Badmi Temples in KarnatakaBadami situated in North Karnataka, the Capital of the Early Chalukyas. It is noted for its beautiful carved cave temples, artificial lake , Museme & rock-cut into the cliff face of a red sandstone hill, of the 6th & 7th Centuries.
It is picturesquely situated at the mouth of a ravine between two rocky hills. Its all four cave temples - all hewn out of sandstone on the precipice of a hill. They display the full range of religious sects which have developed in India. Overlooking the temples is a reservoir, its banks dotted with temples. Two of them are dedicated to Vishnu, one to Shiva and the fourth is a Jain temple. The first three belong to the Vedic faith and the fourth and natural cave is the only Buddhist temple in Badami. Here are some splendid carvings of the Hindu Pantheon. Narasimha the half-man half Lion avatar of Vishnu Hari Hara, the composite god who is half-Shiva and half-Vishnu. Vishnu Narayana sitting as well as reclining on the snake Shesh or Ananta (Eternity )… There are also some painting on the ceiling and wonderful bracket figures on the piers. The caves found here are as follows:
The cave temples of Badami which date back to 600 and 700 A.D. are carved out of sandstone hills. Each has a sanctum, a hall, an open verandah and pillars. What makes these cave temples remarkable, are the large number of exquisite carvings and sculptures. The town encompasses a number of carved monuments and caves of the Chalukyas that is a blend of Indian Nagara style and the South Indian Dravidian style of architecture. There are many beautiful murals as well. The free standing stone temples in Badami, provide enlightening information about the development of the Chalukyan style of architecture, as many seem to have been experimental constructions. The early temples appear to be like large court halls to which shrines were attached. The Ladkhan temple at Aihole belongs to this early phase. The next phase of development is visible in the Gowdaragudi temple which is a more complex structure.
One of the many masterpieces to be found in these caves is the famous, 18-armed Nataraja (Shiva) who if observed closely, strikes 81 poses. Cave 4, the last cave, is the only Jain Temple in Badami. The 24th Tirthankara- Mahavira, is seated in a uniquely comfortable pose here, against a cushion in the inner sanctum. On the other bank of the ancient Bhutnatha lake, astride whose shores the caves stand, is the shrine of Nagamma, the local serpent goddess, within a massive tamarind tree. Nearby, are two Shiva temples, which deify Him as Bhutanatha, God of Souls. Within the inner sanctum, on the edge of the water, He sits in a rare pose, leaning back, in all his awesome majesty. It is said that the better known caves of Elephanta and Ellora were modelled on the ones in Badami. The Kailashnatha temple at Ellora, has been hewn out of an entire hillock, cut out from the parent hill and combines the best of cave and free-standing temples.
Main attraction of Bellary Fort:The Magnificet Cave Temples:
Badami 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.
Badami Cave 2:
The second cave is perched on a sandstone hill. Lord Vishnu is the holy deity of this cave manifested as a dwarf or Trivikrama. 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 'Varaha' or as a boar, riding the Garnda all surrounded by beautiful lotus flowers.
Badami Cave 3:
The third cave is about 70 feet wide a masterwork of 6th century. The delicate creativity and image astuteness are the prominence of the cave showcasing the ancient art. The art depicting ancient dresses, jewelry, hairstyle and the lifestyle of the glorious past will leave one mesmerize. The high alleviation of Vishnu manifested in many forms - Vishnu with a serpent, Vishnu as Man-Lion, Shiva Vishnu and Vishnu as Trivikrama are the other attractions of the cave.
Badami Cave 4:
Cave fourth is dedicated to Jain Thirthankaras. They are the Jain caves lying towards the east of cave-3. The main attraction of the cave is the sculpture of Lord Mahavira decking the shrine besides the images of Padmavathi and other Thirthankaras. The cave also leads towards the southern part of Badami Fort, after climbing few steps a cranny is formed between Cave II & III, that leads to the fort where an old gun placed by Tippu Sultan is an attraction in itself.
Perched on hill top about 2 km. from the town, the fort encompasses large granary, an underground chamber which must have served as a treasury or private audience hall, double fortification walls and many other architectural marvels. The fort also houses a carved temple raised on top of the northern end of the hill. Malegitti Shivalaya - one of the oldest temples in the region is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is constructed out of stone on a summit of a rocky hill.
The 5th century Agastya-Tirtha Lake located beneath the cave temples is considered holy due to the healing powers of its water. The eastern banks of the Agasthya-Tirtha Tank are dotted with a cluster of Bhoothanatha temples. This tank, situated adjacent to the temple, is highly sacred. According to puranas, Sri Swamivari Pushkarini was a pleasure tank of God in Vaikunta, and is a beloved of Lakshmidevi and Bhoodevi. It is the birth place of Ganga (Ganges), Yamuna and other sacred rivers.
One of the interesting things in this museum is a model of the natural bridge of Sidilinapadi, which is located some 5 km from Badami. Another interesting exhibit is the images of Lajja-Gauri fertility cult that was widely practised in this region during Chalukyan times. The museum is also situated near the Agastyatirtha Tank.
Bhoothanatha and Malegitti Temples:
The Bhoothanatha temple houses an 18-armed Shiva, Ganesh, Mahishamardini Durga, Varaha and Nrisingha incarnations of Vishnu. The pillared hallway is ornamented with exquisite artwork. The Malegitti Visalia Temple (late 7th century) is another major attraction of Badami.
How to get there :
Bellary is well connected by road to different parts of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Goa. The following are the major highways passing through the city :
National Highway 63, connecting Ankola in Karavali Karnataka (west coast) to Gooty in Andhra Pradesh.
This is a major route for the mining trucks transporting Iron and Manganese ore from the Sanduru hill ranges to the sea port at Mangalore and Karwar. This highway also connects the city to Hubballi, Hosapete and Hampi.
Currently, two railway stations serve the city, both built during British rule. The city station (Bellary Junction) and the Cantonment station (Cantonment). The city is served by the Hubli–Guntakal line and the extended Bellary–Rayadurgam–Chitradurga line and falls under the jurisdiction of South Western Railway. Bellary is well connected by Rail to Bangalore, Raichur, Anantapur, Hindupur, Tirupati, Hubli, Guntakal, Adoni, Vijayawada, Howrah, Pune, etc. Guntakal is an important junction near Bellary from where trains to Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai and to most of the places in India are available.
The civilian Bellary Airport, located at the far end of the Cantonment area, has previously been serviced by Vayudoot and Air Deccan, linking Bellary with Bangalore, Goa and other nearby destinations.