into an outcrop of red sandstone, the 5th-8th century Chalukyan
cave temples at Badami are some of the most striking rock-cut
temples in the Deccan. Each cave is dedicated to either Vishnu,
Shiva, Buddha or the Jain Tirthankaras. The Vaishnava cave No.
3 is the largest and finest of this series. At either end of the
porch are impressive figures dedicated to Vishnu carved in high
relief--such as the image of Vishnu seated on the multi-hooded
and coiled serpent, Ananta. The columns have multifaceted and
fluted designs with lotus medallions on the shafts and brackets
of amorous couples and comely maidens. On the interior walls are
friezes illustrating scenes from Hindu epics, and the ceilings
have medallions of various deities.
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