Badami (quoting Wikipedia), formerly known as Vatapi, is located in the Bagalkot district of Karnataka, India. It was the regal capital of the Badami Chalukyas from 540 to 757 AD. It is famous for rock cut and other structural temples. It is located in a ravine at the foot of a rugged, red sandstone outcrop that surrounds Agastya lake.
In my own words, Badami is a must visit. It has some amazing ruins, and there are places around Badami that are worth a visit too. The drive from Hyderabad to Badami lies along NH 218, which does not have much traffic and the 500 kms can be covered quite easily 🙂
Posting first some snaps of what I saw in Badami itself. The key thing to see in badami are the temples in the form of rock cut caves. There’s a sequence of 4 temples, each devoted to a different deity.
Near the entrance to the cave devoted to Lord Shiva
Beautiful carvings on the ceiling
Inside the cave devoted to Lord Vaishnava
A large cave along the way
An eerie looking room inside one of the caves
Inside cave devoted to Lord Vaishnava
Lot of monkeys at the place!!
View of one side of Badami
Another place to visit in Warangal is the Thousand Pillars temple. No, I did not count if there were indeed a thousand pillars 🙂 But I did read somewhere that many have been taken to another other site for restoration.
The temple was built in 1213 AD and constructed with black basalt.
Warangal is located about 150 kms from Hyderabad, and is definitely a good weekend getaway for travel starved folks in Hyderabad 😀 The city was ruled by the Kakatiya dynasty from 12th to 14th centuries, and therefore has many monuments left from that era. While most are in ruins, they still give a glimpse into what might have existed then, as well as showcase some very intricate stone work. It is amazing to realize that these stones have survived eight hundred years!
For more information, see this Wikipedia article on Warangal.
The Warangal Fort housed the center of power. It is surrounded by four massive stone gateways, and (after reading up about it), seems to have been a heavily ‘fortified’ fortress at that time.
Inside Warangal Fort
Inside Warangal Fort
One of the four stone gateways around the fort
Stone pillars inside the fort with intricate work
Through the walls