Garuda and other carved figures on dripstone at entrance to Cave III, Badami, Bijapur District
Photographer: Burgess, James
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of Garuda and other carved figures on the dripstone at the entrance to the Cave 3 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. Rearing beasts support the overhanging of the eave. The bird Garuda, the mount of the god Vishnu, is carved on the inner face of this eave and is flanked by flying figures. The columns have shafts decorated with medallions and lotus ornament. The brackets are fashioned as embracing couples or maidens beneath trees.