General view of Badami from the hill
Photographer: Cousens, Henry
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of Badami from the hill, taken by Henry Cousens in the 1880s. The first mention of Vatapi, the former name for Badami, was by Ptolemy in 150 AD. when it was established as the Chalukya capital by Pulakeshin I in the 6th century the settlement's name changed to Badami. The town stands in a picturesque setting formed by an artificial lake, surrounded by an outcrop of red-ochre rock. A group of temples cut into the hillside that Badami has become reknowned for, can just be made out in the background, towards the left, of this photograph. Henry Cousens, in a report written at the time this photograph was taken, describes Badami eloquently, "The town, with its lake behind it, is held in the embrace of the rugged sandstone hills, whose beetling cliffs circle around them and throw out fortified horns to the north and the south. The crags and boulders, covered with wild cactus and jungle- leave but a few rough boulders strewn passages up through gorges and rents between the detached masses to the ruined forts above."