The famed cave temples of Badami draw visitors from all across the country. Dating back to the 6th and the 7th centuries, they represent a fine architectural style of their time. Four cave temples make up the large complex and all of them have brilliant carvings with various sculptures of gods from the Hindu pantheon. Their architecture is a blend of North Indian and South Indian Dravidian style and each cave boasts a sanctum, a hall, pillars and a verandah.


The first temple is believed to have been made in 578 AD and one can reach it by climbing 40 steps. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and has more than 81 sculptures of the God, with some in the form of Natraj with 18 arms. The cave is built with red sandstone.

The second cave is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, who is presented in the form of a Trivikrama (giant form). It can be seen at the summit of a sandstone hill. The third cave is perched on a hill and is believed to be dating back to 578 AD. It has an elevation on the front that is about 70-ft-wide. The structure of this temple is reminiscent of the Deccan style of architecture. The temple houses sculptures of Lord Vishnu, who is represented in various incarnations: Varaha (form of a boar), Narsimha (part lion and part man), Trivikarma (giant form), Harihara (Hari and Shiva).


The fourth cave temple is dedicated to Lord Mahavira, the 24th tirthankara (saint) of the Jains, and is the largest of all. It is believed to belong to the 7th century and one can see the idol of Lord Mahavira in a sitting posture in the sanctum.

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