Timings : 6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Time Required : Less than 1 hour
Constructed in : 7th century CE
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A grand example of ancient Chalukya architecture, the Malegitti Shivalaya Fort and Temple is an elegantly carved, rock-cut temple atop a rugged rocky outcrop in Badami. The temple was built in the 7th century and is perhaps the earliest and best surviving example of the magnificence of the Dravida style in the early Chalukya architecture. The Fort is located next to the Badami Archeological Museum. There's a breathtaking view of the lake and the caves from here.
The Malegitti Shivalaya was originally dedicated to the Sun God Surya. A small image of the Sun God with seven horses may be seen on the top lintel of the door to the inner sanctum. The temple is now devoted to Lord Shiva, with a large Shivlinga placed on a pedestal inside the sanctum. The temple consists of a sanctuary, without passageway, opening into a triple-aisled mandapa-styled hall.
The walls have a curved course and a central recessed portion which has been divided into panels with carvings of gana musicians, dancers and warriors. The walls of the mandapa have three projections with panels portraying Shiva and Vishnu. Each god is accompanied by a pair of companions. The base of the structure has beautiful continuous friezes of ganas. There is a tower rising over the sanctuary, above which rises the octagonal dome roof. Two impressive columns define a small bay in front of the sanctuary doorway, which is framed by jambs with legendary animals carved into its surface.
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