Click here to skip to content

Ardhanari, Harihara, Cave I, Badami

Ardhanari, Harihara, Cave I, Badami

Artist: Indian draftsman

Medium: Pen and ink on paper

Date: 1853

Shelfmark: WD1596

Item number: 30

Length: 71

Width: 57

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Drawing

Pen-and-ink drawing of two sculptures from Cave I, Badami, depicting Harihara and Ardhanarishvara, by an Indian draftsman, dated 1853.

Badami, formerly known as Vatapi, was the capital of the Early Chalukya rulers in the sixth - eighth centuries AD. The town is situated between two rocky hills of red sandstone that surround an artificial lake. There are two later forts that overlook

the town. Around the south fort there are four rock-cut cave temples. Cave I is the earliest of the rock cut caves of Badami and belongs to the late sixth century. It consists of a long outer porch, a large columned hall (mandapa) and a small square sanctuary. Large sculpture panels are carved on the sides of the porch. The figure to the left in this drawing is Ardhanarishvara, a half male and half female figure, a combination of Shiva and Parvati. Near the Shiva side there is Shiva's vehicle, the bull Nandi and an emaciated figure of a sage man, the Rishi Bhringi. On the side of Parvati there is a female attendant. Ardhanarishvara has four hands, two of which hold a lyre (vina). The remaning left hand holds a battleaxe and a snake and the remaining right hand a lotus.

The figure to the right in the drawing represents Harihara, a combination of Shiva and Vishnu. The Shiva side is indicated by the presence of the battleaxe with a snake and Parvati standing on the god's right; the Vishnu side is indicated by a conch and the presence of Lakshmi on the left of the god. He stands on a pedestal with a carved panel of dwarves, the ghanas. His headdress consists of matted hair with a crescent on it while the other half is a jewelled crown. Over his head there is a flying couple (gandharva) on each side of the wall.

Search within this collection

Elsewhere on our websites


Latest events - register free online

Mobile app

For iPhone, iPad and Android

Report a Concern

What is the nature of your concern?

Report a Concern

What is the nature of your concern?

Email link to a friend

Write a brief note to accompany the email

Your friend's email address: