Pilaster and sculpture at left end of verandah of Cave III, Badami, Bijapur District.
Photographer: Burgess, James
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the pilaster and sculpture at the left end of the verandah of 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 early Chalukya period 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 approached through a long outer porch. The pilaster at the end of the verandah is decorated with a medallion containing amorous couples and lotus ornaments. The brackets are fashioned as embracing couples or maidens beneath trees. The large sculptural panel on the left of the pilaster represents Vishnu standing.