© Google MapThe red A indicates the location of Badami, India, famous for its sandstone cave temples.
Dr. S.N. Prasad of Mysore, India was kind enough to let us post some of his images from a recent trip to the Badami cave temples. Located in Karnataka, India, they're an example of Indian rock-cut architecture. In other words, they are structures or statues, carved from solid natural rock.

When you see the photos below, you'll be amazed at this practice, especially when you think about how old they are. They date from the late 6th to 7th centuries.

The town of Badami, India lies at the mouth of a ravine with rocky hills on either side. The cave temples are carved out of the soft sandstone of these hill cliffs.

At the cave entrance is a verandah (mukha mandapa) with stone columns. It leads to a columned main hall (maha mandapa) and then to a small square shrine cut deep into the cave.

There are four temple caves here, each representing different religious sects. Cave 1 is dedicated to Shiva, caves 2 and 3 to Vishnu, and cave 4 is a Jain temple.
Badami Caves
© S. N. Prasad. An angular view of the main cave with the roughhewn pathway sloping up to the higher level cave temples on the upper left. The rugged beauty of the hill is sharply accentuated in this picture.
© S. N. Prasad.A dancing deity … One of the most outstanding pieces of work in the entire complex, it depicts an eighteen-armed dancing Shiva demonstrating nine bharatanatyam postures [classical dance postures of India]. Despite the ravages of time and centuries of exposure to a generally harsh environment the state of preservation of this and other cave sculptures is still pretty good. Its three dimensional form, clearly noticeable in the picture, is one of its distinctive features.
Vishnu Temple
© S. N. Prasad.The third cave temple, the biggest and probably the best of the four, is dedicated to Lord Vishnu whose sculpted figure at the left end is the centerpiece of [this] picture. It also has numerous other exquisitely sculpted mythological figures.
More photos and info from Dr. S.N. Prasad: Rock-cut cave temples of Badami and surroundings.