Situated on top of the northern hill of Badami, the Upper Shivalaya is a fine example of the rock-cut architectural style of the ancient Chalukyan empire. Built in the 7th century, this impressive structure gives one a magnificent panoramic view of the town of Badami and the beautiful Agastya lake. A large granary, double fortification walls, various architectural marvels and an underground chamber are also present across the area of the grand boulder. The Lower Shivalaya and Malegitti Shivalaya can be seen from here.
The Upper Shivalaya comprises of a large rectangular sanctuary created by the outer walls of the temple, with passageways on three sides. The walls are ornately designed, depicting various episodes from the legend of Ramayana on the South face, and the birth and childhood of Lord Krishna on the west face. The square tower over the sanctuary has pilastered walls topped off by a large Kuta.