Sandstone Chronicles: Badami

badami agastya tenkLeaving Hubli in the morning I took a bus for Badami. The place is famous for its rock cut cave temples and this was going to be the last stop of my destination. I reached Badami after a 3 hour long ride on a KSRTC bus with farms on both sides and through villages.

Badami temples

This has been one of the best parts about my trips that this time I got the travel to villages and in farms of Karnataka. These farms, though dry reminded me a lot of Hampi. In fact Hampi is not too far away from Badami itself. I climbed the stairs, the entire area was surrounded with pigeon shit and monkeys were wreaking havoc on the tourists. Lack of much information was another problem as people in charge hardly knew Hindi or English.

Badami town

Situated in Bagalkot district Badami is a small town situated in a rocky sandstone valley, once capital the kingdom of Chalukyas is named after a demon Vatapi who used to terrorize the locals, this town today tells stories of its rich heritage and panoramic views that one gets from top of the rock cut caves. The view of the town in the lines of Agastya lake is simply out of this world. The first two caves are dedicated to Shiva, the third (and grandest) cave is dedicated to Vishnu. Shiva and Vishnu are the second and third members of the Brahmanical Trinity, the first being Brahma, who is traditionally accepted as the creator of the entire universe.

Badami cave temples

The first four cave temples were made during the Chalukya empire. Built by cutting the sandstone hills they are rich with artworks and rock cut carvings that you won’t find anywhere in this country. Followed by the temples Agasthya Tank and Bhootnath temple add more beauty to the landscape of this area, no wonder the Chalukyas chose this place as their capital.

Badami temples art

The temple was too built in 8th century, it has grand pillars with beautiful carvings on the structure. These temples tell about the rich history of that era and the further kingdoms only added more designs in their own style to its walls and pillars.

Badami fort and temple

Adventure seekers go for boulder climbing on the sandstone mountains, a bird’s eye view from the top tells how scenic this entire place is. I walked from Badami temples to the Bhootnath temples and then towards the bus stand. I was going to visit Pattadkal and Aihole, who knew that as this trip will proceed a plethora of disappointments will come in my way.

Badami temple complex

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