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This article is about the town in India. For the oil field in Alaska, see Badami Oil Field.




Badami Cave Temples


Location in Karnataka, India


155512N 754049E15.92000N


155512N 754049E15.92000N








10.9 km2 (4.2 sq mi)


586 m (1,923 ft)

Population (2001)



2,400/km2 (6,100/sq mi)



Time zone

IST (UTC+5:30)


587 201

Telephone code


Badami formerly known as Vatapi, is a town and headquarters of a taluk by the same name,
in the Bagalkot district of Karnataka, India. It was the regal capital of the Badami Chalukyas
from 540 to 757 AD. It is famous for rock cut and other structural temples. It is located in a
ravine at the foot of a rugged, red sandstone outcrop that surrounds Agastya lake.


1 History
o 1.1 Pre-historic

1.2 Badami Chalukyas and other dynasties

1.3 Inscriptions

1.4 Vatapi Ganapati

2 Tourism

2.1 Cave temples

2.2 Badami Fort

3 Etymology

4 Taluka

5 Culture

6 Geography

6.1 Climate

7 Economy

8 Government

9 Transport

10 Demographics

11 Climbing

12 Movies shot in Badami[18]

13 See also

14 References

15 External links

16 Gallery

Main articles: Chalukya dynasty and Badami Chalukya Architecture

Dravidian architecture - Badami Chalukyas

Hindu temple architecture - Badami Chalukya architecture

Political history of medieval Karnataka - Badami Chalukyas

Architecture of Karnataka - Badami Chalukya architecture

Chalukyas of Badami

Extent of Badami Chalukyas Empire, 636 CE, 740 CE

Badami is surrounded by many pre-historic places including Khyad area of Badami,[1]
Hiregudda,[2][3] Sidlaphadi and Kutkankeri (Junjunpadi, Shigipadi and Anipadi), there we can
see the rock shelters megalithic burial sites and paintings.

Badami Chalukyas and other dynasties[edit]

The Puranic story says the wicked asura Vatapi was killed by sage Agastya (as per AgastyaVatapi story), the area in which the incident happened so named as Vatapi. At Aihole there
was a merchant guild known as Ayyavole Ainuravaru lived in the area have reformed. As per
scholar Dr. D. P. Dikshit, the first Chalukya king was Jayasimha (a feudatory of the
Kadamba's), in 500 AD he established the Chalukya kingdom. His grandson Pulakeshi Ibuilt
a fort at Vatapi.
Badami Chalukyas
Pulakeshi Is son Kirtivarma I strengthened Vatapi and he had three sons Pulakeshi II,
Vishnuvardhana and Buddhavarasa, when he died they were minors, so Kirtivarma Is brother
Mangalesha ruled, he tried to establish his self, but was killed by Pulakeshi II who ruled
between 610 A.D to 642 A.D.[4] Vatapi was the capital of the Early Chalukyas, who ruled
much of Karnataka,Maharastra,Few parts of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh between the
6th and 8th centuries. It was founded in 540 AD by Pulakeshi I (535-566 AD), an early ruler
of the Chalukyas. His sons Kirtivarma I (567-598 AD) and his brother Mangalesha (598-610
AD) constructed the cave temples. The greatest among them was Pulakeshi II (610-642 AD)
who defeated many kings including pallavas of Kanchipuram.
The rock-cut Badami Cave Temples were sculpted mostly between the 6th and 8th centuries.
The four cave temples represent the secular nature of the rulers then, with tolerance and a
religious following that inclines towards Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. cave 1 is devoted
to Shiva, and Caves 2 and 3 are dedicated to Vishnu, whereas cave 4 displays reliefs of Jain
Tirthankaras. Deep caverns with carved images of the various incarnations of Hindu gods are
strewn across the area, under boulders and in the red sandstone. From an architectural and

archaeological perspective, they provide critical evidence of the early styles and stages of the
southern Indian architecture.
The Pallavas under the king Narasimhavarma I seized it in 642 AD & destroyed the vatapi.
Pulakeshi son Vikramaditya I of Chalukyas drove back Pallavas in 654 AD. and led a
successful attack on Kanchipuram, the capital of Pallavas. The Rashtrakutas came to power in
Karnataka including Badami around 757 AD and the town lost its importance.Later it was
ruled by the Hoysalas.
Then it passed on to Vijayanagara empire, The Adil Shahis, Mughals, The Savanur Nawabs
(They were vassals of Nizams and Marathas), The Marathas, Hyder Ali. The Britishers made
it part of the Bombay Presidency.

