- Badami is an archaeological site in the Bijapur District of the Indian state of Karnataka, capital of the famed Chalukya empire from around the sixth to the 11th century. Four sixth-century temples carved into solid rock there show a com-bination of northern and southern architectural styles. Generally they resemble the temples at ELLORA.To the left of the visitor climbing to the top of the rocks is cave one, dedicated to SHIVA. It shows a 14-armed Shiva on one side of the entrance and a protection deity on the other side. Cave two is dedicated to VISHNU. Its stone carvings tell the full story of Vishnu’s incarnation as VAMANA, the divine dwarf, to save the world from the ravages of the demon king BALI. Vishnu’s boar incarnation (VARAHA) is also depicted in the cave.Cave three is the largest and most elaborate. It contains large carved pillars and an extensive interior. It too has several images of Vishnu—standing, lying on the divine serpent ADISHESHA, as the boar incarnation Varaha, as the man-lion NARASIMHA, and as the divine dwarf Vamana. Each depiction is approximately 10 feet high and elabo-rately carved.The fourth cave temple is smaller and is Jain (see JAINISM) in orientation. It depicts the 24 Jain TIRTHANKARAS, or divine teachers, on a wall and on pillars in relief. The central image is of PARSHVANATH. Gommateshvara, the son of the first Tirthankara, RISHABHA; he is depicted in his stand-ing, yogic pose, overgrown by carved stone vines.Some distance below the caves near the tank are two smaller shrines to Shiva and a small tem-ple to the South Indian goddess Yellamma. These later shrines are from the 11th century. There are small caves scattered at the site down below, some of which were used or dug by Buddhists between the sixth and eighth centuries.Further reading: Rakhal Das Banerji, Bas Reliefs of Badami (Calcutta: Government of India Central Pub-lication Branch, 1928); Michael W. Meister, ed., Essays in Early Indian Architecture by Ananda K. Coomar-swamy (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1992); S. Rajasekhara, Karnataka Architecture (Dharwad: Sujata, 1985); K. V. Ramesh, Chalukyas of Vatapi (Delhi: Agam Kala Prakashan, 1984); Henri Stierlin and Anne Stier-lin, Hindu India: From Khajuraho to the Temple City of Madurai (New York: Taschen, 1998).
Encyclopedia of Hinduism. A. Jones and James D. Ryan. 2007.