Idea #416 – Discovering the archeological site of Badami
Known formerly under the name of Vatapi or Vatapipura, Badami was in VIth century and VIIth century the capital of the powerful dynasty of Chalukya. The current village remained at the foot of the old dam which allowed to create the small artificial lake of Agastya, in the hollow of its red cliffs marbled, dug by four excavated sanctuaries, by the end of the VIth century. The first cave, probably of the VIIth century, is dedicated to Shiva. The second cave is dedicated to Vishnu; in this excavated sanctuary, of size smaller than the following sanctuary also dedicated to Vishnu, we distinguish only two images sculptured in both extremities of the hall or the canopy which precedes the mandapa: Varaha looking eastward, and Trivikrama looking westward. A surprising bas-relief represents alternately a buffalo or an elephant, according to the way we look at their head. The third cave, also dedicated to Vishnu is the biggest. It is dated 578 by an inscription. The large number of its high-quality sculptures, the wealth of its iconography make a complex set. To the right in the entrance of the hall, the big relief sculptured by Three Steps of Vishnu, Vishnu Trivikrama, produces a curious effect of monumental rigidity to evoke the movement, the scansion or the measure of the space but in the universe of the myth. To the left, inside the hall, the face of Vishnu sat on the snake Ananta, produced an effect of an impressive dignity in spite of the strange presence of the enormous snake, cut in this marbled rock which surrounds us, just over the lake. The fourth cave receives an excavated sanctuary jaïna. An extraordinary visit in sight!
Where is it ?
Badami, Karnataka, India