Main article: Kappe Arabhatta

Old Kannada inscription of Chalukya King Mangalesa dated 578 CE at Badami cave temple
Badami has eighteen inscriptions, among them some inscriptions are important. The first
Sanskrit inscription in old Kannada script, on a hillock dates back to 543 CE, from the period
of Pulakeshi I (Vallabheswara), the second is the 578 CE cave inscription of Mangalesha in
Kannada language and script and the third is the Kappe Arabhatta records, the earliest
available Kannada poetry in tripadi (three line) metre.[5][6][7] one inscription near the
Bhuthanatha temple also has inscriptions dating back to the 12th century in Jain rock-cut
temple dedicated to the Tirtankara Adinatha.

Vatapi Ganapati[edit]
In the Carnatic music and Hamsadhwani raga the Vatapi Ganapatim Bhaje by the composer
Muthuswami Dikshitar.[8] The idol of Vatapi Ganapati brought from Badami by Pallavas, is
now in the Uthrapathiswaraswamy Temple, near Thanjavur of Tamil Nadu.
In 7th century, Vatapi Ganapati idol was brought from Badami (Vatapi - Chalukya capital) by
Pallava who defeated Chalukyas.[9]

Main articles: Badami cave temples and Bhutanatha group

Bhuthanatha group of temples facing the Agasythya thertha

Mallikarjuna group of temples at Badami in Bagalkot district, Karnataka

Shiva image in Cave temple no. 1

Vishnu image in Cave temple No. 3

Landmarks in Badami include cave temples, gateways, forts, inscriptions and sculptures.

A Buddhist cave in a natural setting that can be entered only by crawling on knees.
The Bhuhtanatha temple, a small shrine, facing

the lake, constructed in 5th century.

Badami Fort situated on top of the hill.

Many Shivalayas including the Malegatti Shivalaya with 7th century origins.

The Dattatreya temple.

The Mallikarjuna temple dating back to the 11th century, built on a star shaped plan.

a Dargah, a dome of an Islamic place of worship on the south fort side.

Vista points on top of the North Fort for the view of the ancient town below.

Temple of Banashankari, a Kuladevata (family deity) for many families, is located

near Badami.

Archaeological museum, that has collection of sculptures from Badami, Aihole and

Cave temples[edit]
Badami is famous for its sandstone cave temples.[10] Cave temple 1 may be the oldest in
Badami. It is made of red sandstone and has a hall with numerous pillars and a square shaped
sanctum hollowed in the control back wall. There are paintings of amorous couples on the
ceiling. Other features include Shiva and his consort Parvathi with a coiled serpent and the 18
armed lord Nataraja in 81 dancing poses.
Cave temple 2 is dedicated to Vishnu (as Trivikrama) with one foot mastering the Earth and
the other the sky. Vishnu is also portrayed as Varaha and Krishna.
Cave temple 3 dates back to 578 AD. The faade of the cave is nearly 70 feet wide, with
carvings of ganas on the plinth. It contains examples of Deccan art, illustrating the culture
and clothing of the 6th century. There are high relief carvings of Vishnu with a serpent,
Vishnu as Narasimha, Varaha, Harihara and Trivikrama.
Cave temple 4 relates to 6th century Jainism. There is a carving of the Tirthankara
Parshavnatha (with a serpent at his feet). Mahavira is depicted in a sitting posture. Tourism
Badami Cave-I the first shrine has at its entrance Shivas door keepers; to the right inside is
the figure of Shiva of about five feet height and in the tandava dancing pose with 18 arms.
Beside him are Nandi, dancing Ganapati, etc. There is a neatly carved perfect figure of
Mahishasuramardini and several other rock cut dwarf images of kubja ganas, Nagaraja or
snake king, Vidhyadhara couple, etc., are on the ceiling.

Badami-Cave-2 the second cave and on its front are the guards or dwarapalakas
holding lotus in their hands. East and West walls of the cave have large images of
Bhuvaraha and Trivikrama. On the ceiling are engraved Ananthashayana, Bramha,
Vishnu, Shiva and Asthadikpalakas.

