Badami is an ancient town situated in the Bagalkot district of Karnataka. Badami was the capital of the Chalukya Dynasty that ruled over the most parts of peninsular India. Situated at an average elevation of 1922 ft above the sea level at the mouth a ravine, Badami is tucked in between two rugged sandstone outcrops. This town lies surrounding the 5th century Agastya Tirtha Lake, a holy lake famous for the healing property of its water.
Badami was earlier known by the name Vatapi. It is believed that this name is related to the legend of the demon Vatapi, which is associated with Sage Agastya. According to another story, Badami got its name from the Badam (Almond) color of the sandstone of this place.
Badami was founded by an earlier ruler of the Chalukya Dynasty, King Pulakeshi around 540 AD. Later, it fell into the hands of Pallavas, Rashtrakutas, Hoysalas, Vijayanagara Rayas, Adil Shahis, Savanur Nawabs, Marathas, Hyder Ali, and the British. Badami was included under Bombay Presidency during the British Raj.
The Tourist Attractions at Badami
The ancient town of Badami is famous for its temples. The most prominent among the temples of Badami are the sandstone cave temples. The rock cut cave temples of Badami were constructed in between 6th and 8th centuries by the Chalukyas Kirthivarman and Mangalesha I. These cave temples are dedicated to the deities of Hinduism and Jainism.
Out of the four cave temples, one is dedicated to Lord Shiva; two are dedicated to Lord Vishnu, and another one to the Jain Tirthankaras. These temples are noted for the early style of South Indian style of temple architecture. The walls of these cave temples also have inscriptions that date back to 6th and 8th centuries.
The Bhuthanatha temples situated nearby the Agastya Tirtha Lake are yet another popular religious attraction in Badami. Other famous shrines in Badami are the temples dedicated to Goddess Yellamma, Mallikarjuna, Dattatreya, and Virupaksha. Badami Fort, which was built by Tipu Sultan, is yet another historic monument in Badami. This fort, situated towards the rock cut cave temples, can be reached only by a steep climb.
Rock Climbing in Badami
Badami is a famous adventure destination in the state of Karnataka, owing to the presence of red sand stone cliffs that surround the Agastya Tirtha water reservoir. These sandstone cliffs have horizontal cracks, which make Badami a favored destination of rock climbers.
Rock climbers visiting Badami can go for free climbing (Trad & Sport Climbing) and bouldering. Badami rocks have many multiple routes and more than 150 bolted routes. Adventurous rock climbers, including beginners and professionals, can enjoy rock climbing at Badami. The ease in rock climbing at the sand stone cliffs of Badami has earned it the title ‘the Mecca of Rock Climbing’ among local as well as international rock climbing enthusiasts.
Accommodation Options in Badami
Badami offers several accommodation options to its visitors. Most of the Badami hotels are situated towards the town center. These hotels provide fine accommodation units to tourists visiting Badami. Tourists can choose from Badami hotels as per their budget.