As per the Hindu tradition, it is mandatory for a newly-wed couple to pay a visit to their ‘kula-devi’ or the family deity, at least once in their lifetime. For some, it becomes a sort of an annual ritual to make the visit as in our case where we go to seek blessings of our family deity, ‘Banshankari’ of Badami.
Going to Badami and obtaining a darshan of the deity brings us mental peace and untold satisfaction as we view the compassionate form of the deity in all her finery. As you approach Cholachagudd, near Badami where the temple is situated, you are hit by the welcoming green arch formation of trees lining on each side of the road and the huge stone or rock cut formations.
The heritage traveler will find the visit to Badami and its surrounding areas invigorating and it is best if he takes the popular Karnataka Heritage Circuit tour.
Brief on the Karnataka Heritage Circuit
Badami, along with Bijapur and Hampi form the Karnataka Heritage Circuit which is a popular destination for the heritage traveler. Badami lies in the Bagalkot district of North Karnataka and is situated in a beautiful ravine at the foot of a red sandstone outcrop. The temple of ‘Banshankari’ and other rock cut temples of Badami and areas around it take us back to ancient era and give an insight into the temple architecture prevailing in different time periods.
The other must visit places in Badami are:
- Badami Fort
However, one has to be very careful of the monkeys which abound in large numbers near the Badami caves.
Areas to visit around Badami and their distance are:
- Aihole- 33 km
- Pattadakal- 22 kms
The temples at Aihole are famous for their rock cut architecture while Pattadakal is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Hospet, the second part of the heritage triangle is the accommodation halt for visitors to the world famous Vijayanagar Empire ruins and is situated about 131 kms from Badami. The Hampi ruins, a must visit spot for the heritage traveler is another designated UNESCO world heritage site and is located about 13 kms from Hospet.
Bijapur, third part of the heritage triangle lies about 120 kms from Badami, close to the Karnataka-Maharashtra border. It is famous for Gol Gombuz, one of the largest domes in the world.
Ideal Time to Visit
The best period to visit Badami are the months of January-February as the annual temple festival, which includes the ‘Banshankari Rath Yatra’ during that period is worth watching. A visit during the months of March-April will enable you to view the Virupaksha Temple Car festival and Mallikarjuna Temple festival held in Pattadakal.
There are many decent to premium hotels in Badami with rates varying to suit each individual’s pocket. Premium hotels like ‘Badami Heritage Resort’ or ‘Badami Court’ are a little away from the temple. There are some pretty decent ones near the busy bus stand; however, in both cases it is always better to book in advance.
Ways of reaching the place
- Badami has a railway station which is about 68 kms from Gadag; likewise you can approach it from Hubli and Bijapur, which are situated at a distance of 105 kms and 120 kms respectively.
- The nearest airport is Hubli from where one can drive down to Badami or take the rail route.
- Badami is well connected by bus routes from any part of Karnataka.
- The last option is to drive down all the way from Pune and reach Badami in about 9 hours with minimum halts for food.