Bangalore - Badami

Dramatically situated within a horsehoe of red sandstone cliffs, overlooking the green waters of a large lake, this historic town was the capital of the powerful early Chalukya kings, who ruled the Deccan during the 6th-7th centuries AD. These rulers also held sway at pattadakal and Aihole. Among the rock-cut and sturctural monuments, the most richly decorated are the cave temples, which are carved into the cliff on the southern side. Of these, Cave1 is dedicated to Shiva, Caves2 and 2 to Vishnu, and Cave 4 to the Jain saints.

Cave 1

A flight of steps in this cave leads up to a pillared verandah, behind which is a square, columned hall with a small sanctuary carved into the rear wall. The highlights here are the Nataraja panel and the carved panels on the ceiling.

Cave 2

This Vaishnava cave has a superb frieze of Varaha, the boar incarnation of Vishnu, on one end of the porch. A row of dwarfs is carved below it.
Cave 3

The verandah of this large and beautiful cave has an enormous four-armed figure of Vishnu seated on Adisesha, the serpent whose five hoods spread protectively over his crown. At his feet is the bird Garuda, his mount. This is the only cave with an inscription, dated AD 578.

Cave 4

Standing and seated Jain tirthankaras cover the walls and columns in Cave 4, on top of a cliff. Some of these were added in the 11th and 12th centuries, when this part of Karnataka was governed by a later line a Chalukya rulers.

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