Badami – the charm, that reveals itself slowly

Badami with the lake and cliffs in the background

There are no cozy hotels, comfortable hang out areas or similar stuff here. The village consists of a lively main street and pretty narrow, whitewashed single-storey houses. The main street – a constant honking, shouting around, buses, cows, pigs, small food stalls and small shops behind. On the other side of the village there is  an artificial, rectangular lake that is surrounded on three sides by Gats . These are the steps leading into the water, and especially helpful for the laundry washing women l. On two sides of the lake rises a rock formation and then  the lake almost nuzzles a bit into a valley. The landscape is rocky and barren, with beautiful views.

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Landscape around Badami

The main attraction of Badami are the rock temples from the 6th Century on the one side of the lake. The columns are not surrounded with sculptures, as I have seen it so often in Hampi. Instead there are truly great figures of the most important gods.

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Rocktemple in Badami

On the other side of the lake there are other temples up the hill , partly through small canyons, up to a Fort.


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Gats (steps) at the artificial lake


It is surprising: Badami is the starting point for visits to temples in three places: Badami, Pattadakal and Aiole, the latter is even a World Heritage Site. Here on the streets one notices this only slightly. Western tourists are still counted on one hand. However, many Indian tourists  can be seen in the temples.


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Small village street with Alegitti Shivalaa temple in the background


Almost all hotels are located along the noisy main road and none of them radiate such a thing as charm. I am choosing mines  because it has a restaurant with a garden according to myguidebook. Although there is no restaurant, there is still a backyard where you can comfortably sit quietly in the fresh air.


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Along the main street of Badami


This is where I also meet Ivan and Andreas, two semiprofessionals climbers, living in Austria. They are here since over four weeks and boulder daily on the rocks lying around.

I’ve heard in advance that Badami is good for climbing, although not as developed as Hampi. Hampi has its own climbing resorts and rental shops. Here it is different. The climbers travel with their own crash pads and arrive by taxi from Goa, otherwiese they could not carry all the  material.

I have immediately fantasies concerning the development of a climbing tourism and wonder if this could be a chance for the place. But these ideas are stifled by the two in the bud. Climbing is perhaps modern, but the sport does not have, what it needs to be a popular sport. The barrierof entry are too high (high fitness requirements, slip resistance, fear of heights). There were no positive examples of climbing tourism. If areas are opened up once to climb, they are thus also destroyed. He sees no way out – not even by a sophisticated site management (apart from the fact that this one  would probably be difficult to implement in India).


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There are definitely more monkeys than tourists in Badami

And therefore  Badami  will probably continue to be a small spot on the tourist map, where tourists stay for a quick visit, single travellers make a stop on the road between Hampi and Bijapurrmediate and sporadic climbers explore the rocksUnd so wird Badami wohl weiter ein kleiner Spot auf der touristischen Landkarte bleiben, wo Touristengruppen für eine schnelle Besichtigung absteigen, einzelne Traveller auf dem Weg zwischen Hampi und Bijapur Zwischenhalt machen und genauso vereinzelte Kletterer die Felsen erkunden.


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