Cave temple dedicated to Mahavira
Located on the red sandstone hills of Badami in Karnataka, India, the cluster of four rock-cut cave temples are an impressive work of religious art and a showcase of Chalukya temple architecture.
This page describes Cave – 4, which is a Jain temple. Check the following pages for a detailed explanation of the other three caves:
|Cave – 1||Shiva||Nataraja, Dwarapala, Ardhanarishvara, Harihara|
|Cave – 2||Vishnu||Varahavatara, Vamanavatara|
|Cave – 3||Maha Vishnu||Maha Vishnu, Ashtabhuja Vishnu, Varahavatara, Vamanavatara, Narasimhavatara|
Cave – 4: Jain Temple
Cave – 4 is the
Unlike the other three caves, which are Hindu temples, Cave – 4 is a Jain temple and is a testament to the peaceful co-existence of different religions in ancient India.
Just like the other three caves, the garbhagriha is at the back of the cave. There are three halls in front of the garbhagriha, which are: 1. Antarala (ante-chamber) 2. Sabhamantapa (main hall) 3. Mukhamantapa (verandah).
The only access to this cave is through a flight of steps from Cave – 3. However, there was a path to this temple from the east side when it was built.
Garbhagriha – Mahavira
The image shows a sculptural relief of a Tirthankara, most-likely Mahavira, seated majestically on a lion throne carved on the back wall of the
Mahavira is sitting under a chaitya
Note: Tirtha means a ford or shallow crossing of a river or stream. Tirthankara means ford maker. Tirthankara is an extraordinary person who understood the true meaning of Samsara (continuous cycle of life, death, and rebirth) and obtained Kevala Jnana (Omniscience). He is a teacher who builds a ford for others (i.e., guides) to follow the path from samsara to Moksha (liberation from S
Adinatha – The first Tirthankara
The image shows a life-size sculptural relief depicting Adinatha (also known as Rishabhanatha), the first of the 24 Tirthankaras of Jainism, carved on the left sidewall of the
Note: The Adinatha iconography has locks of hair on his shoulder and is one of the ways to identify his sculptures.
The image shows a life-size sculptural relief depicting Parshvanatha, the 23rd Tirthankara of Jainism, carved on the interior walls of Cave – 4.
Parshvanatha is the successor Neminatha and the predecessor of Mahavira, the most well-known and final Tirthankara. Historians believe that both Mahavira and Parshvanatha were historical figures. Born in the holy city of Varanasi, Parshvanatha lived around 877 BCE and attained Moksha on Mount Summeta in the present-day Madhuban in the state of Jharkhand, India.
In this relief, Parshvanatha is depicted as a
The image shows a life-size sculptural relief depicting Bahubali carved on the interior walls of Cave – 4.
Bahubali is one of the 100 sons of Adinatha (Rishabhanatha). Bharata was the eldest, but Bahubali challenged him for the throne. Although he defeated Bharata in three non-violent games, he relinquished everything in disgust and meditated by standing up without clothes for 12 years and attained Moksha. While meditating vines grew on him. So, his iconography includes him standing naked with vines enveloping him.
The image shows a relief depicting a pious Jain nun called Jakkave who attained Moksha through Sallekhana sitting besides Mahavira, the 24th Tirthankara.
Note: Sallekhana is a religious practice in Jainism to reduce human passions by rigorously following certain vows
This relief is carved on the right sidewall and is visible as you enter the cave.
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