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Badami Cave Temple

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Karnataka

Badami

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Bangalore

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Belur

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Bidar

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Bijapur

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Coorg

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Gulbarga

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Hampi

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Hassan

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Mysore

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 The erstwhile capital of early Chalukyas, Badami is known for its beautiful carved cave temples belonging to 6th & 7th centuries. Wedged between two rocky hills at the mouth of a ravine, the four rock-cut cave temples display the full range of religious sects that evolved in India. Overlooking the sandstone caves, is an artificial lake lined with four temples on its shores. While three of the temples belong to Vedic faith, the fourth and natural cave is the only Jain temple at Badami. Out of the three Hindu temples, two are dedicated to Lord Vishnu while one is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The beautiful carvings, paintings and bracket figures depict Lord Narasimha (with the face of a lion and body of a man), Lord Vishnu Hari Hara (half-Shiva and half-Vishnu), Vishnu Narayana sitting or reclining on Shesh Nag or Ananta (Eternity) and various other figures and scenes from Hindu mythology.

Each of the cave temples have a sanctum, a hall, an open verandah and pillars adorned with spectacular carvings and sculptures. The architectural style can be said to be a blend of Indian Nagara style and the South Indian Dravidian style. The beautiful murals and the masterpieces found in these caves include the well-renowned idol of 18-armed Lord Nataraja (Shiva), which seems to strike 81 poses when observed closely. Cave 4 or the last cave houses the idol of 24th Tirthankara, Mahavira seated against a cushion in the inner sanctum. It is said that the construction of the world-famous Elephanta and Ellora caves were inspired by the Badami caves. The other shrines worth visiting at Badami are the the shrine of Nagamma, the local serpent goddess, on the bank of the ancient Bhutnatha lake, and the two Shiva temples where Lord Shiva can be seen sitting in a rare pose of leaning back besides the water in the inner sanctum.


 


Badami | Bangalore | Belur | Bidar | Bijapur | Coorg | Gulburga | Hampi | Hassan | Hospet | Mysore

   


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