As you have already read about our arrival in Badami in my previous blog, here I am writing in brief about the Badami cave. Caves are the major attraction of Badami and are maintained by ASI. There are four caves in Badami dedicated to Lord Shiva, Vishnu and Mahavira. All caves are connected with a flight of stairs which makes the way from one cave to another.
Badami Cave 1
This is the first cave that you will encounter while your visit and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The cave was excavated around 550 CE, representing Linga form o Lord Shiva. The cave has an open porch and a pillared hall. The ceiling at the porch is carved with deeply cut sculptures of the coined snake – King Nagaraja. This sculptures still looks amazing, you can view it in the image below. On either side of this, you can see flying vidhyadhara couples. There are various other sculptures that you can admire and appreciate the artisans of Chalukyan Era.
Badami Cave 2
After admiring the marvellous sculptures of cave-1 we headed towards the cave 2, which is closely followed by cave-1, this cave is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The major sculpture in the porch of this cave are panels of Vimana-Trivikrama to the right and Bhu-Varaha to the left. There are various other sculptures of God Brahma, Vishnu, Durga, Kartikeya etc. The sculpture style is homogenous and recalls that of sculptures in the 8th century Brahmanical caves at Elephanta and Elora. Craftsmen ‘vachya’, ‘buru’, and ‘duttoja’ have signed their name over the facade of the caves to make us remember about their contribution to this Heritage site.
Badami Cave 3
Cave 3 is the largest and most ornated cave among all the Badami caves. This cave is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and you can admire the various sculpture representing different forms of Lord Vishnu such as Eight arm Vishnu, Vishnu seated on Ananta and Bhu-Varaha, Lord Narashima and Vamana-Trivikrama. The cave was beautifully painted and the image of main deity Lord Vishnu is missing from Sanctuary. Here also craftsmen have their sign on the side of facades.
Badami Cave 4
The smallest of all cave is cave-4 which is dedicated to jainism. The cave is somewhat unfinished, earlier the caves was originally accessed from east and was seperated from cave-4 by a stone wall but now it is only accesseble through cave -4. You can praise the beauty of Lord Mahavira Scuptures.
I love to explore the old structures that take us into our history and tells us about our rich ancient culture. Badami was one of them, which makes us remember about the contribution of Chalukyas to History.