Saga of ancient India is incomplete without mentioning Pattadakal, a small village located on the banks of Malaprabha River in Bagalkot district, Karnataka. This place represents the art and architecture of 7th and 8th century of the Chalukya dynasty. About ten Hindu temples and a Jain sanctuary at Pattadakal personified an impressive art work of the early Western Chalukyan Architecture. Pattadakal is also known by other names – Raktapura (Red Town) and Pattadakal Kisuvolal and because of number of temples, Pattadakal is also regarded as a holy city. In 1987, Pattadakal had been listed as the UNESCO World Heritage sites. All the Hindu temples at Pattadakal are dedicated to Lord Shiva. Four temples are constructed in Dravidian style, four in Northern Indian architectural style (Nagara style) and one temple, Papanatha temple represents both Dravidian and Northern architectural style. The structures present in the central zone of this monumental complex are greatly influenced by the architecture of northern India. This consists of the temples of Galaganatha and of Kashi Vishveshvara. Sangameshvara temple and Mallikarjuna temple represent the true Dravidian style of architecture. Near the village, is the ninth Sivaite sanctuary, the Temple of Papanatha, as well as a Jain temple. Most of the major temples at this place were constructed to commemorate the victory of Chalukyas over Pallavas. Pattadakal, for a short period of time, was the third capital city of the Chalukya Kingdom. During this period, Badami (earlier capital) was occupied by the Pallava. Pattadakal is located at a distance of 514 km from Bangalore and 22 km from Badami.
Group of Monuments at Pattadakal
It is the largest of all the temples in Pattadakal. The Chalukya’s victory over the Pallavas was celebrated by building the Mallikarjuna and the Virupaksha temples by Queen Lokamahadev. The temple was originally known as Lokeshvara or Lokapaleshvara.
Sangameshvara Temple It is the oldest temple that was built by Chalukya King Vijayaditya Satyashraya. It was known as Vijayawada. The temple is similar to Virupaksha temple in structure. Exterior wall of the temple is beautifully carved with figures.
Chandrashekhara temple It is a small temple has a Shivalinga and a small hall. Chandrashekhara temple is situated left of the Sangameshvara temple.
Mallikarjuna Temple Vikramadiyta’s second queen Trilokyamahadevi got this temple built in Dravidian style of architecture in the year 745. It is actually the smaller version of Sangameshvara Temple, as both resemble in design and sculpture with the size as the only difference. Sculpted wall and decorated interior in the main attraction of the temple. Picture of Narasimha is located inside the porch where he is killing Hiranyakashipu and two female idols. Pillars have the figures related to Ramayana, Mahabharatha as well as scenes from the social life of that time.
Kashivisvanatha Temple The Rashtrakutas built this temple in early Chalukya style in the 8th century.
Galganatha temple Sanctum of the temple consists of a linga and in the temple there is a very beautiful sculpture of Lord Shiva killing Andhakasura, a demon. Apart from this, temple spaces also consist of small figures of Kubera, Gajalakshmi and others. Galganatha temple is built in the architecture style of Rekha Nagara Prasada.
Kadasiddhesvara and Jambulingeswara temples These 7th century temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva. Kadasiddhesvara and Jambulingeswara temples are built in Nagara style of architecture.
Jambulinga temple Jambulinga temple is located behind the Galaganatha temple. This temple has idols of Nandi and Virabhadra (guards of Lord Shiva). Idols of Shiva and Vishnu are there in the niches of the outer wall.
Kadasiddheshvara temple The outer wall of the temple consists of many idols of Shiva, Parvati, Vishnu and many more Hindu deities.
Jain Temple Jain Temple is beautifully built in Dravidian style of architecture in 9th century by the Rashtrakutas of Manyakheta.
Papanatha temple This temple was built in the vesara style in 680. Papanatha temple’s style of construction depicts the early northern style of architecture, which was later left for more balanced Dravidian style of architecture. Ramayana and Mahabharatha scenes are beautifully depicted. Pattadakal accurately represents an impressive blend of southern and northern architectural art form. Along with major temples, one can visit Shiva shrines. There are many museums, and sculpture galleries to visit at Pattadakal.
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