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BADAMI


Capital of the ancient South Indian Kingdom of the Chalukyas, Badami is situated in North Karnataka near a beautiful red sandstone ridge. Formerly known as Vatapi, the city was founded in AD 543 by Pulkeshin I, the great lion king. It remained their capital till AD 757 and it was in this period that Badami, along with Aihole and Pattadakal, became a centre of rock-cut temples.


The architectural splendours of Badami later influenced many new architectural and sculpting traditions. The Chalukyan Empire was overthrown by the Rashtrakutas in the 8th century and in the next few hundred years the region saw anarchy, chaos, and destruction. The place lost its importance and with it any new addition. Badami has a pleasant climate with cool and dry winter from November through February. Most of the rainfall occurs during June and July, the months of south-western monsoon.




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Sightseeing
Badami, more than anything else, is known for its rock-cut cave temples. Numbering five, these temples are over thirteen hundred years old. They have been carved out of the red sandstone hills surrounding Badami. Two temples are dedicated to Vishnu, while one is dedicated to Shiva, and other two are related to Jainism and Buddhism. Apart from rock-cut temples, the town also has some other temples and a beautiful tank. Lord Shiva is worshipped as the God of Souls in the Bhootnath Temple.

The Agastyatirtha Tank is a beautiful water body considered as holy by the pilgrims. The Archaeological Museum has a good collection of objects from Badami as well as Aihole and Pattadakal. Jambulinga Temple is one of the oldest temples in Badami dedicated to the Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh (Shiva).
Finally, the Badami Fort is a good place to view the entire Badami ruins


Excursions

Being a region steeped in history, the vicinity of Badami offers a plethora of attractions to the touirists. Pattadakal was the second capital of the mighty Chalukyans and a place that hosted important state functions of the time. Aihole, situated some 46 km off Badami, was another architectural centre of the Chalukyas. There are a number of Hindu temples constructed in the 6th and 7th centuries. The Mahakuta Temple, situated around 14 km from Badami, is a well-known place of worship. On the way to Mahakuta from Badami, the Naganath Temple is about 10 km east of Badami. The Banashankari Temple, situated some 50 km off Badami, is dedicated to Banashankari, a form of Goddess Parvati.






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