Badmai cave temples, located in the Bagalkot district in northern part of Karnataka, India – are a phenomenal example of architecture in rock-cut art. Formerly known as Vataapi Badami, the caves were built around the time of Chalukya dynasty, who ruled Karnataka from 6th to 8th century.
Badami Caves are a monolithic structure with four major caves dedicated to Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu & Jain icons. The caves overlook Agastya lake & Bhootnath temples. The site has been claimed by ASI & is replete with monkeys. They say that where comes Lord Shiva, Lord Hanuman follws them in their modern-day, monkey avatar. You can’t outrightly refute that. Can you? If History lessons were coupled with excursions to places like these, my grades would have been a lot better. Sigh!
What to do in Badami Caves?
You should take at least an hour to visit all four caves. They don’t allow you to go much inside. However, you can visit the verandas of all four, catch glimpses of the carvings and stone architecture & click some great pictures.
Along with the beautiful architecture, what leaves you spell bound is the color – the thousands of years old, yet bright color of stones which you see everywhere. If you sit silently in the caves & stare at the Natraj avatar of Lord Shiva, you can imagine the rhythm that the craftsmen might have heard while carving the stone.
All around you, there remains absolute silence; you hear nothing but the shrill, screeching voice of monkeys. You see nothing but the static carvings of deities on the rock. It’s only when you close your eyes, you hear the songs that the history sung, to the tunes of which, our Gods danced.
Here are a few clicks from my trip to Badami Caves:
1. Entrance to the caves
2. The Badami View from the Caves!
3. Stone Carvings – how simple designs look so beautiful!
4. The Hindu Gods
5. The Hindu Gods
- Stay – One of the best & cost effective stays in Badami is Hotel Mayura Chalukya Badami, KSTDC. Their food is really good – simple yet yummy.
- Food – wherever you stay, you should come to Hotel Maurya’s canteen-cum-restaurant for food. Theirs is really good (I reaffirm myself).
- Commute – Road or Rail- both works. You should club Badami caves with one of the nearby tourist attractions such as Aihole & Hospet. We clubbed ours with Hampi & Hospet – both.