The cave temples of Badami in Karnataka

Badami is a small town with a population of around 26,000 in the Bagalkot district of Karnataka state, on the northern part of the Deccan Plateau.  
The Agastya Tirtha reservoir, which is surrounded by sandstone cliffs, is to the east of the town. To the West, Badami trails out into flat farmland.The early Western Chalukya dynasty made Badami its capital and created the renowned free-standing and cave temples from the late 6th to the 8th century. The previous capital of the Chalukyas was Aihole; Pattadakal became the subsequent capital. The three capitals, and the fourth temple town of Mahakuta, which are located only a few kilometers apart, were milestones in the development of Indian temple construction.

As documented by an inscription, Badami was established as the Chalukya capital in 543 under the name Vatapi by the first great ruler of the western Chalukyas, Pulakeshin I. From 641 to 654, the town was ruled by the Pallavas following its conquest by Narasimhavarman I. Badami was governed during that time by Vikramaditya I. After Badami was taken back by Chalukyas, the city was conquered by Dantidurga of the Rashtrakutas in 753/754 and was ruled by the Rashtrakutas until 973. Only then did the Chalukyas find their way back to Badami.

Many temples and cave shrines were built there, especially during the early Chalukya period. Pulakeshin I and Mangalesha were two renowned rulers who were responsible for many of the temples, such as Cave III in Badami.

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