Miscellany

Miscellany

The place represents the glorious past of the Chalukyas who were famous for their military strength, administrative policy and their immense love for the arts.
Though Chalukyas ruled for six hundred years from the sixth century to the twelfth century, it was Pulikeshi II who was the most well-known of them all.

Chalukyas built many cave temples in Badami. The caves which have been carved out of the sandstone hill here all have a common feature. Each of them has a sanctum, a great court hall, an open verandah and a frontal chamber. Pillars, delicately carved, walls and ceilings are all decorated with sculptures.

There are steps leading up to the caves from the foot of the hill. The first of these caves has been designated as a Shaiva cave shrine. There are various types of sculptures of Shiva found here.

Nataraja with eighteen arms, Harihara, Ardhanareeshwara, Ganesha, Kartikeya seated on the peacock, Mahishasura Mardini and other gods and goddesses adorn these caves.
The second and third are designated as Vaishnava cave shrines. Here, there are images of Bhu-varaaha and Trivikrama. In the third cave, there is an image of Vishnu with eight shoulders, apart from an image of Vishnu seated on Ananta, with the seven hoods of the cobra god spread above.

The fourth cave has been designated as a Jain cave-shrine. Here the door frame is artistically carved.

In the sanctum, Vardhamana Mahaveera is seated on a lion throne leaning back against a cushion. On the left hand side of the verandah, there is the standing image of Paarsvanatha.

On the opposite wall, there is the standing image of Bahubali.
It is important to note that sandstone of this area has not been affected by any natural calamities and has withstood the ravages of time.
V L Prakasha

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