Badami was the capital of the Early Chalukyas, who ruled much of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh between the 6th and 8th centuries. It was founded in 540 A.D. by Pulakesi I (535-566 AD), an early ruler of the Chalukyas. His sons Kirthivarman (567-598 AD) and his brother Mangalesha I (598-610 AD) constructed the cave temples. The greatest among them was Pulakeshi II (610-642 AD) who defeated many kings including Pallava king Mahendra Verman I and extended the kingdom.
There is a small station in Badami which is located 5 km from the center. Trains from Bangalore, Bijapur and other cities stop there regularly. From the station, there are many rickshaws to reach the center. You can also wait a bus which goes to the bus stand. It will cost you only Rs. 3.
From Mumbai, there are two options. Take the Hussainsagar Express to and change at Solapur Junction (Arrives at 5.25 AM) to the Solapur-Hubli (Departs Solapur at 6.25 AM) Express. Alternately, take the Chalukya Express (Mumbai to Puducherry) to Hubli Junction and change to a Solapur bound train from Hubli. One can also take the Mumbai Bijapur Fast Passenger, but that runs only 4 days a week.
From the center, all the main sites are reachable by feet. However, there are plenty of rickshaws which would be happy to transport you. The best way to explore this small town is through your feet.
Best way of getting around is hire an passenger auto for a day trip including caves, museum, bhootnath temples, fort, Pattadkal and Aihole and drop to railway station. Rates as on June 2011; Auto charges 500-750 (from railway station to railway station)ideal for a grp of 3-4 ppl.avlbl at railway station. Tata ace Magic (auto) 800-1000 comfortable for a grp of 10; avlble at the town oppo bustand. charges does not include parking charges,(caves=20/-;Pattadkal=10/-;Aihole=20/-) also it does not include Banashankri and Mahakuta temples.
Auto charges to just cover Badami alongwith Banashankari temple is 400Rs as of March 2013 for however many people fitting in the auto. On an average, 6-8 people fit into it. Takes around 3-4 hours.
ideal time needed to cover only badami hot-spots is 6 hours.if you add not so popular spots you need a whole day. Visit the caves early morning or evening to click great pics. Pattadkal is 2 hours max. weras Aihole will demand 4-5 hours.
Almost all the main attractions of Badami are located around the Agasythya Tank.
Banashree veg restuarant just oppo the busstand is ideal for vegies.
There are many monkeys in Badami, some of them especially the gray langurs can be aggressive.