Badami: Explore Mesmerising Cave Temple

Badami, located in the northern region of Karnataka, is famous for its rich historical and architectural heritage. As one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, it boasts of ancient temples, forts, and other historical sites. Badami’s Dravidian buildings showcase a blend of South and North Indian design styles. Among the top attractions in Badami are the Badami Caves, which include three Hindu temples and one Jain temple.

Tourist attractions of Badami

  • Badami Fort
  • Durga Temple
  • Lad Khan Temple
  • Archeological Temple
  • Huchimalli Temple
  • Virupaksha & Papanatha Temple
  • Galaganatha Shrine
  • Buddha rock-cut Caves
  • Bhootnath Temple

Badami Fort

Badami Fort is a well-known archaeological destination situated atop a hill about 2 km away from the main town of Badami in the Bagalkot district of Karnataka. Its construction can be traced back to 543 AD when it was built by the Chalukyan King Pulakeshi, making it an ancient fort.

The Badami Fort is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Badami.

Quick facts about Badami Fort, Badami

  • Timing: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM (Open on all days of the week except Friday)
  • Entry Fee:5/-
  • Photography: Allowed
  • Visit Duration: About 1 hour
  • Best time to visit: From October to March

History of Badami Fort, Badami

Badami, previously known as Vatapi, is a historically significant place with a wealth of heritage structures. The Badami Fort is one such monument that stands as a silent witness to an era rich in culture. From 540 AD to 757 AD, Badami was the capital of the Chalukyas, and the Badami Fort served as the residence of their rulers. The Pallavas looted and destroyed the fort in 642 AD. Later, when Tipu Sultan ruled Badami, the fort walls were reconstructed, and many structures were added to the ancient fort complex.

How to reach the Badami Fort

Badami lies at a distance of about 509 km from Bangalore. Badami is a tourist destination and can be conveniently reached by various means of transport. Autos and horse-drawn carriages (tongas) can be hired to reach the base of the hill housing the Badami Fort from anywhere in Badami.

By Air

The nearest airports to reach Badami are located at Hubli (around 105 km) and Belgaum (around 150 km). These airports are connected to Bangalore and Mumbai. Visitors can reach Badami from Hubli and Belgaum by taxi or by bus.

By Rail

Badami has its own railway station. The Badami Railway Station connects it various cities and towns of Karnataka, including Bangalore, Bijapur, Gadag, Hubli, Solapur, etc.

By Road

Badami has a road network that spreads out to a number of towns and cities of Karnataka. There are a lot of buses that travel between Badami and several other towns and cities in Karnataka. Private cars, cabs or other vehicles are also available for hire from big cities like Bengaluru (Bangalore) or Mysuru (Mysore) to reach Badami.

Durga Temple

The Durga Temple in Aihole, Karnataka, is a significant religious landmark. Managed by the Archaeological Survey of India, it is currently on the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva or Lord Vishnu and showcases a fusion of Dravidian and Nagara architectural styles. The Durga Temple complex is well-maintained, resulting in a clean and tidy appearance.

Aihole is known as the ‘cradle of Hindu rock architecture’ due to its exquisite temples. It also holds mythological importance as it is believed that Parashurama washed his axe here after killing the Kshatriyas.

History and Legend of Durga Temple

The Durga Temple in Aihole has a rich history associated with it. Constructed during the 7th and 8th century by the Chalukya dynasty, it is not a temple dedicated to Goddess Durga as commonly assumed. Instead, it is named Durga Temple because it is located within the fortification, and ‘Durga’ means ‘fortress’ in this context. The temple is actually dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Shiva. Furthermore, the Durga Temple is also a component of the Maratha fortification system.

Significance of the Durga Temple

The Durga Temple in Aihole is a remarkable architectural masterpiece. Its quadrilateral shape exhibits the Gajaprasta style, which resembles the back of an elephant. The temple features numerous pillar reliefs that showcase the distinctive Chalukya architectural style. Also referred to as the fortress temple, it incorporates a Buddhist chaitya and is adorned with beautiful carvings. The temple boasts stunning sculptures of Hindu deities, including Goddess Durga, Lord Narashima, Goddess Chamundi, and Lord Shiva. The seven-headed serpent carved into the ceiling is another remarkable work of art. The temple also includes a porch and an entrance to the epistle, leading to various rooms, including the Garba Griha, where the main shrine is located. The temple’s other notable features include two main pillars, the Mukha Mantapa and the Sabha Mantapa, as well as an elevated plinth, high galleries, and moulded adisthana.

Durga Temple Aihole Timings

The Durga Temple in Aihole is a heritage of the country. Tourists come to visit the marvelous architecture of the temple. These temples are no more in use and hence regular rituals and worship are not performed at this shrine. Hence you can enter the temple premises from morning till dusk.

Durga Temple Food Timings

The Durga Temple is just a heritage site for visit and hence the tradition of distributing the ‘prasada’ after worship is no more practised.

How to reach: Road, Rail and Air

By Air: The nearest airport to the Durga Temple of Aihole is the Belgaum aiport. It is located approximately at 189 kms from Aihole. The city is directly connected to Mumbai by Vayudoot flights.

By Road: Aihole easily accessible from the major cities of Karnataka. It is located at 17 kms from Pattadakal, 44 kms from Badami and 490 kms from Bangalore. The roads are good and tourists can hire cabs to the temple. There are ample buses plying to and fro from Aihole.

By Rail: The nearest railway station to the Durga Temple of Aihole is the Hubli- Sholapur meter gauge line. It is located approximately at 34 kms from the city. There is ample number of transport facilities available at the railway station that takes you directly to the Durga Temple.

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