Temples of Memory: the Bhutnath Temple Environs at Badami as a Commemorative Landscape

Publication Type:

Journal Articles


Heritage: Journal of Multidisciplinary Studies in Archaeology,, Volume 5, p.576-605 (2017)


Badami, Badami Chalukyas, Bhutnath Temple, Boulder Memorials, Commemorative Traditions, Early Temple Architecture, Megaliths


Badami, along with Aihole, Pattadakal and some other sites in and around the valley of the River Malaprabha in Bagalkot District of Karnataka, contain some of the earliest temples built in stone of southern India, beginning with the constructions of the Early Chalukyan dynasty, which ruled from Badami (ancient Vatapi) during the 6th to 8th centuries CE. However, the history of construction of monuments in stone go back much farther in time, as evidenced by the large number of megalithic monuments that are distributed at several sites in the Malaprabha Valley. In continuation of our earlier work which argues that the Chalukyas and their successors were continuing the tradition of commemoration exemplified by the megaliths into later monumental architecture – ranging from temples to miniature shrines to other forms of commemoration, this paper examines the immediate landscape around the Bhutnath Temple at Badami and interpret it as a memorial landscape with various forms of commemorative structures