The capital of the Early Chalukyas, Badami is picturesquely situated at the
mouth of a ravine between two rocky hills, Badami is famous for its cave
temples - all hewn out of sand stone on the precipice of a hill.
Badami is an interesting place to visit in Karnataka what with its
artificial lake, ancient temples, Museum and Hindu and Jain caves carved in
the Sandstone hills. The largest and most ornamental is the third cave
temple dedicated to Vishnu.
Overlooking the cave temples is a reservoir dotted with temples dedicated
to Vishnu and Shiva. Also a must are the Bhutanath temples that lend their
name to the lake beneath the cave temples. The main attractions of Badami
are the caves found there. The caves found here are as follows:
- Cave 1
The first cave made of red sandstone, dates back to 578 A.D. and was
probably the first to be carved. One has to climb up 40 odd steps to
reach the colonnaded verandah, a hall with numerous pillars and a square
shaped sanctum hollowed in the control back wall.
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. The 18-armed lord Nataraja can be seen in 81 dancing
- Cave 2
Dedicated to lord Vishnu depicted here 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. Then there is a frieze endearingly
depicting Vishnu as Lord Krishna.
- Cave 3
Still going higher up one comes across this cave antedating 578 A.D.
The facade of the cave is nearly 70 feet wide, on the plinth one can see
the carvings of ganas. The sheer artistry and sculptural genius makes
this cave the highlight of Deccan art.
It gives a virtual insight into the art and culture of 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
The only Jain cave, the construction of Cave four started in the 6th
century and completed after nearly 100 years later then the earlier
Here one can see the carvings of the Tirthankara Parshavnatha with a
serpent at his feet; Mahavira in a sitting posture also can be seen in