Badami Caves, India

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Topics: Vishnu, Shiva
The rich past of Badami is closely linked with the ancient Kingdom of Chalukyas which date back to 600 and 700 AD. Chalukayas built number of temples, and other monuments that marked the beginning of the Hindu style of architecture. This new style was the blend of two distinct architecture - the Indo-Aryan Nagara style and the Dravidian style. Known as the Chalukyan style, this style is apparent in many cave temples, dedicated to Brahmanical deities, as well as the many Buddhist and Jain monasteries in the region.
The Chalukyan style of architecture is quite evident in the cave temples of Badami. These famous temples are carved out of sandstone housing a shrine, a hall, an open verandah and pillars. The exquisite carvings and sculptures make these cave temples noteworthy. Badami town also girds a number of carved monuments and other temples located on the bank of the reservoir. Each cave has a sanctum sanctorum, a mandapa, a verandah and pillars. The cave temples also bear exquisite carvings, sculptures and beautiful murals.
The caves:
Cave 1:
The famous cave dates back to 578 A.D, carved out of red sandstone and was most likely the first to be carved. The cave has 40 odd steps that take one to the covered verandah, a hall with many pillars. Shiva as Natraja with 18 arms is seen in 81 dancing poses. Column beams are exquisitely crafted. On the ceiling one can see the paintings of passionate couples. One also comes across sculptures of the deities of Harihara (half-Vishnu, half-Siva), their consorts Lakshmi and Parvati and, and Ardhanarishwar. The square shaped sanctum hollowed in the control back wall enshrines the Shiva-linga.

Cave 2:
The second cave is perched on a sandstone hill. The Lord is depicted in his various incarnations, prominent among which are the incarnations of Varaha (boar) and Vamana (dwarf). Lord is in the position of conquering the Earth by his one foot and rules the sky with his other foot. The temple also showcases Lord Vishnu as a

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