Badami (Kannada: ಬದಾಮಿ), formerly Vatapi, is a city in the Bagalkot district of Northern Karnataka, in Southern India. It is a historical place.

Bhutanatha group of temples facing the Agasythya Tank

Understand edit

Badami was the capital of the Early Chalukyas, who ruled much of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh between the 6th and 8th centuries. It was founded in 540 CE by Pulakesi I (535-566 CE), an early ruler of the Chalukyas. His sons Kirthivarman (567-598 CE) and his brother Mangalesha I (598-610 CE) constructed the cave temples. The greatest among them was Pulakeshi II (610-642 CE) who defeated many kings including Pallava king Mahendra Verman I and extended the kingdom.

Get in edit

By train edit

There is a small station in Badami, 5 km from the centre. Trains from Bangalore, Bijapur and other cities stop there regularly. From the station, there are many rickshaws to reach the centre. You can also wait a bus which goes to the bus stand. It will cost you ₹3.

The minor Yara Goppa Halt is slightly closer to town (3 km), but very few trains call here.

  • 1 Badami railway station.    
  • 2 Yara Goppa Halt railway station.  

By bus edit

The bus stand is in the centre of the town. There are buses for Gadag, Bijapur, Bangalore and Hospet. The NWKRTC bus service is very efficient. From Hubli, regular buses to Badami (on the Ilkal/

Bagalkot route) ply every 30 minutes or so. The journey from Hubli takes about 3 hours not counting a 20-minute break at a town en route (for lunch, refreshments)

By car edit

From Bangalore: Drive to Hubli along NH 4 (410 km) and then via NH 218 (106 km).

Get around edit

From the centre, all the main sites are reachable by foot. However, there are plenty of rickshaws which would be happy to transport you. The best way to explore this small town is by walking, though.

Best way of getting around is hiring an auto-rickshaw for a day trip including caves, museum, bhootnath temples, fort, Pattadkal and Aihole. Auto-rickshaws are waiting at the railway station and next to the bus station.

If you just need to get a ride inside town or go out of town for a km or so in either direction (e.g. in order to get to the climbing areas Ganesh Plateau or Temple area), flag down a shared rickshaw and insist on the local price of ₹10 (Jan 2023) per person.

Tata ace Magic autos, comfortable for a group of 10, are available opposite the bus station. Parking charges are extra at the caves, Pattadkal and Aihole.

Approximately 6 hours should be sufficient to cover Badami's tourist places. If you add not-so-popular spots (out of town) you need a whole day. Visit the caves early morning or evening to get great pictures. To see Pattadka you need 2 hours maximum, whereas Aihole will demand 4-5 hours as temples are scattered across the village.

See edit

View of Agasthya Tank from Caves

Almost all the main attractions of Badami are around the Agasthya Tank.

  • 1 Badami cave temples. The main attractions of Badami are its caves. There are four main caves. The first one, dedicated to Shiva, was excavated by the Chalukyas in 550 AD. The second one is dedicated to Vishnu. In this cave there are statues of Vishnu avatars like Varaha, the boar or Krishna. The third cave is also dedicated to Vishnu and the last one is a cave with Jain representations. ₹300 for foreigners and ₹25 for Indians.    
  • 2 Bhutanatha Temples (eastern group) (on the eastern side of the tank). A cluster of sandstone shrines dedicated to the deity Bhutanatha, built between the 7th and 11th century CE.    
  • 3 Bhutanatha Temples (northern/upper group) (on the northern side of the tank).    
  • 4 Archaeological Museum of Badami. Sa-Th 9AM-5PM price=. Contains sculptures of various era from the region. To the left of it starts the footpath going up 300 stairs leading to the Lower and Upper Shivalayas.
  • 5 Shivalaya Temples (up the stairs from the Archaeological Museum). 9AM-6PM. When facing the museum, walk through the gate on your left and follow the path up the 300 stairs or so. You will pass by the Lower Shivalaya, a canon platform, the granary and will eventually arrive at the top of the plateau, where you will see the ruins of the three granaries and the Upper Shivalaya. Great point for watching the sun set over Badami. Get down in time, as the metal gate to the museum will be locked at 6PM. free.    
  • 6 Malegitti Shivalaya Temple. This temple is the oldest one of the town. It is built on a flat rock and offers a nice view on Badami. The gate towards the footpath may be closed, though, and it is not accessible from the other Shivalaya temples.    
  • 7 Dattatreya temple (on the western side of the tank).

Do edit

Badami Caves
  • Rope-climbing. With all the cliffs surrounding the town, Badami is a nice spot for climbing, not least since the sandstone is flattering to the hands. There are three big sectors (from north to south Ganesh Plateau, Deluxe Area and Temple Area with more than 30 or 40 routes each, as well as four smaller ones containing between 6 and 19 lines. While Temple contains routes around 20m, Deluxe and Ganesh go as high as 26 m. Kannaragavi even has some multipitch routes (38m). Equipment (rope, quickdraws, chalk, helmet, carabiners) can be hired at Rock Climbing Badami, however make sure the rope is still in good condition before you take it.

Buy edit

Eat edit

  • 1 Udupi Shri Banashri Restaurant, Station Road (opposite bus stand, same building as Hotel Rajsangam). Very good veg only Dhaba (only Indian food). Cheap.
  • 2 Hotel Paradise (almost 2 km north of the bus stand (quite out of town), behind Heritage Resort and the petrol station). 11:30AM-3:30PM, 7PM-midnight. New restaurant in town. After COVID, the owners moved from Goa to Karnataka. They make very good tandoori chicken. You can bring alcohol from a shop and drink it here.
  • 3 Heritage Resort, Station Road (1,4 km north of the bus stand (out of town)). Good vegetarian options. Moderate.
  • Geeta Darshini, Station Road (100 m after bus stand). A nice veg restaurant.

Drink edit

Buttermilk made from cow's or buffalo milk. Tea is the popular drink of the local people, available at road side shacks and restaurants.

Sleep edit

Connect edit

Maha Vishnu

Stay safe edit

There are many monkeys in Badami. Some of them, especially the gray langurs, can be aggressive.

B.S.N.L (Cellone) cellular phone connectivity is available here.

Summer months of March, April, May are hot. Dehydration must be avoided in these months.

Go next edit

This city travel guide to Badami is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. Please plunge forward and help it grow!