Cave temples are the landmark of Badami. Located on a hill, they were scooped out of the sandstone hills. Displaying the brilliant example of Indian rock-cut architecture, the cave temples consist of four caves. These temples were built in the 6th century. The entrance of these caves is marked by porch decorated with stone columns and brackets. A little ahead is the mandap with numerous columns. This mandap leads to a small shrine(square in shape) located deep into the cave. Reflecting secular nature, the cave temples are dedicated to different deities. Out of the four temples, two are dedicated to Lord Vishnu, one to lord Shiva and the fourth one is a Jain temple. The architectural style of the temples is a marriage between North Indian Nagara style and South Indian Dravadian style. Each temple houses a shrine, a mandapa, a porch and several pillars. The carvings, sculptures and murals inside the temples leave the onlookers under the spell of their sheer beauty.
The Four Caves
The first cave temple preceded the other three in construction. A flight of steps lead to the shrine. The ceiling of the cave is festooned with the beautiful paintings of amorous couples. This cave is dedicated to lord Shiva and hence his idol and his consort's idol(goddess Parvati) can be seen here. Eye catching attraction within the cave is the images of lord Nataraja(the cosmic dancer)in eighty one dancing poses.
The second cave temple is dedicated to lord Vishnu. 'Trivikrama'(dwarf) form of the lord is present here. Another form of the lord seen here is 'Varaha' (boar).
The third cave is famous for its Ganas carvings. The sculptures in this cave are simply mind boggling. The architecture of this cave depicts the costumes, jewellery and hairstyle of the 6th century. This is also dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Several forms of the lord can be seen here.
The fourth cave is a Jain temple dedicated to the Tirthankara Parshavnatha. The temple also houses the sculpture of Mahavira in a sitting posture.
Come to the Cave Temples to delve into the beauty of ancient India.