Badami, Karnataka, India  (info)

Badami lies at the foot of a rugged, red sandstone outcrop that surrounds Agastya Tirtha tank (an artificial lake) on three sides. It was founded by Pulakesin I of the Chalukya dynasty. Once the capital of the Chalukyas, Badami, called Vatapi back then, is best known today for its rock-cut cave temples. The caves, sculpted in the 6th and 7th centuries CE, depict Hindu, Buddhist and Jain iconography. Cave 1 is devoted to Shiva, caves 2 and 3 are dedicated to Vishnu, and cave 4 displays reliefs of Jain Tirthankaras. A natural cave nearby is dedicated to the Buddha. Carvings of Hindu Gods are strewn across the area in other caverns and on boulders. Two Bhutanatha temples stand facing the lake. Together, these monuments represent the early styles and stages of south Indian temple architecture.

The Cave Temples of Badami

Cave One exterior (1, 2)

Nataraja with 18 arms

Harihara (Ardhanarishvara)

Left side of porch (right)

Cave Two exterior

Cave interior

Varaha (avatar of Vishnu)

Trivikrama (avatar of Vishnu)

Cave Three exterior (interior)

Left corner of porch (1, 2, 3)

Carved pillar brackets (1, 2)

Porch, looking left (right)

Cave Four exterior

Adinath, inner sanctum

The first Jain Tirthankar

Left side of porch

Right side of porch

Badami Village and Fort

View from the caves (more)

Agastya Tirtha tank (more)

Woman washing her buffalo

Lots of these around

Badami village street (more)

Badami village street

Badami from the fort (more)


Bhutanatha temple 1

Inside Bhutanath temple 1

Bhutanatha temple 2 (more)

Bhutanatha temple 2

Picnicking girls

Albino kid with cousin


Natural Buddhist cave (outside)

Buddhist shrine

Ghat by Agastya Tirtha tank

Laundry time (more)

Sari tied like a dhoti (1, 2)

Surveying the visitor

Path to Badami fort (more)

One of many fort temples

Caves & village from the fort

Path down Badami fort

ASI museum, Badami

Lajja Gauri fertility goddess

Yellama temple

Inscription of Kappe Arabhattan

Mahakuta Temple

Complex with tank (more)

Courtyard scene

Subsidiary shrines (more)

Nandi statue


Designed in collaboration with Vitalect, Inc.