In Cave 2, you can see 4 tall pillars bordering a verandah. This cave is smaller than Cave 1. A number of dwarfs are engraved into the frieze below the verandah. They are seen in various poses and postures showcasing the daily lives of people in the Chalukyan Empire. It is still not clear why dwarfs were engraved here instead of common people. It is believed this was done to convey the fact that people of all sizes were very much a part of the same society. Cave 3 is the largest cave among all and is famous for its lifelike image of Vishnu seated on a serpent.
This image is also equated to the Chalukyan King who is believed to be seated in exactly the same position when he presided over matters of his kingdom. Other interesting images also dot the walls of the cave but this one is believed to be the most iconic. You can also see remains of murals on the roof of this cave.
Some of it has been badly restored as is evident in the picture below. This goes on to show the dire need of expert advice in the restoration of these historical places. This is the only cave in the complex that is dedicated to Jainism. You will find images of Tirthankaras all over the walls here especially those of Mahavira. This is a smaller cave when compared to the others.
But it is the last one in the line and quite the ideal place for peace and meditation.
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Apart from the cave temples of Badami, there is another very impressive temple complex on the banks of the Agastya Lake, the Bhutanatha Temple. These are a bunch of sandstone temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. In the rainy season, the complex is half submerged in the water of the lake. It resembles a floating temple and makes a very pretty sight.
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Right behind the temple is a small walkway that leads to another set of small caves. You can see a number of intricate carvings here including those of various incarnations of Vishnu. You can easily get to Badami from Bangalore, Mumbai, and Goa. The closest airport to Badami is the Hubli Airport which is well-connected with both Mumbai and Bangalore. There is a small railway station in Badami which is again well-connected with Bangalore.
You can also take the bus or drive a car to get to Badami from Bangalore. Easy accessibility from Bangalore makes it the preferred base when you are thinking of Badami. A trip to Badami can always be coupled with a trip to Hampi on a long weekend from Bangalore.
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This can also include a trip to the famous Dravida and Nagara temples of Pattadakal as well as the birthplace of Chalukyan architecture — Aihole. The best time to visit Badami Cave Temples is between November — February when the temperatures are milder and there is a slight nip in the air.
Mornings are pleasant and since the temples open early, you can use them to your advantage. Have you seen the Badami Cave Temples in Karnataka yet? Do you have any plans to go there soon? I am sure you will after looking at these gorgeous pictures.
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The cultural triangle of Aihole, Badami, and Pattadakal was the seat of superlative art and architecture years ago. It is definitely a must-do on your Indian itinerary today. We are planning to cover Hampi Pattadakal during the summer vacation this year and I hope to visit Badami too. That Nataraja and the sitting Vishnu bas relief looks splendid.
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I wish the approach road to these place are better maintained for the benefit of the visitors. Glad to get a glimpse of this place through your post! If only I have my own jet, I would fly immediately after reading your story. This is one of the impressive and gorgeous places in India, and it is so amazing that the people have manage to keep it.
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Thank you for introducing us this wonder. I visited the Ajanta and Ellora caves a couple of years back, and was really fascinated with the whole cave system, and how such things were built long back, and still stand to this date. Would definitely be checking out these Badami cave temples the next time I visit Karnataka. We were planning for Ajanta Ellora first but ended up going to Hampi and Badami.
And this was spectacular. India never fails to surprise, such a fantastic country! These caves are so beautiful and rich in super detailed sculptures. Definitely a place to add to the list for my next trip to India! I love rock-cut temples in India and have visited Mahabalipuram, Ajanta and Ellora but was not known to this stunning place. Thanks for sharing all the information of Badami cave temples as it has wonderful sculpture amidst beautiful rocks.
Carved Swastiks and Natraj with 18 hands are worth photogenic and also you have taken wonderful pictures of this place. Thanks Yukti.
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Loved visiting Badami and as you rightly point out, the carved Swastika and the Nataraj were very photogenic. What an absolutely stunning place!! These cave formations are incredible and make me want to visit India straight away! I would love to see the Badami Temple Caves in person one day. Thanks for the tip to visit between November and February!
Those carvings are so detailed and intricate! It really looks like Shiva is dancing. I am planning for an Indian trip in and definitely want to see these carved caves on my visit. These cave temples from the 4th — 5th-century C. E, located in Undavalli in Andhra Pradesh, are considered to have been Buddhist prior to being converted to Hindu places of worship.
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However, one of the most striking details from these caves today is a huge sculpture of the Hindu god Vishnu, in a reclining position, sculpted from a single block of granite. The caves are spread out in four stories, on a hill overlooking a river and surrounded by greenery. Estimated to date to around the 6 th century C. One of the earliest Hindu temples to still exist today, the structure is also among the most important remnants from the Chalukya Dynasty, which ruled the present day state of Karnataka and surrounding areas from the 6 th and 12th-century C.
Badami, Karnataka. Save to Wishlist. From Kashmir to Tamil Nadu, we round up a list of eight strikingly beautiful cave temples around India that demand your visit. Ellora Featuring over caves, of which only 34 are open to public, Ellora is one of the the largest rock-cut, monastery-temple cave complexes in the world. Udayagiri Caves Located near the city of Vidisha, northeast of Bhopal in the state of Madhya Pradesh, the Udayagiri Caves are some of the most important archaeological sites remaining from the Gupta empire, which ruled parts of the subcontinent around the 4 th to 6 th century C.
Amarnath Cave One of the holiest shrines in Hinduism even today, the Amarnath cave temple is located at an altitude of 12, ft, deep within the snow-covered mountains of Kashmir. Undavalli Caves These cave temples from the 4th — 5th-century C. Badami Cave Temple Estimated to date to around the 6 th century C. Read Next.
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