This article is about the town in India. For the oil field in Alaska, see .

Town in Karnataka, India

Badami, formerly known as Vatapi, is a town and headquarters of a by the same name, in the of , . It was the regal capital of the from AD 540 to 757. It is famous for its rock cut structural temples. It is located in a ravine at the foot of a rugged, red outcrop that surrounds Agastya lake. Badami has been selected as one of the heritage cities for scheme of Government of India.



Main articles: and


The Badami region was settled in pre-historic times, with evidence by megalithic .



The Puranas state the wicked asura Vatapi was killed by sage Agastya, and it refers to this area as Vatapi and Agastya Tirtha. In the Ramayana, Agastya and Lopamudra are described as living in forest, on the southern slopes of Vindhya mountains. Rama praises Agastya as the one who can do what gods find impossible. He is described as the sage who used his Dharma powers to kill demons Vatapi and Ilwala after they had jointly misled and destroyed 9,000 men.

In the Mahabharata, sage Agastya is described in the epic as a sage with enormous powers of ingestion and digestion. To kill men, asura Vatapi used to become a goat and his brother Ilvala would cook him. Then, Vatapi would recollect in the stomach and tear himself out from the inside of the victim, killing the victim. When Agastya arrives, Ilvala offers the goat again. He kills Vatapi by digesting the meal as soon as he ate, giving Vatapi no time to self organize. Agastya, in the legends of Mahabharata, kills the demons Vatapi and Ilvala much the same mythical way as in the Ramayana.


Badami Chalukyas was founded in AD 540by (AD 535–566), an early ruler of the Chalukyas is generally regarded as the founder of the Early Chalukya line. An inscription record of this king engraved on a boulder in Badami records the fortification of the hill above "Vatapi" in 544. Pulakeshin's choice of this location for his capital was no doubt dedicated by strategic considerations since Badami is protected on three sides by rugged sandstone cliffs. His sons (AD 567–598) and his brother (AD 598–610) constructed the cave temples. strengthened Vatapi and had three sons , Vishnuvardhana and Buddhavarasa, who at his death were minors, thus making them ineligible to rule, so 's brother took the throne and tried to establish rule, only to be killed by who ruled between AD 610 to 642. Vatapi was the capital of the Early , who ruled much of , , parts of and between the 6th and 8th centuries. The greatest among them was (AD 610–642) who defeated many kings including the Pallavas of Kanchipuram.[]

Old Kannada inscription of Chalukya King Mangalesha dated 578 CE at Badami cave temple no.3

The rock-cut were sculpted mostly between the 6th and 8th centuries.


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Badami has eighteen inscriptions, among them some inscriptions are important. The first Sanskrit inscription in old Kannada script, on a hillock dates back to 543 CE, from the period of Pulakeshin I (Vallabheswara), the second is the 578 CE cave inscription of Mangalesha in Kannada language and script and the third is the records, the earliest available Kannada poetry in tripadi (three line) metre. one inscription near the Bhuthanatha temple also has inscriptions dating back to the 12th century in Jain rock-cut temple dedicated to the Tirtankara Adinatha.

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Historic sites in Badami, Karnataka

Agastya lake 

Bhutanatha group of temples facing the Badami tank 

Vishnu seated on Adishesha 

Brahma on Hamsa in Cave 3 ceiling 

Bahubali in cave 4 

Parshvanatha in cave 4 

Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma in a small rock carving monument 

Yellamma temple at Badami, early phase construction, 11th century 

Mosque in Badami 

The Badami Taluka has thirty-four :

  • Hosur
  • Huligeri
  • Hullikeri
  • Jalihal
  • Jamankatti
  • Kaknur
  • Katageri
  • Kataraki
  • Kelavadi
  • Khanapur S.K.
  • Kittali
  • Kotikal
  • Layadgundi
  • Mamtageri
  • Mangalore
  • Mustigeri
  • Mutalgeri
  • Nagaral S.P.
  • Nandikeshwar
  • Neelgund
  • Neeralkeri
  • Neerbhudihal
  • Parvati
  • Pattadkal
  • Sulikeri


The main language is . The local population wears traditional Indian cotton wear.


Badami is located at . It has an average elevation of 586 metres (1922 ft). It is located at the mouth of a ravine between two rocky hills and surrounds Agastya tirtha water reservoir on the three other sides. The total area of the town is 10.3 square kilometers.

It is located 30 kilometers from ,128 kilometers from , 132 kilometers from , 46 kilometers from , another ancient town, and 589 kilometers from , the state capital.


