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 A.D. by Pulakesi I (535-566 AD), an early ruler of the Chalukyas. His sons Kirthivarman (567-598 AD) and his brother Mangalesha I (598-610 AD) constructed the cave temples. The greatest among them was Pulakeshi II (610-642 AD) who defeated many kings including Pallava king Mahendra Verman I and extended the kingdom.
There is a small station in Badami which is located 5 km from the center. Trains from Bangalore, Bijapur and other cities stop there regularly. From the station, there are many rickshaws to reach the center. You can also wait a bus which goes to the bus stand. It will cost you only ₹3.
The bus stand is located in the center 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 enroute (for lunch, refreshments)
From Bangalore: Drive to Hubli along NH 4 (410 km) and then via NH 218 (106 km).
From the center, all the main sites are reachable by feet. However, there are plenty of rickshaws which would be happy to transport you. The best way to explore this small town is through your feet.
Best way of getting around is hire an passenger auto for a day trip including caves, museum, bhootnath temples, fort, Pattadkal and Aihole and drop to railway station.
Auto-rickshaws are well priced for a group of 3-4 people. Available at railway station. Tata ace Magic autos, comfortable for a group of 10, are available opposite the bus stand. Parking charges are extra at the caves, Pattadkal and Aihole.
Sufficient time needed to cover only Badami hot-spots is 6 hours. If you add not so popular spots you need a whole day. Visit the caves early morning or evening to click great pics. Pattadkal is 2 hours max, whereas Aihole will demand 4-5 hours.
Almost all the main attractions of Badami are located around the Agasthya Tank.
- Archaeological museum. A museum regrouping sculptures of various era from the region.
- Bhutanatha temple (In front of the tank). A temple buit in 5th century.
- 1 Cave temples (Badami cave temples) (South ot the tank). The main attractions of Badami are its caves. There are four main caves. The first one is dedicated to Shiva. It 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. Entrance ₹100 for foreigners and 5 for Indians.
- Dattatreya temple.
- Malegitti Shivalaya. This temple is the oldest one of the town. It is built on a flat rock and offers a nice view on Badami.
- Upper Bhootnath Temple, Badami. 10AM-6PM. This temple is located across the Agastya lake facing the Badami Caves. A flight of 300+ steps will get you top the hill. Ideal spot for sunset and offers a panoramic view of Badami Caves and Agastya lake Free.
- Climbing. With all the cliffs surrounding the tank, Badami is a nice spot for climbing.
- Geeta Darshini, Station Road (100 m after bus stand). A nice veg restaurant.
- Banashree, Station Road (opposite bus stand). ideal for veggies Cheap.
- Heritage Resort, Station Road (300 m after bus stand). Good vegetarian options. Moderate.
- The Heritage Resort, Station Road (Near Railway Station), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-out: 12 noon. A small resort located at the edge of town. Very peaceful and tranquil. It has a handful of cottages and serves vegetarian food. Rooms from ₹3200.
- Hotel Rajsangam Hotel, Station Road (Opposite to bus stand), ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com. Check-out: 24 hours. A hotel located in the center of Badami. There is a swimming pool at the top of the hotel. Rooms from ₹800 to ₹3500.
There are many monkeys in Badami. Some of them, especially the gray langurs, can be aggressive.