Badami is formerly known as Vatapi, is picturesquely nestled at the mouth of a ravine between two rocky hills. The exquisite sculptures and sandstone cliffs of Badami bring forth many a tale from the yesteryears. Four rock-cut caves adorned with ancient carved pillars and bracket figures cut out of red sandstone is just a flight of steps away. The caves oversea the Agastya Theertha Lake, its banks dotted with a group of Bhutanatha Temples. Dedicated to Shiva’s form as the god of souls, spirits and ghosts, the Bhutanatha Temple dates back to the 7th century with the outer mantapa added in 11th century during the late Kalyani Chalukyan age. The caves are best seen at sunset when the evening sun captures the rust-red tint of the sandstone. A visit to Pattadakal is coupled with the visit to Badami and Aihole.