The cave temples of Badami are situated in Bagalkot District of Karnataka. Badami Cave Temples are considered as the origin of cave temples. These temples are chiseled out of a huge rock hill. The architectural work of Ajanta Ellora Caves is said to have its origin in Badami Cave Temples.
The Badami Cave Temples are marvelous and represent the beautiful traditions of Shaivism, Vaishnavism, Buddhism and Jainism.
There is a fascinating sculpture in the first cave temple, the sculpture of Nataraja with 18 arms each of them expressing 18 different mudras [symbolic hand gestures]. Near to this stand the highly adorable images of Ganapati and Nandi.
The images of Lakshmi Parvati and the image of crawling Nagaraja are extraordinary. In the second cave temple, there are beautiful figures of Vishnu, Varaha [a boar] and Krishna avatars.
The sculpture of Mahavishnu in this temple is an important one among sculptures, it is alluring too. In the third cave temple, there are images of Vishnu, Indra and Brahma. On the ceiling, there are intricate carvings of male and female figures flying in the clouds.
The fourth cave temple is a Jain temple. The important sculptures in this temple are Mahavira represented as sitting on a throne and that of Bahubali. This cave temple has detailed carving of most of the religious beliefs and customary rites of Jainism. The majestic architectural works make the temple strikingly beautiful.
Shiva and Parvati
The images of Shiva and Parvati, dancing positions of Shiva, image of Anantashayanam [Vishnu sleeping on the serpent Ananta] in the Vaishnava Temple, androgynous form of Shiva and Parvati, Narasimha avatar, Varaha avatar, Vardhamana Mahavira, Bahubali, Parshvanath, etc. show the art of sculpture in its peak.
Near Badami Cave Temples, there is a church built by Adil Shahi Dynasty of Bijapur, on the walls of which are Arabic writings of hymns in praise of Allah. Viewing from the front of Badami Caves, there can be seen a large lake and Butanatha Temple on its banks. All of these sites are protected and preserved by the Archeological Survey of India.
Lake And Butanatha Temple
I would suggest that when visiting the temple, one should carry a stick as there are lots of monkeys in here. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing and listening to the stories behind the beauty of artistic works. It is time to say goodbye to Badami.