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Rockcut architecture of India -Badami Caves !

1Agasthya lake with temples and view of the town of the town Badami 2Badami caves hill. view from the parking lot 3Jainism cave at Badami. Beautiful statue of Parshvanth with his two sisters Brahmi & Sundari.The golden era of Karnataka was under the Chalukya dynasty during the 6th & 12 century. They ruled central and southern India. Telugu literature was born under their patronage in the 11 century. Jainism and Buddhism received their patronage too.
The rockcut caves are a sight of beauty to watch, explore and learn about our past proud history. These were sculpted during the 6th & 8th century. These sculpture, art, architecture were an inspirations to the Hampi kings.
Badami is a small messy town. . . one has to bear up and walk or drive through this small town into a beautiful well kept Archeological Survey of India site, the Badami caves. It’s a different clean world over here. Tidy, neat, organised with ample parking and visual space. Badami comes under Bagalkot Dist. and is about 500 kms from Bangalore. It makes good sense to combine a lot of places around and spend a week around here. Other places of attractions around here are Hampi which is 130 kms away. Bijapur 120 kms. Aihole, Pattadakal these two historical sites are 90 kms away. Hotels are basic at Badami, it makes sense to stay at Hospet 130kms away (Hospet to Hampi is 12 kms). Other alternate staying places are – Gadag is 70kms and Hubli is 105 kms. A week spent at this haven of architecture delight is a feast for your eyes. Badami is well connected by buses. Railway station happens to be 5 kms away.
Badami caves are a historians & photographers delight. One has to climb a series of well cut steps to explore these four well cut caves cut on the soft sandstone face. Cave no.1 is dedicated to lord Shiva. Cave no.2 to lord Vishnu. Cave no. 3 – Shivaite & Vishnuaite faith. Cave no.4 to Jainism & the last natural small cave has a carved statue of Buddha. All inscriptions carved are in old Kannada. The design of these caves are more or less the same – pillared veranda and columned hall. The architecture and sculpture are Nagara & Dravidian style. The view from top is beautiful . . . the Agasthaya green water lake centers the scenario and supposed to have medicinal value. One can see various temples, a mosque at the foothill. High wall hills border the town. It makes sense to start exploring Badami early in the morning. The other attractions of Badami are the – museum, fort, the city has a lot of temples.
It’s worth a long trip from Bangalore. But folks one’s got to be fit and be prepared for a lot of walking. These places are less commercial and are easy on the pocket. After this trip, after the fatigue is gone , you will be knowledgeable and rich with information and history. Don’t forget to take your camera with you. Hire an authorised travel guide, they are passionate and good.

-Jagdeesh Laxman Singh
aka Jugie Singh
Text & Photography
[email protected]

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