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The ancient capital of the early Chalukya Kingdom, Badami is well known for its rich history and ancient architecture. The architecture and sculptures created in Badami during the time of the Chalukyas inspired later-day architectural and sculpting traditions. A number of places of historical importance are situated near Badami. Located in the northern part of the state of Karnataka, the climate of Badami is temperate, with summers being moderately hot while winters are cool and pleasant. Famed for cave temples, fortresses, fine carvings, and wonderful architecture, Badami is a must visit place if a metropolitan detox is what you are looking for.

Badami Fort, built by Tipu Sultan in the 18th century is among the most visited sites of Badami. Located on top of a hill, the fort has two Shivalaya complexes. The Fort, with its entrance guarded by Nandi (Shiva’s bull), is immersed in archaeological splendour and culture that takes you back to pre-historic times. Few other visit worthy location around the town include the Durga Temple, Lad Khan Temple, Ravanaphadi Cave Temples, Huchimalli Temple, Meganagudi group, Gowda Temple and the Huchappayyagudi Temple amongst numerous others.

You can also take home some hand-made artifacts and rugs from Badami with some city shopping. You can shop for sandalwood and rosewood sculptures as well as some traditional jewellery.

A number of annual temple festivals are held in towns near Badami. The annual temple festival, held at Banashankari, in the month of January-February is worth visiting; so are the Virupaksha Temple Car Festival and Mallikarjuna Temple Festival held in Pattadakal during March-April.

The Malegitti Shivalaya Fort and temple is one of the grand examples of ancient Chalukya Architecture. This elegantly carved, rock-cut temple atop a rugged rocky outcrop was originally dedicated to the Sun God Surya. The temple is now devoted to Lord Shiva with a large Shivlinga placed on a pedestal inside the sanctum.  The walls of the temple have a curved course and a central recessed portion which has been divided into panels with carvings of gana musicians, dancers and warriors. The walls of the mandapa have three projections with panels portraying Shiva and Vishnu.

The Cave Temples of Badami is another must visit spot here consisting of four separate temples, each holding intricate carvings and depictions. These carvings depict Shiva and Vishnu in various avatars in the first 3 temples, representing the Brahmanical style. The fourth temple is dedicated to Jain Tirthankaras.

Another magnificent sight to behold here is the Lower Shivalaya temple. Lower Shivalaya is part of a series of temples situated across the northern hill of Badami. The intricately carved rock-cut structure of this temple is the best example of the magnificence of the Dravidian style of architecture.

edicated to Lord Ganesha, the doorframe of the sanctuary of Lower Shivalaya is finely carved with bands of creepers and short staff-wielding door guardians. The four miniature shrines at the four corners of the superstructure reflect the stucco work brought by the Vijayanagara rule.

Badami is a fascinating place, right from its location in a sandstone ravine to its ancient cave temples and the fort. Visit Badami to see the temples and admire the skills of architects of the Chalukyan period.

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