Pattadakal, in Karnataka, showcases some of the rare specimen of temple art forms of 7th and 8th century. The temples were constructed during the Chalukya Dynasty, depicting a marvelous blend of north and south Indian architectural. A majestic array of nine Hindu temples, as well as a Jain sanctum is the highlights of the town. A masterpiece from the group stands out - the Temple of Virupaksha, built in 740 by Queen Lokamahadevi to commemorate her husband's victory is just mesmerizing.
The sculptural art of the Chalukya dynasty is illustrated by elegance and refinement. These historic temple-art portrays various chapters from the divine Hindu epics - Ramayana and Mahabharata, from the holy book - Bhagavata and tales of Panchatantra.
¤ Temple Attractions
Pattadakal is an abode of a unique temple structure, every historian's fantasy. It has a set of nine temples constructed in a row, exhibiting the architects' zeal and demonstrating diverse styles and patterns. Four of the temples here are in the south Indian Dravidian architectural style while four are in the north Indian Nagara style where as Papanatha temple exhibits a mongrel style.
The Virupaksha temple, probably the most ravishing of all temples is constructed in the south Indian style, a replica of the Kailasanatha temple of Kanchi. The temple enrolled as the model for the Ellora Kailasanatha temple built by the Rashtrakootas.
The temple was constructed in 735 BC by Vikramaditya's queen Lokeswari, in honor of kings victorious battle against the Pallavas of Kanchi.
The Virupaksha temple faces east towards the Malaprabha river. The temple is embellished with exquisite carvings on its 18 pillars showcasing episodes from the puranas in the mukhamandapam, the rare carvings of Ravananugrahamurthy, Narasimha, and Gajendramoksham - the dance of Shiva. There is also an image of Lakulisa, showing the predominance of the Pasupata sect of the Saiva religion in the Chalukyan land.
Sangamesvara Temple, a colossal structure at Pattadakal is the oldest temple among the group and was constructed by Vijayaditya Satyasraya in 697-733 AD.
Near the Virupaksha temple, there is a small structure known as Mallikarjuna temple similar to the Virupaksha temple.
The Galaganatha temple is built in the north Indian style and so is the Kasi Visweswara.
Other temples here include those to Chandrasekhara, Sangameswara, Jambulinga, Kadasiddheswara.
The Papanatha temple has a Nagara styleed Vimanam. The temple highlights the episodes from the great legends- the Ramayana.
Pattadakal is also famous for some of the Jain shrine. The temple dates back to 9th centuary from the period of the Rashtrakootas.
¤ Tourist Information
Open on all weekdays. There is a small fee to enter the heritage site. Free entry on Fridays.
¤ Best time to visit
Ideal time to visit Pattadakal is. October to February
¤ Excursions From Pattadakal
Aihole makes an excellent travel excirson from Pattadakal. It is an abode of around 70 temple structures displaying the ancient architectural splendor. Ladkhan Temple with its simple doorways displays the post Gupta influence. Durga Temple reveals the Buddhist influences in its architecture and Huchimallagudi Temple are some of the most yearning tourist attractions in Aihole.
Badami is famous for its cave temples, chiseled out of a red sandstone rock. The temples are dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Shiva. Other attractions of Badami are its exclusive Jain caves showcasing the architecture of Chalukyan regime.
¤ Museum Attractions
The Archaeological Survey of India has a museum in Badami near Pattadakal. The Museum remains closes on Friday.
Other attraction of the town is the Annual Pattadakal Dance Festival, it is held in the 4th week of January, which is of great source of attraction in the town.
¤ Accessibility To Pattadakal
By Air: Bangalore -514km is the nearest airport. The Dabolim airport at Vasco da Gama, Goa -489km is other alternative to the temple site.
Rail: The nearest railway station is Badami, 29km from the city.
Road: Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation buses are available from Bangalore -514km, Hampi-118km, Badami-29km.
Pattadakal is connected by road to Badami -29km and Aihole-17km.
There are easily available buses and tourist cabs to reach the temple site.