Badami-Cave-3 the third cave is dedicated to Vishnu, and is the best and the biggest,
and it has splendid giant figures of Paravasudeva, Bhuvaraha, Harihara and
Narasimha. All these statues are engraved in a vigorous style. An inscription found
here records the creation of the shrine by Mangalesha in 578. There are some
paintings on the ceiling and the style indicates maturity but has lost its original
dazzling colour. The bracket figures on the piers here are some of the finest.

Badami-Cave-4, the fourth cave is Jaina which lies a little east of cave III. The
sanctum is adorned by the image of Mahavira. The pedestal contains an old Kannada
inscription of the 8th century A.D. which registers the death of one Jakkave. Scores of
Jaina Thirthankara images have been engraved in the inner pillars and walls. In
addition to it, there are some idols of Bahubali, Yakshas and Yakshis. Some scholars
assign the cave to the 8th century.

Other Temples at Badami

On the north hill, there are three temples, of which Malegitti-Shivalaya is perhaps the oldest
temple and also the finest in Badami, and has a Dravidian tower. Out of the two inscriptions
found here, one states that Aryaminchi upadhyaya, as the sculptor who got this temple
constructed and the other dated 1543 speaks of the erection of a bastion during the
Vijayanagara rule. The lower Shivalaya has a Dravidian tower, and only the sanctum remains

Jambhulinga temple, situated in the town, is presumably the oldest known

trikutachala temple in Karnataka. An inscription dated 699 ascribes construction of
this temple to Vinayavathi mother of Emperor Vijayaditya.

The place also has Agasthya Tirtha, temples of Goddess Yellamma, Mallikarjuna,
Datttreya and Virupaksha. Bhuthanatha group of temples are most important in

Badami Fort[edit]
Badami fort lies east of the Bhuthnatha temple, atop a cliff right opposite the Badami cave
temples. The entrance to this temple is right through the Badami museum. It is a steep climb
with many view points and dotted with little shrines. The path is laid with neatly cut stone,
the same that adores all the architecture around.[12]

The name Vatapi has origin in the Vatapi legend of Ramayana relating to Sage Agastya.There
were two demon siblings Vatapi and Ilvala. They used to kill all mendicants by tricking them
in a peculiar way. The elder Ilvala would turn Vatapi into a ram and would offer its meat to
the guest. As soon as the person ate the meat, Ilvala would call out the name of Vatapi. As he
had a boon that whomsoever Ilvala calls would return from even the netherland, Vatapi would
emerge ripping through the body of the person, thus killing him. Their trick worked until
Sage Agastya countered them by digesting Vatapi before Ilvala could call for him, thus
ending the life of Vatapi at the hands of Ilvala. Two of the hills in Badami represent the
demons Vatapi and Ilvala.
It is also believed that name Badami has come from colour of its stone(badam -Almond).

The Badami Taluka has thirty-four panchayat villages:[13]















Nagaral S.P.









The main language is Kannada. The local population wears traditional Indian cotton wear.

Badami is located at
1555N 7541E15.92N 75.68E.[14] It has an average elevation of 586 metres (1922 ft). It is
located at the mouth of a ravine between two rocky hills and surrounds Agastya tirtha water
reservoir on the three other sides. The total area of the town is 10.3 square kilometers.
It is located 30 kilometers from Bagalkot,128 kilometers from Bijapur, 132 kilometers from
Hubli, 46 kilometers from Aihole, another ancient town, and 589 kilometers from Bangalore,
the state capital.


Summer - March to June

Spring - Jan to March

Monsoons - July to October that contributes to rainfall

Winter - November to Jan

The temperature ranges from minimum 23 degrees to 45 degrees during summer and from 15
to 29 degrees in winter. The rainfall of the area is 50 centimeters. Best time to visit is between
low humid season from November and March.
The climate has made it a safe haven for the monkeys of south India. Tourists often flock to
Badami for the opportunity to see monkeys interact in a natural environment.

This section requires expansion. (June 2012)
The main economy is centered around karnataka tourism.

It is a town in the Bagalkot District in Karnataka state, India. It is also headquarters of
Badami Taluk in the district.

