(This is the first of a two-part article that speaks about the Chalukyan temples and their architecture, found mostly in and around Karnataka)
The ancient name of Badami was – Badami. Vatapi was the Sanskrit name that the Chalukyas gave it, when they ruled over the area. Dr. Silakant Pathar, whose D. Litt thesis was ‘Badami- A cultural study,’ says the Chalukyas changed many Kannada names into Sanskrit. For example, Kisuvolal (red town) became Raktapura.
Archaeologist Dr. A. Sundara, who surveyed 2,000 villages in Maharashtra and Karnataka, when he was with the Archeological Survey of India, has an interesting interpretation about how the association of the area with the asura Vatapi might have come about.