Badami: Agatsya Lake – A view from the Badami caves

Agastya Lake in Badami, Karnataka, India

Agastya Lake in Badami

Agastya Lake
Named after Rishi Agastya, one of the Saptarishis (seven great sages), the Agastya Lake (also known as the Agastya Teertha) is a man-made body of water that lies between the southern and northern red sandstone hills of Badami in Karnataka, India. Likely commissioned by the Early Chalukyas, this body of water was created by building a dam on its west side. Here is another view of the Agastya Lake captured from the north side.

Located on the southwest side of the lake are the four magnificent rock-cut caves. The view shown in the image was captured from a vantage point near Cave – 2, the second of the four caves. As you can see from the image, the ancient dam is on the left side, and built on top of the dam is the Yellamma Temple, an 11th century temple built by the later Chalukyas.

The red sandstone cliffs located north of the lake are home to ancient temples built mostly by the Chalukyas. The temple on top of the hill is the Upper Shivalaya, and the small temple on the extreme left is the Lower Shivalaya. Dedicated to Shiva, both these temples were built in the 6th century CE by the Early Chalukyas.

When Tippu Sultan of Mysore took over Badami in the 18th century, he built a fort, known as the North Badami Fort, on the ruins of structures built by the Early Chalukyas on this hill. If you expand the image, the walls of this fort are visible. There is another fort atop the southern hills, i.e., above the Badami Caves, originally built by the Chalukyas but later rebuilt and expanded by Tippu in the 18th century.

Related Pages
Badami
Badami Cave – 1, Badami Cave – 2, Badami Cave – 3, Badami Cave – 4
Durga Temple at Aihole
Statue of Agastya in the Shiva Temple located in the Prambanan Temple complex, Indonesia

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