Badami : a Safe Haven for Climbing

Badami is located in the northern part of Karnataka. There is a lot of mountainous terrain in the areas surrounding Badami, which has made it an extremely popular site for rock climbing. The natural environment is constituted of sharp cliffs made of sandstone, which add a red tinge to the area. The sandstone that makes up the vast mountainous terrain provides a satisfactory grip to climbers, since it is compact and smooth. It is also not as ‘high-impact’ and robust as granite, which allows for a less painful fall, if the situation arises.

When it comes to cultural heritage, the most famous monuments here are the 4 stone cave temples nestled in the sandstone cliffs. The rock cut temples were built between 600 and 700 CE, and pay homage to deities from several religions, like Buddhism and Hinduism.

Badami rocky cliffs and temples
Badami rocky cliffs and temples

The population of Badami is quite small, around 25,000 people in total. But the area has attracted several native and foreign climbers, who are eager and enthusiastic to survey the area and experience the beauty of nature. Climbers like Kurt Albert, Helmut Gargitter and Arnaud Petit have visited Badami. The ‘Puss man’ climbing line in Badami was first ascended by Kurt Albert. Gargitter and  Petit are also known to have ascended several of the more challenging paths of the area.

Local rock climber, Ganesha Waddar says,”Granite is a much harder surface to clim on than the red sandstone. In Badami, the rocks are smooth and we find

Ganesh Waddar
Ganesh Waddar

it much easier to lead beginners down the bolted paths because of the firm grip.”

Efforts have been made in recent years in order to establish safe climbing routes in Badami. There are around a hundred and fifty bolted routes in the area, with varying difficulties, that can challenge climbers and give them the complete experience of ascending the mountains in the centre of nature. Bolts for Bangalore, established by Gerhard Schaar, a rock climber from Germany and Pranesh Manchaiah, from Bangalore, established 50 climbing routes in the area. These grant safety and efficiency to climbers in the area.  Those earlier attempting to climb the routes had reported some missing hangers, which added a risk to their safety. The workers would also take a large amount of time to establish bouldering paths, since they would use manual drilling machines. The glue in bolt and rope method introduced here by Mr. Schaar shortened the timespan of building the paths by quite a large amount. Several routes were established, and a lot of them were on the easier side of difficulty. This enabled the area to become more accessible for prospective climbers.

Gerhard Schaar
Gerhard Schaar

“A lot of the easier routes were earlier damaged, making it hard for beginners to climb. Several have been rectified by the Bolts project. It makes it much safer”, claims Mr. Waddar.
Some of the routes are fraught with challenges, but beginners can also go on easier bouldering paths, since the difficulty of the paths is set on a scale.

Schaar created a detailed handbook or manual that provides a detailed map of the terrain of the various climbing routes. All of these are composed of sandstone, and are lined with bouldering paths made with the rope and bolt method implemented by Schaar. The implements that Bolts for Bangalore made have added a great deal of efficiency to the climbing experience in the hills of Badami.

Article by – Shantanu Tilak

Now you can buy Badami souvenir tshirts on our store – link.


Ganesha Waddar-
Schaar –

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