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Bagalkot district of Karnataka, India: Badami Fort Dinesh Badami, formerly known as Vatapi, is a town and headquarters of a taluk by the same name, in the Bagalkot district of Karnataka, India, on the summit of a cliff and just opposite to the cave temples of Badami. It was the regal capital of the Badami Chalukyas from CE 540 to 757. Badami Fort is spread over the hills in two parts, North and South, with the Agasthya Lake in between. The Badami North Fort is considered to be the principal fort situated on the northern part of the Agasthya Lake. This fort was constructed by Pulakeshi, the Chalukyan King in the year 543 A.D. There is a pathway, paved with red sandstone bedchambers and temples within the forts. Some and smoothed to a marble finish, cut right caves which are 10 feet high are supported by through the rock formation. On either side of the ornate black granite pillars. The pillars and walls pathway, steep rocks rise to more than a are richly decorated with an assortment of hundred feet. The forts have many cave temples celestial beings. The temples (dedicated to within them. The rooms and corridors are carved Vishnu, Shiva) were carved out of 100 odd feet of out of big rocks and clad with red sandstone. rock is something of an engineering marvel of the There are watchtowers, tunnels, prisons, era. A TO Z INDIA FEBRUARY 2023 PAGE 30

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