Badami about 500 kms from Bangalore is the center of Chalukyan art. It was the center of glory during the Chalukyan regime. Badami is historically known for its famous rock cut cave temples. The temples in Badami date backs from the Chalukyan era. On your tour to Karnataka, Badami should hold a prime place in your tour plans since its a rare sight to view the spectacular rock cut frescoes, carved statues, engraved ceilings and intricately carved and ornamented pillars.
Badami is attractive for tourists who are keen to study this ancient capital of the early Chalukyan kingdom. Known for its rich history and ancient architecture, Badami has a number of richly carved monuments and caves dating back to the 6th and 7th centuries. It has four cave temples.
Situated in the picturesque valley between two hills this ancient capital of the Chalukyas is famous for the four cave temples shaped out of sandstone rock from the hill. Dedicated to Vishnu and Shiva these temples in Badami are amazing pieces of Chalukyan art. Overlooking these temples is an artificial lake called the Bhutanath Lake named after the Bhutanath temples.
The first temple has carvings in bas-relief of Ardhanareeswara and Harira manifestations of Shiva that dates back to the 5th century. There are also other reliefs of Ganapati, Shanmukha and Mahishasuramardhini. In one of the walls you will find the carved relief of Nataraja with eighteen arms depicting the cosmic dance.
The second temple has images of Vishnu in his Varaha and Trivikrama incarnations. Carvings of Vishnu on Garuda and other scenes from puranas can be seen carved on the ceilings.
Through a flight of 60 steps one can reach the third rock cut temple from the second temple. The third rock cut temple is reached from the 2nd temple through a flight of 60 steps. There are carved images of the Narasimha and Trivikrama, different forms of Vishnu. There are other wall frescoes depicting the divine marriage of Shiva and Parvati.
The Jain rock cut temple is dedicated to the Tirtankara Adinatha. It has inscriptions that date back to the 12th century. Among the other temples in Badami, the Mallikarjuna and the Dattatreya temple are well known. The Mallikarjuna temple is built in Dravidian style.