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Badami

Badami, earlier known as Vatapi, is a town in the Bagalkot district of Karnataka. It was the royal capital of the Badami Chalukyas from 540 to 757 A.D. It is famous for its rock-cut temples.

History – The caves temple of Badami dedicated to Hindu gods and Jain Tirthankaras were built by Chalukya kings. There are a few temples in the fort of Badami. The Jain cave temples are on the hillocks opposite the fort. The images of Bhagwan Parshwanath, Bhagawan Mahavir, and Gautam Swami are in the 4th cave. This cave temple is 31 feet wide and 16 feet deep in the rocks. this is also known as Mena Basadi. The pillars of this cave are artistically decorated by images of lotus, flowers, makar, Mithun, and apsaras. The image of Bhagwan Mahavir is in the center. There is an 8 feet high idol of Bhagwan Adinatha in the Kayotsarga posture along with the Choubis Tirthankaras surrounding it and the images of Yaksha and Yakshi, the other idol of 8 feet is of Bhagwan Suparsvanath and a female devotee image (Jakkavae, who observed sallekhana) is at the feet of the Tirthankara.

We can find the idols of Lord Bahubali and Parshwanath opposite each other.

Bahubali Carvings – The idol of Bhagwan Bahubali flanked by his sisters Brahmi and Sundari is also very impressive has hairs coming up to his shoulders. It belongs to the end of 6th century A.D. Opposite to the Bahubalis an idol of Parshwanath.

Parshwanath Tirthankar – The carvings of Parshwanath seen over here is of Kamatopasarga Parshwanath. To right of the idol is seen Goddess Padmavati holding an umbrella with a handle extending above Tirthankar’s head. To the left above Tirthankar’s head is seen Kamatha trying to trouble Parshwanath and he is also seen sitting beside Tirthankar’s feet.

This cave temple is full of numerous idols from 9 inches to 8 feet.

On the foothills, near the pond, a small but beautiful temple dedicated to Devi Yelamma is in Dravidian style. Another temple known as the Bhotnath temple is on the other side of the tank. Here the images of Acharaya and sadhu in the sermons position are very impressive.

How to Reach – Badami is 128 km from Hubli and 163 Kms from Bijapur and 79 Kms from Bagalkot. Badami railway station is on the Hubli-Sholapur railway line and is 5 km from the town. The Bus service to Tirth is available.