Cave Temples of Badami

Cave Temples of Badami

The Cave Temples of Badami in Northern Karnataka are part of UNESCO’s World Heritage Site. They are well maintained, and the sculptures are mind blowingly exquisite. Highly recommended. The above is an image of Shiva as Nataraja, Lord of the Dance. Apparently, his 9 arms on each side create the 81 combinations of Bharatnatyam poses.

This is Shiva as ArdhanariNareshwar – half man and half woman, symbolizing that divine combines aspects of male and female. Note the left side is more shapely, sports a breast, the left hand carries a lotus bud and accompanied by a female attendant.
Cave Temples of Badami

This is the cave temple itself. Note the beautifully carved pillars. What an amazing feat to turn an ordinary red stone mountain to a work of art. The entire place is carved ‘in’ the mountain!
[click image for larger version]
Cave Temples of Badami

Writeup and pics from the other Cave Temples of Badami:


  1. […] a recent visit to India, we hired a cab to take us from Belgaum to Badami – to see the exquisitely carved cave temples. The route goes through some of the most rural and poorest parts of North Karnataka, with whole […]

  2. […] pic: As we parked near the Cave temples of Badami, these two came up and he confidently asked me to take their pic. They appeared to be siblings […]

  3. […] Visiting the Caves Temples at Badami. […]

  4. […] Durga as Mahisasura-mardini, from the 6th century, Cave Temples of Badami […]

  5. […] In the port city of Mamallapuram (then Mahabalipuram) in 590 ce, Mahendra Varman initiated the concept of mandapas, or pavilions, wherein prayer halls were scooped out of the side of mountains with sculpted images in bas relief and supported with simple columns. Mahendra Varman was certainly inspired by similar mandapas in nearby Andhra lands and possibly also the Chalukyan cave temples in Badami. See my posts on Cave Temples of Badami. […]

  6. […] is a given. We have ooh-ed and aah-ed at exquisite artistry served in devotion to the divine at Badami, and the many beautiful shrines […]

  7. […] the Chalukyan cave temple architecture from the 6th century. Cave one was dedicated to Shiva as the impressive Nataraja; and Devi as Mahisasuramardini. Cave two honors Vishnu and his avataars Varaha and […]

  8. […] 6th century Cave Temples of Badami, in Northern Karnataka: Cave One is dedicated to Shiva as the impressive Nataraja; and Devi as Mahisasuramardini. Cave Two honors Vishnu and his avataars Varaha and Vamana. Cave […]

  9. […] to Shiva and you saw some impressive high relief figures of Nataraja and Ardhanareshwara in my earlier post. In a prominent niche in this cave, is also housed a beautiful sculpture of Durga Devi in the form […]

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