Badami Cave Temple

Useful Information

Badami Cave Temple. Public Domain.
Location: Badami, Karnataka. About 120 km from Bijapur, 46 km from Aihole. (15.918333, 75.684167)
Fee: Adults Rs 100.
Classification: SubterraneaCave Church in sandstone
Guided tours:
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Badami Cave Temple. Public Domain.
Badami Cave Temple. Public Domain.

Badami is the Capital of the early Chalukya Empire. There are four rock-cut cave temples in the sandstone cliffs above the town, on the right side of a valley with an artificial lake. The valley contains numerous temples dedicated to Vishnu and Shiva. Most important are the Bhutanath temples that derived their name from the lake.

  1. The lowest temple dates back to 578 A.D.. On the upper end of a wry 40 steps staircase, the cave has a colonnaded veranda with many reliefs. Behind the colums lies a hall with numerous pillars and a square shaped sanctum. There are paintings of amorous couples, Shiva and his consort Parvati, a coiled serpent, and the 18-armed lord Nataraja in 81 dancing poses.
  2. Some stairs up is the second temple, dedicated to Vishnu. A dwarf or Trivikrama of awesome dimensions with one foot mastering the Earth and the other the sky, is a form of lord Vishnu. Another form of Vishnu portrayed here is a boar called Varaha. And finally there is a frieze depicting Vishnu as Lord Krishna.
  3. The third temple is the largest one, also dedicated to Vishnu. It is from the 6th century, and its reliefs give an insight into the art and culture of this time, showing costumes, jewelry, and hairstyle. Other reliefs depict Vishnu with a serpent, Vishnu as Narasimha (lionman) Varaha, Harihara (Shiva Vishnu) and Vishnu as Trivikrama. The front is 21 m wide.
  4. Finally there is Jain Cave, the youngest of the four temples, completed about 100 years later. The encarvings show Tirthankara Parshavnatha with a serpent at his feet and Mahavira in a sitting posture.

Badami Cave Temple Gallery