ancient capital city of Badami of the illustrious Chalukya kings,
brings to memory, the other equally famous two cities like Aihole
and Pattadakkal where the sculptural art of supreme quality is kept
in captivity, as it were, in the cave walls and temple ceilings.
Some of the master-pieces like the 18-armed Nataraja sculptured on
the cave walls of Badami is a standing testimony of Chalukyan
munificent patronage, and sculptors' ace craftsmanship. It is
revealing 81 dance poses that have neither superiors, much less
peers so far. It appears that the patrons converted the gold-dust
sand stone cliffs into shining steeples of temples, beckoning
attention to the devout men of all sects and cults, including the
art critics, who naturally see them through their microscopic eyes.
The rich fare it serves to both tourists and theists is beyond the
range of words. There are temples and panels for all gods, although
Siva in several manifestations like Bhutanatha, Arthanariswara,
Nataraja predominates over other deities and their images.