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Pattadakkal Cave Temples Open Air Museum Aihole
Bhuthanatha Temple Banashankari Temple      

Pattadakkal

 
Pattadakkal, is a World Heritage Center and is 29 km away from Badami. It is located on the left bank of the river Malaprabha. The Chalukya period was the golden era of Pattadakkal which was during the 7th and 8th centuries. 

The prime attractors of the city are the Virupaksha temple and Banashankari temple. The Virupaksha temple is confined in a large quad which is surrounded by small cells. It has a monolithic gateway and several inscriptions are inscribed on it. 

Best season to visit Pattadakkal is between September-February. Summers are extremely hot and should be avoided.

Cave Temples

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Cave Temples, There are in all 4 cave temples in Badami. They are carved from a hill which is opposite the fort of Badami. Three caves represent the Brahmanical style. The fourth one follows the Jain style. Nearly 2000 steps should be climbed in order to reach the cave. 

The first cave has Shiva as Natraja with eighteen arms and he is seen in 81 dancing postures. Lord Vishnu is the holy deity of the second cave and is evidenced as a dwarf or Trivikrama. The third cave has Vishnu evidenced in many forms. The fourth cave is devoted to Jain Thirthankaras.
 

Open Air Museum

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rai ranchodjiOpen Air Museum, The museum is situated at the foothills of the northern hill which contains the northern fort. It was instituted in 1979. The museum mainly constitutes prehistorical stone equipments and sculptures which dates between 6th to 16th century AD. 

The museum has four galleries. It has an open gallery in the porch and an open air gallery in front. Exhibits of Shiva and Vishnu can be seen in the museum. 

The museum is open between 10 am and 5 pm. It remains closed on Fridays. Entrance fee is Rs 2/- per head. No fee is charged for children below 15 years.

Aihole

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Aihole, is a historical place and is known as the birthplace of Hindu stone architecture. It is a town in the Bagalkot district in Karnataka, located on the west side of Badami and has more than 125 temples in all. It is a very famous tourist spot. Aihole is known the playground of architecture. 

Aihole is situated to the east of Pattadakal along the Malaprabha river. Distinctive characteristics which are unparalleled to early Western Chalukyan architecture include mortarless fabrication with stress on length and not on width or height. Roofs are flat with richly cut up ceilings.
 

Bhuthanatha Temple

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rai ranchodjiBhuthanatha Temple, There are two Bhuthanatha Temples which faces the lake. The Bhutanatha monuments constitute the early modes and phases of South Indian temple architecture. Both the temples glitter with a very special color from the sun in the afternoon. They are made of local sandstone. The lake beneath the cave temples borrows its name from the Bhutanatha temples.  The temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva. The deity is presented in the form of Bhutanatha which means God of Souls. 

The sculptures of the avatars of Vishnu and some Jain figures can be found on the boulders posterior to this temple.

Banashankari Temple

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Banashankari Temple, 5 kilometers away from Badami at Cholachigud is the locale of the famous Banashankari Temple. The temple is believed to have been built in the 17th century by the Chalukyas of Kalyan. 
Banashankari Temple has substantial mythic relevancy too. The Skanda Purana says that Devi Parvathi killed a demon called Durgamasura at Banashankari. The idol is made of black stone and the Goddess is seen to be seated on a lion. It can also be seen that she is treading a monster by her foot. 
The best time to pay a visit to Banashankari Temple is Pushya-Maas which is January - February when the car festival is normally organized.