View from the north-east of the entrance to Cave III, Badami, Bijapur District.
Photographer: Burgess, James
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the entrance to Cave 3 in 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 is the finest of the caves of Badami. It has 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. The external wall is decorated with a frieze of ganas. The columns shafts are ornated with sculpted medallions containing figures with jewel and garland motifs. The brackets are fashioned as embracing couples or maidens beneath trees. Large figurative panels in high relief are carved at the end of the porch.