves. Dating back to 578 AD, the cave has paintings and sculptures of both Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. You also get to see some inscriptions that tell us that the cave was built by Mangalesha. The front of the cave is nearly 70 feet wide with some exquisite carvings. Inside, there are images of Trivikrama, Narasimha, Shankaranarayana, Bhuvaraha, Anantasayana, Harihara and many carvings of Ganas.
Cave 4
This is the only Jain Temple among the four Badami Caves. It is situated to the east of other three caves and its construction was completed nearly 100 years after the other three were completed. There is a magnificent image of Lord Mahavira inside the sanctum. There is an image of Lord Parsvanath with a serpent at his feet. Images of Padmavathi and tirthankaras can also be seen inside the cave.
Boothanatha Temples
The two Shiva temples which are together called Bhutanatha Temples are located on the bank of the ancient Bhutanatha Lake. The temples present the Lord Shiva in the form of Bhutanatha, the God of Souls. While one of the shrines dates back to the 7 th century, the rest are additions made around the 11th century. This is an unusual idol of Lord Shiva; the Lord is carved out of stone in a leaning back posture. The carvings of the incarnations of Vishnu, as well as some Jain mendicants can be seen on the boulders behind this temple. On the other bank of the Bhutanatha Lake is the shrine of Nagamma situated within a large tamarind tree. Nagamma is the local serpent goddess.
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