General view of the Bhutanatha group of temples, Badami
Photographer: Cousens, Henry
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the Bhutanatha group of temples at Badami, taken by Henry Cousens in the 1880s. 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, one on each of the hills, that overlook the town. Around the south fort there are four rock-cut shrines while there are a number of structural temples around and below the north fort. At the eastern end of the lake stands the Bhutanatha temple complex. When this photograph was taken, Cousens wrote in his report, "Upon the western margin of the lake is an extremely picturesque group of old sandstone temples clustered around the principal shrine which is now dedicated to Bhutanatha. As viewed across the southern end of the lake, when bathed in the mellow glow of the setting sun, the weatherworn buildings, with their reflections in the still water, broken by the reeds and their reflections, and backed up by the rugged cliffs of red sandstone, present a lovely harmony of rich colouring." This temple was built in the 8th century BC, but was extensively modified in later periods, most notably with the addition of a larger mandapa, or columned entrance hall.