Badami is located in the North of Karnataka state (South India). It was the erstwhile capital of the Chalukya Dynasty from 540 to 757 AD. It is situated at the foot of a ravine, surrounded by sandstone hills.
Badami is famous for rock cut and other structural temples. It has four rock-cut cave temples. Sculptured out of solid rock they are profusely adorned with carvings of which the 18 armed Nataraja and the flying Ghandarvas are well known and famous.
Bhutanatha temple surrounded by Agastya lake
* It is a sandstone temples dedicated to the deity Bhutanatha, in Badami town of Karnataka state, India.
*The rock-cut Badami Cave Temples were sculpted mostly between the 6th and 8th centuries. The four cave temples represent the secular nature of the rulers then, with tolerance and a religious following that inclines towards Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. cave 1 is devoted to Shiva, and Caves 2 and 3 are dedicated to Vishnu, whereas cave 4 displays reliefs of Jain Tirthankaras. Deep caverns with carved images of the various incarnations of Hindu gods are strewn across the area, under boulders and in the red sandstone. From an architectural and archaeological perspective, they provide critical evidence of the early styles and stages of the southern Indian architecture.
* Lord Shiva is worshiped as the God of Souls in the Bhutanatha Temple.
* It has a superstructure that resembles early South Indian style or North Indian style with its open mantapa (hall or Veranda) extending into the lake. The entrance is a verandah (mukha mandapa) with stone columns and brackets, a distinctive feature of these caves, leading to a columned mandapa – main hall (also maha mandapa)
* The inner shrine and mantapa (hall) were constructed in the late 7th century during the reign of the Badami Chalukyas while the outer mantapa, facing the Badami tank, was completed during the rule of the Kalyani Chalukyas of the 11th century.
* In the inner hall, a heavy architrave above the columns divides the hall into a central nave and two aisles.
*The signature sculpture of Badami – the dancing Lord – Nataraja.
*This is a unique depiction of Nataraja, since he is depicted with 18 arms.
*The 9 arms on the left and the 9 on the right together depict the 81 postures of Bharatanatyam – the divine dance.
*If you observe closely, you can see that this Ganesha does not have a potbelly. I was told that this depicts the famous ‘Vatapi Ganapathy’. For those of you who haven’t heard of this, a short explanation – Vatapi was the original name of Badami, and it is believed that there was a special idol of Ganesha here which was taken by the Pallavas and installed in a temple at Thiruchengattangudi near Thanjavur. The Ganesha there is still called Vatapi Ganapathy and there even is a famous song in Carnatic music dedicated to Him.
*Shakti or Parvati – here depicted as Mahishasura Mardini (slayer of the demon Mahisha)
*One of the most beautiful sculptures here is that of Shiva and Parvati depicted as one – Ardhanareeshwara.
Pillars in cave temple 2
Badami caves musiciens
*Location: Badami is located in Karnataka, 30 Kms from Bagalkot and 589 Km from Bangalore
*Nearest Airport: Belgaum, 190 Km
*Nearest Railway station: Hubli, 100 Km
Bijapur – 125 Km
Aihole – 46 Km
Pattadakkal – 29 Km
Hospet – 190 Km