Kan: ಬಾದಾಮಿ bādāmi
‘Vatapi’ [Vatapi,Vatapipura] Town, Karnataka (Kar)
From Skt/Hin: vadāma(m)/bādāmi ‘almond (tree’)/’almond-coloured’; or Vatapi, the asura or demon.
Badami was the regional capital of the Chalukya kingdom in the 6-8thC and Vatapipura as a name first appears in 6thC cave inscriptions.
Badami is famous for its Hindu and Jain rock-cut cave temples dating from the 6thC with important historical inscriptions. The caves are carved into a horseshoe pattern of sandstone cliffs overlooking the green Agastya Lake.
The name Badami/Vatapi possibly comes from the Sanskrit/Hindi words for ‘almond’, a reference to the pale ruddy brown colour of these sandstone ridges [Article: The Almond-hued Hillocks – Badami Cliffs].
But there is a myth too:
In the Ramayana and Mahabharata the asura Vatapi used to transform himself into a goat to trap and consume his unsuspecting guests. His brother Ilvala would invite a hungry traveller to dinner. He would then cook the goat and serve it to the guest. Vatapi would then re-form himself in the unfortunate victim’s stomach and tear himself from the inside out.
The sage Agastya thwarted Vatapi by digesting the goat before he had time to re-constitute himself. Badami was the supposed location for this last feast and the town was named after the villain and its lake after the hero.