Badami Cave Temples, Karnataka
Badami caves are located in the Southern state of India, Karnataka. The caves are famous for their carved temples, magnificent surroundings and an artificial lake. The mountain, on which the Badami caves are located, is a stand-alone structure in the middle of the farmland. In between 4th – 8th century the Village was once an important city and capital of Chalukya empire. Today, the place is a historic tourist destination where you can find various historic monuments and temples.
One can admire the architectural style, which is a mix of North Indian as well as South Indian styles. Another popular tourist destination is Lake Agastya, which is an artificial lake built in 5th century. There are various monkey troupes in the temple premise, beware of them. The Badami cave temples are located in between the hill and Lake Agastya. The complex comprises of four cave temples built by cutting and carving huge sand stone rocks. These temples incline towards Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. Out of the four caves, one cave is dedicated to lord Shiva, two caves to Lord Vishnu and the fourth one to Jain Tirthankaras. The walls are full of carvings dedicated to various Gods and their incarnations
Cave 1 : The first cave at the entrance of the Badami cave complex is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The cave is believed to be carved out during 578 AD. The moment you enter the cave you see a square sanctum that consists about 40 carved pillars standing in the hall. The splendid paintings on the pillars and intricate caarvings will surely mesmerize you. The main hall of the temple has about 81 dance poses of Lord Nataraja, God of Dance, having 18 hands.
Cave 2 : Just above cave 1 is cave 2 dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Here you’ll see his three incarnated forms one being Trivikrama shown conquering earth with one foot and sky with the other.The second form is the Varaha, ‘a boar’ and the third one is in form of Lord Krishna, riding a Garnda and the lotus encircled by 16 fishes.
Cave 3 : The biggest ans most attractive of all the four caves is the Cave no. 3 located right above cave no. 2. The cave contains paintings dedicated to Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. It also shows some encriptions that state that the cave was built by Mangalesha. The front of the cave is spread over 70 feet and contains carvings of Trivikrama, Narasimha, Shankaranarayana, Bhuvaraha, Anantasayana, Harihara and many Ganas.
Cave 4 : Out of four caves this is the only Jain cave located on the east of the other three caves. The temple contains a mesmerizing image of Lord Mahavira inside the sanctum. Image of Lord Parsvanath with a serpent at his feet, Padmavathi and tirthankaras can also be seen inside the cave. The steps near the cave lead to Badami Fort, another interesting attraction of the town.