BRIEF NOTE ON BADAMI
Badami is an excellent Golden Chariot destination that tourists interested in ancient heritage and culture should visit for sure. Its spectacular location enhances the pleasure of one’s travel across this ancient town that was once the capital of the Chalukya kingdom.
Located around the picturesque landscape of the Agastya Lake, Badami is a fondly frequented tourist destination in Karnataka. History mentions that it was the capital of the Chalukya kings that ruled over this land from the 5th to the 7th century AD. There is an interesting fable that goes about how this place came to be known as Vatapi, a name that it had in the ancient times.
Visitors traveling across Badami could treat oneself to the mesmerizing visuals of the ancient inscriptions, the ancient architectures, the cave temples and also the tranquil rivers surrounding it.
Aihole is located on the banks of Malaprabha River. It is a very popular tourist spot in north Karnataka. Aihole was the capital of the early Chalukyan dynasty. They built more than 125 temples in various styles. Most of these temples were built between the 6th & 8th centuries and some even earlier. Aihole has its own historical importance and is called as cradle of Hindu rock architecture. Many temples and caves of historical importance can be found at Aihole.
Banashankari is located at a place called Cholachagudd which is about 5 km from Badami. The temple here is dedicated to Goddess Banashankari also known as Shakambhari. Banashankari is one of the most ancient temples in Kamataka. The Haridra Theertha - a sacred pool in front of the temple. Best time to visit the Banashankari temple is in the month of January during Pushya maasa.
Bilgi is house of several monuments built in the Kalyana Chalukya style of architecture. Few worth visit places of Bilgi are Aretthina Bhavi - the beautiful stone well, Siddeshwara temple and Hazrath Hassan Dargah.
Ilkal is famous for its hand-woven sarees popularly known as Ilkal sarees. Ilkal is also famous for variety of red granite granite, which is exported all over the world. The other attractions of Ilkal are Venkateshwara, Shankarlinga temples and Vijaya Mahanthesha Math.
Kudala Sangama is about 40 km from Bagalkot. The famous rivers Krishna and Ghataprabha merge here and flow towards Srishaila of Andhra Pradesh. Kudala Sangama is one of the important pilgrim centers of Karnataka. The Aikya Mantapa of Basavanna, the philosopher and a social reformer along with Linga, which is believed to be self-born, is situated here.
Mahakoota is at a distance of 15 km from Badami. Legend has it that the sage Agastya lived at Mahakoota, on the banks of a tank by name Vishnu Pushkarini. Mahakoota is house of several temples built in early Chalukya period. The Mahakooteswara temple, set amidst a huge forest is the oldest temple of the early Chalukyan temples.
Mudhol is about 19 Km to the northwest of Mudhol. Mahalingapur is one of the important pilgrim centers for the Veerashaivas. Mahalingeshwara Math is one of the main attractions of Mahalingapur. Mahalingapur is a true spirit of communal harmony, where the Hindu fair is attended by Muslims and Moharram procession is inaugurated by the pontiff of the Math.
Mudhol is a picturesque town located at a distance of 50 km from Bagalkot on the banks of river Ghataprabha. Ranna, the great kannada poet was born in Mudhol in 949 CE. The main attractions Mudhol are Shiva and Kamaleshwar temples, the Mahavir Basadi, Bhramhagaddi Veershaiva Math and Syed Peer dargah.
Pattadakal is at a distance of 22 km from Badami situated on the banks of the river Malaprabha. Pattadakal is renowned for the group of the 8th century CE monuments. Pattadakal is the capital of the Chalukya rulers who built the temples in the seventh and eighth centuries. Pattadakal is one of the important places to see that many temples of the early Chalukyan architecture.
The Virupaksha temple built built by Queen Lokamahadevi, is one of the most beautiful temples here is in the south Indian style and is almost a replica of the Kailasanatha temple of Kanchi. The Virupaksha temple is rich in sculptures like those of lingodbhava, Nataraja, Ravananugraha and Ugranarasimha. The other temples of Pattadakal are Sangameshvara Temple, Kashivisvanatha temple, Mallikarjuna Temple, Galganatha temple, Papanatha temple, Jain Temple located on the Pattadakal-Badami Road, is built in the Dravidian style by the Rashtrakutas of Manyakheta.
Every year during January or February the annual dance festival called the Chalukya Utsava held here.