Badami (22 km)
Known as Vatapi in ancient India, Badami was once the capital of the Chalukyas who rose to power in much of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh in the middle of the 6th century AD. Its claim to world fame lies in the magnificent rock-cut cave temples built by the Early Chalukyas who is great temple builders. Awesome achievement of the architects, the Badami temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and the Jain Tirthankaras, displaying the secular nature of the Chalukyas of Vatapi or modern Badami. These temples are known for profusion of symbolic and mystical carvings of the highest order.
Aihole (10 km)
The wonderful monuments found at Aihole are mute spectator of the glory of the Chalukyas of Badami. The first great ruler of the dynasty was Pulikeshin I (543-66 A.D) who performed the ashwamedha (horse sacrifice) after vanquishing many rulers including those of the Kadamba dynasty. He made Vatapi (modern Badami in Bagalkot district) his capital. His grandson, Pulikeshin II (609-42) built a vast empire which extended from Narmada in the north to the Cauveri in the south. He is credited with checking the southern march of Harshvandhana of Kanauj.