The fourth cave temple in Badami is a Jain temple and this was a total surprise. I know very little about the Jain religion. It’s my ignorance, but Karnataka has a rich history with respect to the Jain religion; Sravanabelagola in Karnataka is one of the most important centres of Jain religion being the home to the stunning and revered Gommateshwara Bahubali statue.
Jainism grew under the patronage of the Chalukya rulers and the fact that it has a place among the four cave temples is a testimony of it’s popularity and acceptance among the royals and the subjects.
The fourth cave is the smallest among the lot. Lord Mahavira was the 24th and the last Tirthankara (saviour and spiritual teacher) of the Jain religion. Our guide said it was the carving of Lord Mahavira inside the sanctuary, with the halo around his head.
There two impressive carvings on either sides of the front verandah. One is that of Parshvanatha with a multi hooded cobra rising over his head👇. Parshvanatha is the 23rd Tirthankara of Jainism.
The other is the sculpture of Bahubali, the 1st Tirthankara of Jainism 👇. The plant vines seen sculpted around his legs have a fantastic story. He is said to have meditated motionless for a year in a standing posture and during this time, climbing plants grew around his legs !!
The pillars in the temple are adorned with carvings of numerous Tirthankaras.
This completes the tour of the magnificent 4 Cave Temples of the Chalukyas in Badami. It took us 2 hours to complete the tour. By now it was 3:00 pm and we had a four hour drive back to the hotel.
We would have loved to explore the North Fort situated on the opposite side; but no lunch, tired and heads were filled with temple stories. Another time !? Definitely as we also wanted to see the monuments in neighbouring towns of Aihole and Pattadakal.
Till next post, take care !!