KARNATAKA
Badami
Badami, earlier known as Vatapi was the second capital of the Early Western Chalukyas (120 kms from Bijapur and 46 kms from Aihole).

It is situated at the mouth of a ravine between two rocky hills and is famous for its rock cut cave temples as well as the Chalukyan style strucutal temples.

The cave temples are situated adjacent to the Bhutanatha tank around which are found Nagamma, Siva & Vishnu shrines.

The cave temples are in 4 levels connected by a flight of stairs.
The lowermost cave which can be reached by climbing around 40 steps is dedicated to Lord Shiva It enshrins a siva lingam. Shiva as Nataraja is depicted with eighteen arms in 81 dance poses (cosmic dance). Carvings of Ardhanareeswara and Harihara, reliefs of Ganapati, Shanmukha and Mahishasuramardhini can also be seen in this cave.

The second cave reached by climbing 64 stairs from the first cave is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The Varaaha & Trivikrama & Krishna avatarams of Lord Vishnu are depicted here. There are numerous carvings on the ceiling of the cave. The carvings on the lintles display the churning of the ocean to get amirtham & Lord Krishna's childhood.

The most interesting is the 3rd cave which can be reached by climbing 60 steps from the second. Numerous forms of Lord Vishnu are depicted here - Vishnu seated on a nagaa (serpent), Narasimha (Vishnu as Man-Lion), Vishnu as Viraata purusha, Harihara (Vishnu & Siva) and Trivikrama.

The topmost, fourth cave temple is a Jain temple, with huge figures of the Jain Tirthankaras.

Several structural temple in the Chalukyan style (a combination of the North & South style) can be seen in the village. One of them is the Dattatreya temple with fine sculptures.

The first examples of the structural temples with vimana constructed by the Early Western Chalukyas are the upeer Sivalaya, lower Sivaalya & Malegitti Sivalaya.

There is an Archaeological Museum set up by the archaeological survey of India, which displays sculptures, including the Lajja-Gauri images of fertility cult, which flourished in the era.


Places of interest in Karnataka

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