Saturday, March 19, 2011

Ravana Phadi Cave Temple, Aihole

     "Ravana Phadi" is the most interesting rock cut cave shrine in Aihole. This rock cut cave shrine belongs to the 6th century AD.  The cave consists of a hall with two pillars in the front and an antechamber behind. On either side of the hall are two chambers containing beautiful life size sculptures.
Ravana Phadi Cave Shrine
     It was late evening when we were walking back to our shelter after exploring Aihole. This cave from far looked very intriguing and since it was already dark and we had no energy left in us we were in doubt whether or not to find out what's in this cave. We met a person walking in the opposite direction to us and on inquiring he felt sorry for us telling the cave might be closed at this time but it is very beautiful inside. As a matter of chance, looking back and seeing the gate keeper just about to lock the gate to the cave he told us to rush over and shouted loud to the keeper making him aware of our presence and wanting to see the cave.  Luckily, the gate keeper cheerfully waved at us (meaning we are welcomed) and there we were, as though destined to see this place. Though we were very tired, our efforts were worth while and for sure, this turned out to be one of the most beautiful cave temples we had ever seen. 
Shiva Linga
     The inner sanctum houses a Shiva Linga. There are many life size carvings of Lord Shiva in  his various forms.  The most beautiful of them all is the ten armed Shiva in a dancing posture and to  his left is a small figure standing, which we thought could be of Lord Shanmuga (Shiva's Son). Next to him stands Goddess Parvathi  and on the right side of Lord Shiva is an interesting short figure of Lord Ganapathi engaged with his favorite food , 'the modakas'.
Ten Armed Dancing Shiva and his Family 
   The other side of the hall has figures of 'Harihara - the combined  form of Lords Vishnu  and Shiva'. There is a wonderful carving on the ceiling. The small vacant room on the side of Sanctum could have been the kitchen. The drainage system also seemed to have been well developed inside the cave. Carvings of many dwarf  musicians are also seen on the raised platform. 
Ceiling Carving
Sage Agasthiyar, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi
The Kitchen
Dwarf Musicians
Another Set of Dwarf Musicians
Lord Vishnu with his Consorts
Water Drainage System
 'The ASI has done a fair job in restoration of this place though they can never the match the original work. But that's not their mistake either, we have to blame our ancestors for building so complicatedly' says the watchman with an ironic smile on his face. Our ancestors were the true geniuses in every aspect of life.
The Pillars - Old and New Look

To read more about Aihole, click here

Related Posts:
1. Melgudi Jaina temple, Hallur
2. Meguti Jain Temple, Aihole
3. 100 temples of Karnataka


  1. Another fascinating post and terrific captures!! I do look forward to them and enjoy them and learning more about your country! Thank you! Hope you have a great day!


  2. The cave indeed looks beautiful, lucky the gate keeper was good!!

  3. This is awesome! another place we missed :( wish i had read this before visiting!

  4. Superb place.. Very well covered TGS..!

  5. Good, you could see inside of the cave . The visit was very much worth.

  6. nice! don't remember if I visited this place. May be I have...but then nothing like re-visiting the place and reviving my memories. thanks for sharing!

  7. Another beautiful site...Fascinating!

  8. I love caves and this one looks awesome. Should visit it once. Thanks for sharing the pics and info! :D

  9. Ravanpadi, we too went in the dark, and found the gates were lucky though Dhiraj.