Emerald-green Agasthya Lake sparkles in the evening light, surrounded by a glowing sandstone outcrop that was once the capital of the Chalukya rulers. This town, which once answered to the name of Vatapi, was built back in the 6th century. Today it’s known as Badami, and it is named after the ruddy color of the rocky cliffs here.

Badami Caves, India Pictures

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