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Badami, formerly known as Vatapi, is a city in the Bagalkot District of Karnataka state in southern India. Founded by Pulakesin I, an early ruler of the Chalukyas, the town of Badami is located at the foot of a rugged, red sandstone outcrop that surrounds Agastya tirtha water reservoir on three sides.
Known for its rock-cut cave temples which were exquisitely sculpted between the 6th-8th centuries AD, this ancient city was once the capital of the Chalukyan dynasty. The Bhutanatha temple, a small shrine, facing the 5th century lake stands in serenity on one side. On the side of North Fort are the Upper and Lower Shivalayas, and the Malegitti Shivalaya, possibly with early and late 7th century origins.
More classic in origin and style are four caves from the late 6th century on the side of the South Fort. These caves display the secular nature of the rulers then, with tolerance and a religious following that inclines towards Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Caves 2 &and3 are dedicated to Vishnu, an incarnation of Krishna, whereas cave 1 is devoted to Shiva, and cave 4 displays reliefs of Jain Tirthankaras. A Buddhist cave in a natural setting is not too far from these caves. Deep caverns with carved images of the various incarnations of Hindu Gods are strewn across the area, under boulders and in the red sandstone. From an architectural and archaeological perspective, they provide critical evidence of the early styles and stages of the renowned southern Indian architecture.

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Additional Photos by Sabyasachi Talukdar (sabyasachi1212) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3140 W: 281 N: 5210] (19779)
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