Badami formerly known as Vatapi is the centre of ancient Chalukyan glory. It is located at a distance of about 500 km from Bangalore in the Bagalkot district of Karnataka. This place was founded by Pulakesi I in 540 A.D. This magnificent town situated amidst rocky hills is known for its wonderful rock cut cave temples in Chalukyan style. Throughout the world, this place is known for its astonishing attractions such as cave temples, majestic forts, colourful festivals and serene lakes.
Badami was the capital of the Early Chalukyas rulers who ruled Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh in the period between 6th to 8th century. This place was founded by? Pulakesi I in 540 A.D. His son, Kirthivarman (567-598 AD) and his brother? Mangalesha I (598-610 AD) built cave temples during their reign. The Chalukyan Kings were great patrons of? arts, literature and philosophy, which can be seen through the left behind architectural wonders.
This is the group of four cave temples which are carved out of red sandstone hills located opposite to Badami Fort. Out of the four cave temples three are based on Brahmanical theology and one on Jain. These temples are the supreme example of sculptures and stone carvings depicting several mythological themes. All the temples are equally beautiful but the Cave Temple I is much more popular. It is made of red sandstone and has a hall with numerous pillars and a square shaped shrine hollowed in the back wall. This temple houses the idols of Lord Shiva with his consort Paravati. The eighteen-armed Nataraja displaying 81 dance poses is the well known attraction of this place. The biggest and most enhancing is the third cave temple which is dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
This fort is located on the hill top which is known for its two Shivalayas. The majestic location of this fort offers a bird-eye view of Badami. In this fort one can see the ruins of a watchtower, treasury and large granaries. The temple of this fort depicts the legends of Krishna through its numerous sculptures, murals and frescoes.
This museum is known for its rare collections of ancient specimens which give glimpses of historical era. Inside the museum there are four galleries dedicated to art and architectural work of the bygone era.? The main attractions of the museum are the Lajja Gauri images of a fertility cult, beautifully carved Makara Torana, a panel depicting scenes from Bhagwat Gita and animal dummies. The time to visit this is between 9 A.M. To 5 P.M.
Historical associations of Badami gifted it with several fairs and festivals. Every single festival of this place is celebrated with great enthusiasm and boundless fervour.? The well known festivals of this place are the annual temple festival which is held at Banashankari in the month of January / February, the Virupaksha Temple Car Festival and the Mallikarjuna Temple Festival celebrated in the month of March/April.
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