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Badami. Vishnoo in the largest cave. [Vishnu sculpture in Cave III, Badami.]

Badami. Vishnoo in the largest cave. [Vishnu sculpture in Cave III, Badami.]

Photographer: Biggs, Thomas

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1855

Shelfmark: Photo 208/(7)

Item number: 2087

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the sculpture of Vishnu seated on the coiled serpent at east end of verandah of Cave III, Badami, taken by Thomas Biggs in 1855. Badami, formerly known as Vatapi, was the capital of the Early Chalukya rulers in the 6th - 8th centuries. 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 shrines while structural temples dominate the site on the opposite north fort. At the eastern end of the lake there is the Bhutanatha temple complex. Cave 3 was excavated during the reign of the Early Chalukya ruler Pulakeshin I in 578 and it is the finest of the caves of Badami. It has an elaborate sculptural ornamentation and consists of a square sanctuary excavated into the rear wall of a large columned mandapa or hall approached through a long outer porch. Large figurative panels in high relief are carved at the end of the porch. The end panel to the left represents Vishnu seated on the coiled serpent.

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