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Why Badami Is A Great Weekend Trip From Bangalore And A Historical Delight In Its Own Right

Since I'd studied Karnataka history during my high school, Badami held certain recall and significance as the kingdom of Chalukyas once flourished here (540-757AD) and it remains a site of historical significance to this day. But somehow it was never on my travel radar despite five trips to Hampi beforehand. But all that changed on my last trip to Hampi when we decided to explore Badami, a small historical town just like Hampi, famous for its rock cut cave temples and other structural temples.

How to get to Badami from Bangalore

To go to Badami, you can either drive, take an outstation or for the cheapest option, take a local state bus from the Hospet KSRTC bus terminal in Bangalore. It's about a 3 hour journey, costs around INR 200 and the roads are mostly drive friendly.

You can also bundle Badami with your Hampi trip as they're just a couple of hours apart.

What to see in Badami

The cave temples of Badami

At first Badami failed to impress. However, as we made our way to the rock cave temples Badami is famous for, the trip seemed already worth it. The caves loom large in the front, and climbing up a few steps would take you to the entrance of the temples carved out completely within these caves. 

The fine workmanship on the various Hindu god idols, engraved motifs and religious inscriptions throughout the temple walls and the ceilings are breathtaking. The Chalukyan king, Mangalesa (598-610 AD) was responsible for the completion of these cave temples.

badami rock temple

The highlight of these caves has to be the sheer visual delight of seeing humungous rocks with a set of pillars at the bottom, looking as though the rocks were supported by these pillars! Continue walking further up and similar cave temples lie ahead, making for a series of 4 such temples. The carvings on the temples depict Shiva and Vishnu in various avatars in the first 3 temples, representing the Brahmanical style. The fourth temple is dedicated to Jain Tirthankaras.

However as prudently forewarned by the authorities, do beware of the monkeys swarming the place as they could get aggressive and as I discovered later on the same Hampi trip.

Sunset at the lake

The view from the top of these temples - looking down at the town of Badami with the green lake at one edge and a mosque not far away - makes for a great sunset point. We spent an hour here and made our way down to the base of the hill. A short stroll later we sat by the steps at the bank of the lake and watched local children enjoy themselves diving and swimming into the lake. 

badami rock temple

The village life in Badami

We then walked through the rural landscape of Badami, taking in the ancient but interesting houses with their colourful doors, the very colourful local women and the pointed-hat donning men. 

villagers in India Badami

Interestingly since Badami borders Maharashtra, it is primarily a Marathi-speaking town, rather than a Kannada one. I managed to have the men pose for me in this photo, admittedly one of my favourites already.

We spent the night in Badami and travelled back to Hampi the next day.

For a dose of heritage, and an architectural marvel, do visit the Badami Caves, but just for a day or two.


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 I (Monica) am a lifelong traveler, (40 countries), sustainability and veganism advocate, and a marketer by profession. I'm old school in that I still like to blog and document rather than shoot and post.

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