Badami is a small town located in Karnataka. It is known for
rock sculpture and temple architecture. The town was originally known as Vatapi
and was the seat of government of the Badami Chalukyas in the 6th century AD.
The name Vatapi has its origins in a mythological tale of the Ramayana.
History of Badami
According to mythology, Vatapi and Ilvala were two demons. They used to eat
beggars alive by tricking them. Vatapi would pose as red meat which Ilvala then
offered to the beggars. Before the beggars could digest the meat, Ilavala would
call out Vatapiís name and he would rip through the beggarsí body.
Ilvala had a boon of calling back people from anywhere by just calling out
their name. However, once, Sage Agastya ate and digested Vatapi before his
elder brother could call out his name. Thus, Vatapiís life was brought to an
Historically speaking, Badami was the Chalukya Dynastyís capital from the 6th
to 8th century AD. The city was founded by a Chlukya ruler named Pulakesi in
the 6th century. The Chalukyas are credited with building many cave temples
here between the 6th and the 8th centuries.
After the Chalukyas, the city was taken over by the Pallavas and the Hoysalas
in the 8th and the 10th century respectively. The city is known for many
inscriptions, some of which hold historic significance. A total of 18
inscriptions have been identified so far in Badami. It includes an inscription
in Sanskrit using the old Kannada script, which dates back to the 6th century.
There is also an inscription of Kannada poetry which has been identified in
Badami. Tourism is the main source of revenue of the region. Badami attracts a
lot of tourists every year for its cave temples and its architecture.
Things to do in
Badami houses historical monuments which are very well preserved. A few
tourist places of interest in Badami include the Badami Fort, a Buddhist Cave,
an archaeological museum and a series of four cave temples built by the
Chalukyas. Badami is also known for its high stone cliffs, which find favour
among the sports enthusiasts.
Characterised by high humidity and warm to hot temperatures throughout the
year, the city attracts most of the travellers during the months of November to
March. The Banashankari Temple Festival during January and February
attracts lot of pilgrims from different parts of India.
Travelling to Badami
The closest airport to Badami is at Belgaum, which lies 150
km away. Badami also has a railway station which serves direct trains from most
of the important Indian cities. KSRTC buses that ply to Hubli and Bijapur
pass through Badami. There is a direct bus from Bangalore to Badami on daily
Tourists can board auto rickshaws to travel within Badami as
it is not a huge town and all the places can be reached in a short while. Also,
tourists who are interested in cycling can rent out a cycle to roam around the
As Badami is not a huge town, accommodation option in Badami
ranges from mid-range to budget properties. Luxury properties are limited in Badami.