Badami. Narasimha in the largest cave. [Vishnu sculpture in Cave III, Badami.]
Photographer: Biggs, Thomas
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the sculpture of Vishnu Narasimha in the verandah of Cave III at Badami, taken by James Burgess in 1874. 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. On the right, at the end of the porch, there is a large figural composition in high relief of Vishnu under the form of Narasimha or Man-Lion killing the demon king Hiranyakashipu.