See The town is best known for its cave temples,
cut into the cliff face of the red sandstone hill and connected
by flights of steps. They display the full range of religious sects
which have grown up on Indian soil. Two of them are dedicated to
Vishnu, one to Shiva and the fourth is a Jain temple. There's also
one natural cave which is a Buddhist temple. The caves overlook
the picturesque Agastyatirtha and are only one of the many things
to be seen at Badami. Of the other monuments, some of the most beautiful
are the two groups of lakeside temples known as the Bhutanatha temples
near the north fort. The Archaeological Museum nearby is also well
worth a visit.
It is situated at a beautiful countryside amongst red sandstone
hills, rock-hewn tanks (artificial lakes) and peaceful farmlands,
the small rural village of Badami was once a capital city of the
Chalukyan Empire which ruled much of the central Deccan. Here, and
at nearby Aihole and Pattadakal, you can see some of the earliest
and finest examples of Dravidian temples and rock-cut caves. The
forms and sculptural work at these sites provided inspiration for
the later Hindu empires which rose and fell in the southern part
of the peninsula before the arrival of the Muslims.
Though principally promoters of the Vedic culture, the Chalukyans
were tolerant of all sects, and elements of Shaivism, Vaishnavism,
Jainism and even Buddhism can be found in many of their temples.
Belur & Halebid
Halebid and Belur are only 16 km apart. The KSTDC
in Bangalore runs a tour to both towns as well as to Sravanabelagola.
The Hoysala temples at Belur and Halebid (Halebeed, Halebidu), along
with the one at Somnathpur east of Mysore, are the cream of what
remains of one of the most artistically exuberant periods of Hindu
cultural development. The temple is decorated with sculptures. The
Hoysaleswara Temple at Halebid was constructed about 10 years after
the temple at Belur, but despite 80 years labour was never completed.
There are scenes which represents war, hunting, agriculture, music,
dance and Jain statue.
The small museum adjacent to the temple sculptures and is open from
10 am to 5 pm. There is also a smaller temple, the Kedareswara,
at Halebid and, off the road to Hassan, a Jain temple. At Belur,
the Channekeshava Temple is the only one at the three Hoysala sites
still in daily use. Non-Hindus are allowed inside but not into the
inner sanctum. It is very similar to the others in design but here
much of the decoration has gone into the internal supporting pillars
and lintels, and the larger but still very delicately carved images
of deities and guardian beasts. At Halebid, the external walls are
covered in friezes.
In 1424 Ahmed Shah-I shifted his court from Gulbarga
to a less constricted site at Badri, in grief of his beloved spiritual
mentor, Bandah Nawas Gesu Daraz. Later the Bahamani dynasty continued
to rule here till 1487 even after they were split into five rival
groups. They refurbished the town by building a new fort, splendid
palaces, mosques and ornamental gardens. They were then succeeded
by the Adil Shahis from Bijapur, followed by the Mughals under Aurangzeb,
who annexed the territory in 1656, before the Nizam of Hyderabad
acquired the territory in the early 18th century. The town has a
gritty charm, with narrow red-mud streets leading to arched gates
and open vistas across plains. Bidar is nowadays a provincial backwater,
better known for its fighter-pilot-training base.
The largest and most famous monument is the Golgumbaz.
Built in 1659, it is a simple building with four walls that enclose
a majestic hall 1704 sq meters in area, buttressed by octagonal
seven-storey towers at each of the corners. This basic structure
is capped by an enormous dome said to be the world's second largest
after St Peter's Vatican City, Rome. The diameter of Golgumbaz is
Ibrahim Roza : The beautiful Ibrahim Roza was constructed
at the height of Bijapur's prosperity by Ibrahim Adil Shah II (1580-1626)
for his queen. Its 24-meter-high minarets . Buried here are Ibrahim
Adil Shah, his queen, Taj Sultana, his daughter, two sons, and his
mother Haji Badi Sahiba.
Jame-e-Masjid : This is another finely proportioned building
with graceful arches, a fine dome and a large inner courtyard containing
fountains and a reservoir. Itís quite a large monument covering
an area of 10,800 sq meters and has room for 2250 worshippers. Space
for them are marked out in black on the polished floor of the mosque.
Asar Mahal : To the east of the citadel, the Asar Mahal was
built by Mohammed Adil Shah in about 1646 to serve as a Hall of
Justice. The rooms on the upper storey are profusely decorated with
frescoes, many of them using foliage and flower motifs, some portraying
male and female figures in various poses. The front of the building
is graced with a square tank still fed by conduits from Begum Tank.
Women are not allowed inside the main structure.
Citadel : This monument was built by Ali Adil Shah I around
1561 to serve the dual purpose of a royal residence and a Durbar
Hall. Essentially it's an enormous hall completely open to the north,
so that an audience outside the hall had a full and unobstructed
view of the proceedings on the raised platform inside. The hall
was flanked by small chambers used to house the families of the
royal household.It isSurrounded by its own fortified walls and wide
moat in the city centre, it once contained the palaces, pleasure
gardens, and Durbar Hall of the Adil Shahi kings.
Malik-e-Maidan : This monument was built by Ali Adil Shah
I around 1561 to serve the dual purpose of a royal residence and
a Durbar Hall. Essentially it's an enormous hall completely open
to the north, so that an audience outside the hall had a full and
unobstructed view of the proceedings on the raised platform inside.
The hall was flanked by small chambers used to house the families
of the royal household.It isSurrounded by its own fortified walls
and wide moat in the city center, it once contained the palaces,
pleasure gardens, and Durbar Hall of the Adil Shahi kings.
The old Hampi Bazaar is now a bustling village.
The village has become something of a travelers' Mecca and is a
superb place to stay if you're not too concerned about minor luxuries.
The western side of Hampi Bazaar is the most bustling area. Here
you'll find a number of restaurants catering for Western travelers,
the Aspiration Stores which has a variety of books as well as souvenirs
The village is dominated by the Virupaksha Temple. The temple is
popular with Indian tourists.
This village is 16 km from Badami . The most important monument here, the Lokeshwara or Virupaksha Temple, is a huge structure with sculptures that narrate episodes from the Hindu epics, the Ramayana and Mahabharata, as well as throw light on the social life of the early Chalukyans. The other main temple, Mallikarjuna, has sculptures which tell a different story - this time from the Bhagavad Gita, the story of Krishna. The old Jain temple with its two stone elephants, about a km from the
center, is also worth visiting.