Badami - rock cut temples
Badami formerly known as Vatapi, is a town and headquarters of a taluk by the same name, 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. Badami has been selected as one of the heritage cities for HRIDAY - Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana scheme of Government of India.
The Puranic story says the wicked asura Vatapi was killed here by sage Agastya.
The rock-cut Badami Cave Temples were sculpted mostly between the 6th and 8th centuries. The four cave temples represent the secular nature of the rulers then, with tolerance and a religious following that inclines towards Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. cave 1 is devoted to Shiva, and Caves 2 and 3 are dedicated to Vishnu, whereas cave 4 displays reliefs of Jain Tirthankaras. Deep caverns with carved images of the various incarnations of gods are strewn across the area, under boulders and in the red sandstone. From an architectural and archaeological perspective, they provide critical evidence of the early styles and stages of the southern Indian architecture.
The Pallavas under the king Narasimhavarma I seized it in 642 AD & destroyed the Vatapi. Pulakeshi son Vikramaditya I of Chalukyas drove back Pallavas in 654 AD. and led a successful attack on Kanchipuram, the capital of Pallavas. The Rashtrakutas came to power in Karnataka including Badami around 757 AD and the town lost its importance. Later it was ruled by the Hoysalas.
Then it passed on to Vijayanagara empire, The Adil Shahis, Mughals, The Savanur Nawabs (They were vassals of Nizams and Marathas), The Marathas, Hyder Ali. The Britishers made it part of the Bombay Presidency.
Badami has eighteen inscriptions, among them some inscriptions are important. The first Sanskrit inscription in old Kannada script, on a hillock dates back to 543 CE, from the period of Pulakeshi I (Vallabheswara), the second is the 578 CE cave inscription of Mangalesha in Kannada language and script and the third is the Kappe Arabhatta records, the earliest available Kannada poetry in tripadi (three line) metre.One inscription near the Bhuthanatha temple also has inscriptions dating back to the 12th century in Jain rock-cut temple dedicated to the Tirtankara Adinatha.