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Vidhana Soudha, Bangalore, Karnataka
Home / Karnataka / Temples in Karnataka / Badami Cave Temples


Badami Cave Temples, Karnataka

Badami located in North Karnataka, the Money in the Early Chalukyas. It's famous for its gorgeous carved cave temples, synthetic lake , Museme & rock-cut into the cliff face of a red sandstone hill, in the 6th & 7th Centuries. It's picturesquely located at the mouth of a ravine between two rocky hills. Its all four cave temples - all hewn out of sandstone on the precipice of a hill. They display the full range of religious sects which have developed in India. Overlooking the temples is a reservoir, its banks dotted with temples. Two of them are dedicated to Vishnu, one to Shiva and the fourth is a Jain temple. The first three belong to the Vedic faith and the fourth and natural cave is the only Buddhist temple in Badami. Here are some splendid carvings from the Hindu Pantheon. Narasimha the half-man half Lion avatar of Vishnu Hari Hara, the composite god who is half-Shiva and half-Vishnu. Vishnu Narayana sitting as well as reclining on the snake Shesh or Ananta (Eternity ) There are also some painting on the ceiling and wonderful bracket figures on the piers. The caves found here are as follows:

Cave 1:
One can easily climb to cave 1 made of red sandstone. It antedates 578 A.D. and was probably the first to be carved. Climbing the 40 odd steps to reach the colonnaded verandah, a hall with numerous pillars and a square shaped sanctum hollowed in the control backwall. Column shafts are masterfully crafted. On the ceiling one can see the paintings of amorous couples. Shiva and his consort Parvati, and a coiled serpent. Shiva as Natraja with 18 arms is seen in 81 dancing poses.

Cave 2:
This cave is dedicated to Vishnu. Vishnu here is depicted as a dwarf or Trivikrama of awesome dimensions with one foot mastering the Earth and the other the sky, the second cave is atop a sandstone hill. Vishnu here is depicted as a dwarf or. Another form of Vishnu portrayed here is as 'Varaha' or as a boar. Vishnu riding the Garnda & lotus surrounded by sixteen fishes.

Cave 3:
Still going higher up one comes across this 578 A.D. The facade from the cave is nearly 70 feet wide, on the plinth one can see the carvings of ganas. The sheer artistry and sculptural genius makes it this cave the highlight of Deccani art. It gives a virtual insight into the art and culture with the 6th century like costumes, jewelry hairstyle lifestyle etc. The other attractions to be looked carefully in this cave are the high relief of Vishnu with a serpent, Vishnu as Narasimha (Vishnu as Man-Lion) Varaha, Harihara (Shiva Vishnu) and Vishnu as Trivikrama.

Cave 4:
Lying to the east of cave three, the fourth cave is Jain. There is an image of Mahavira adorning the sanctum. Other carvings here are of Padmavathi & other Thirthankaras. Asteep climb up some steps cut in a crevice between Cave II & III leads to the southern part of Badami Fort & to an old gun placed there by Tippu Sultan.

Places to See
Naganath Temple - 10 Kms, located in a forest on the way to Mahakuta, it really is one from the early Chalukyan temples dedicated to Shiva.

Aihole - 46 Kms. There is a remarkable group of temples here built during the reign of Chalukyan rulers, dating in the sixth to the eighth centuries.

Tranquil lake - Take a dip in this green tranquil lake. It truly is said to have healing properties. According to a popular story, King Kushataraya was cured of leprosy here.

Archaeological Museum - Museum with Shiva's bull, "Nandi" at its entrance overlooking the dammed lake is worthwhile for the scholarly. This museum is closed on Fridays.

Badami Fort - 2 Kms. Strategically situated on top of the hill, the fort encloses large granaries, a treasury impressive temples on top from the northern end with the hill. Malegitti Shivalaya, perhaps the oldest temple with the lot, is dedicated to the benign aspect of Shiva as the garland maker. Placed on the summit of a rocky hill, the temple is built of stone, finely joined without mortar, & with Dravidian tower. The lower Shivalaya has a Dravidian tower of which only the sanctum remains now.