  • Summer – March to June
  • Spring – Jan to March
  • Monsoons – July to October that contributes to rainfall
  • Winter – November to Jan

The temperature ranges from minimum 23 degrees to 45 degrees during summer and from 15 to 29 degrees in winter. The rainfall of the area is 50 centimeters. Best time to visit is between low humid season from November and March.

The climate has made it a safe haven for the monkeys of south India. Tourists often flock to Badami for the opportunity to see monkeys interact in a natural environment.



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The main economy is centered around tourism in Karnataka.


It is a town in the in state, . It is also headquarters of Badami Taluk in the district.


The nearest airport is about 105 kilometers away. It is on the – rail route, and the rail station is 5 kilometers from the town. It is also connected by road to Hubli and Bijapur. Badami is reachable from by a 12-hour bus ride, or by a direct train "Solapur Gol Gumbaz Exp (train no. 16535)" or with a combination of an overnight train journey from Bangalore to Hospet followed by a short bus ride from to Badami. Another train journey could be from Bangalore to Hubli (8–9 hours) and then a bus ride to Badami (3 hours). Badami is around 110 km from Hubli. Local transport is by Rickshaws, and city buses.

Badami is around 135 km from Hospet via NH367 and NH13. A car journey would take around 2 hours and 30 minutes from to Badami. Go to for information on reaching badami by Road, by Train and by Air.


As of the , Badami had a population of 25,851. Males constituted 51% of the population and females 49%. Badami had an average literacy rate of 64.8%, comparable to the national average of 65%; with 59% of the males and 41% of females literate. 14% of the population was under 6 years of age.

Panoramic view of Agastya lake, Badami.


Badami Cliffs Bolted routes in the Temple area, Badami Badami Caves

Badami's red sand stone cliffs are popular amongst local and international climbers. This is great location for free sport climbing and bouldering. The cliffs have horizontal crack systems, similar to . There are over 150 bolted routes and multiple routes for free climbing. Gerhard Schaar, a German Climber and Pranesh Manchaiah, a local climber from Bangalore, were instrumental in setting up the sport routes driving a project called 'Bolts for Bangalore'.National Rock Climbing center, Manager Rajendra Hasabavi in Banshankari Road by General Thimayya National Academy of Adventure, Department of Youth Empowerment and Sports, Govt.of Karnataka is conducting various rock climbing and Adventure camps for Youth and School Children.

Movies shot in Badami[]

  • , , , , ,
  • ,
  • , Veera Madakari, ,
  • Bommalattam
  • Vandhaan Vendraan

See also[]


  1. William Buck; B. A. van Nooten; Shirley Triest (2000). . University of California Press. pp. 138–139.  .
  2. J. A. B. van Buitenen (1981). . University of Chicago Press. pp. 187–188.  .
  3. J. A. B. van Buitenen (1981). . University of Chicago Press. pp. 409–411.  .
  4. . The Hindu. Chennai, India. 17 May 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-24.
  5. Rajarajan, R.K.K. (2012). Rock-cut Model Shrines in Early Indian Art. New Delhi: Sharada Publishing House.  .
  6. Dr. Suryanath U. Kamath (2001), A Concise History of Karnataka from pre-historic times to the present, Jupiter books, MCC (Reprinted 2002), p9, p10, 57, p59 OCLC: 7796041
  7. K.V. Ramesh, Chalukyas of Vatapi, 1984, Agam Kala Prakashan, p34, p46, p50
  8. Azmathulla Shariff. . Deccan Herald, Spectrum, July 26, 2005. from the original on 7 October 2006. Retrieved 2006-11-10.
  9. . Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. from the original on 13 November 2011.
  10. . Retrieved 2013-02-12.
  11. Railway ticket (Bijapur express) from Bangalore to Badami
  12. . Census Commission of India. Archived from on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
  13. . Retrieved 2015-10-15.
  14. . Retrieved 2012-01-15.
  15. Prabhu, Nagesh (26 December 2012). . Chennai, India: The Hindu. Retrieved 2013-01-10.
  • Karnataka State Gazetteer 1983

External links[]


Photo Gallery

  • Badami Cliffs

  • Bolted routes in the Temple area, Badami

  • Bhutanatha group of temples facing the Agasythya Tank

  • Mallikarjuna group of temples

  • Vishnu image in Cave temple No. 3

  • Old Kannada inscription of Chalukya King Mangalesha dated 578 CE at Badami cave temple no.3

  • Badami 1.jpg