Ground plan of Cave – 2
Note: The diagram shown in the image was extracted from the ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) document on display at the Archaeological Museum located near the Badami cave temples.
As the name suggests, Cave – 2 is the second of the four rock-cut caves carved out of a red sandstone hill near Badami, Karnataka, India. It is comparable in size and similar in design to Cave – 1, but unlike Cave – 1, it is dedicated to Vishnu. Just like in Cave – 1, it has a garbhagriha (sanctum sanctorum) in the rear, sabhamantapa (main hall) in the middle, and an open mukhamantapa (porch) in front.
The main theme of the sculptural reliefs in Cave-2 is legends related to Vishnu. Carved on the sidewalls of the mukhamantapa are the reliefs depicting the stories behind two of his avatars, Varahavatara and Vamanavatara.
The ceiling of the mukhamantapa has some eye-catching carvings of geometrical patterns. In the middle of the mukhamantapa ceiling is the Matsya Yantra, a wheel with hub-and-spoke design. Flanking the Matsya Yantra relief on either side are two maze-like patterns comprising of swastikas.
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