The nearest airport is Belgaum about 150 kilometers away. It is on the Hubli - Sholapur rail
route, and the rail station is 5 kilometers from the town. It is also connected by road to Hubli
and Bijapur. Badami is reachable from Bengalooru by a 12-hour bus ride, or by a direct train
"Solapur Gol Gumbaz Exp (train no. 16535)" or with a combination of an overnight train
journey from Bangalore to Hospet followed by a short bus ride from Hospet to Badami.
Another train journey could be from Bangalore to Hubli (89 hours) and then a bus ride to
Badami (3 hours). Badami is around 130 km from Hubli. Local transport is by Rickshaws,
tongas and city buses.
Badami is around 150 km from Hospet which has a decent motorable road. A car journey
would take around 3 hours from Hospet to Badami. Go to http://www.badamionline.com/ for
information on reaching badami by Road, by Train and by Air.

As of 2001 India census,[16] Badami had a population of 25,851. Males constitute 51% of the
population and females 49%. Badami has an average literacy rate of 65%, higher than the
national average of 59.5%; with 59% of the males and 41% of females literate. 14% of the
population is under 6 years of age.

Panoramic view of Agastya lake, Badami.


Badami Cliffs

Bolted routes in the Temple area, Badami

Badami Caves
Badami's red sand stone cliffs are popular amongst local and international climbers. This is
great location for free sport climbing and bouldering. The cliffs have horizontal crack
systems, similar to Gunks. There are over 150 bolted routes and multiple routes for free
climbing. Gerhard Schaar, a German Climber and Pranesh Manchaiah, a local climber from
Bangalore, were instrumental in setting up the sport routes driving a project called 'Bolts for

Movies shot in Badami[18][edit]

Guru (2007 film)

Shirdi Sai, Shakti, Nagavalli, Brindavanam, Dhamarukam, Daruvu

Shivani, Sanju Weds Geetha


Vikramarkudu, Veera Madakari, Rowdy Rathore, Siruthai

See also[edit]




Badami Cave Temples

Pulakesi II

Badami Chalukya

Indian rock-cut

Siege of Badami

Banashankari Amma
Temple at Cholachagudd


Climbing locations in

List of State Protected

Monuments in






Tourism in

North Karnataka


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Jump up ^ http://www.kamat.com/kalranga/rockpain/2599b.htm


Jump up ^ http://www.kamat.com/kalranga/rockpain/2599c.htm


Jump up ^ "Rich slice of history - Badami". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 17 May 2013.
Retrieved 2013-05-24.


Jump up ^ Dr. Suryanath U. Kamath (2001), A Concise History of Karnataka from prehistoric times to the present, Jupiter books, MCC (Reprinted 2002), p9, p10, 57, p59 OCLC: 7796041


Jump up ^ K.V. Ramesh, Chalukyas of Vatapi, 1984, Agam Kala Prakashan, p34, p46, p50


Jump up ^ Azmathulla Shariff. "Badami Chalukyans' magical transformation". Deccan

Herald, Spectrum, July 26, 2005. Archived from the original on 2006-10-07. Retrieved 2006-11-10.


Jump up ^ Kalpana sunder (2010-03-07). "Rocky tryst with history". The Hindu (Chennai,
India). Retrieved 2010-03-28.


Jump up ^ "Vatapi Ganapati". Retrieved 2010-03-28.


Jump up ^ "Badami Cave Temple". Retrieved 2009-03-02.


Jump up ^ Source: Karnataka State Gazetteer 1983


Jump up ^ http://sharemyattitude.blogspot.com/2011/08/badami-pride-of-chalukyas.html


Jump up ^ "Reports of National Panchayat Directory: Village Panchayat Names of Badami,

Bagalkot, Karnataka". Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Archived from the original on
13 November 2011.


Jump up ^ "Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Badami". Fallingrain.com. Retrieved 2013-02-12.


Jump up ^ Railway ticket (Bijapur express) from Bangalore to Badami



Jump up ^ "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and
towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16.
Retrieved 2008-11-01.
Jump up ^ "Bolts for Bangalore". Climbing.com. Retrieved 2012-01-15.


Jump up ^ Prabhu, Nagesh (26 December 2012). "Favourite destination for the film
industry". Chennai, India: The Hindu. Retrieved 2013-01-10.

Karnataka State Gazetteer 1983