The Pattadakal Temples are a renowned group of 8th century AD temples in Pattadakal, Karnataka. Pattadakal town is located near Badami and Aihole, other famous destinations of tourism, and is easily accessible from the major towns and cities of Karnataka. The temples of Pattadakal exhibit the ‘Vesara’ style of Hindu temple architecture and are listed in the UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites since 1987, standing for architectural excellence of ancient and medieval Indian history.
The Pattadakal Temples are situated on the banks of River Malaprabha in Pattadakal (Pattadakalu in the local language), which later became the capital of the Chalukya rulers who shifted their capital from Aihole. The Chalukya rulers had gained immense architectural expertise such that they could experiment with more advanced and sophisticated temple architecture and sculpture making, which they unleashed on the temples of Pattadakal. The dozen or more Pattadakal Temples stand testimony to the excellence of the early Chalukyan temple architecture which is a rare synthesis of south and north Indian temple architecture styles.
A small riverside town, in fact a village, Pattadakal is an important archeological site that unveiled myriad information about the Chalukyan dynasty that ruled this region from the 7th to 12th century AD. The numerous temples around the town attract tourists from across the world who are astounded by the exemplary art of ancient India. The townships of Aihole, Pattadakal, Badami and other places are famed for the architectural imprints of the Chalukya dynasty.
when to go?
Operating Hours:Mon-Sun : 08:00 AM - 05:30 PM
what should you know?
Address:Pattadakal Temple Complex, Pattadakal, Bagalkot District, Karnataka.
did you know?
Art Forms:Nagara, Dravidian and Vesara Style
Period Built:9 CE
what will you spend?
Entry Fee:Adults - Rs. 25/- & Children below 12 years - free
Parking Fee:Rs. 20/-
Pattakadal can be said to be the high point of eclectic art prevalent during the 7th and 8th centuries AD, which the Chalukyan dynasty adopted and unleashed on the numerous temples and monuments they constructed in this region. Here you can see a fusion of the Dravidian (south Indian) and Nagara (north Indian) styles of architecture.
There are a series of nine Hindu temples and a Jain sanctuary. In the Pattadakal Group of Temples, the Virupaksha Temple, built during 740 AD by Queen Lokamahadevi to commemorate her husband’s victory over the kings from the south, stands out as the most important place of worship.
The oldest temple here is the Sangamesvara Temple built by King Vijayaditya during the 8th century AD. This temple, though not the biggest in the Pattadakal Group, is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is a fine example of the exemplary architectural standards of Chalukyan architecture.
Pattadakal Temples have carvings of dramatic themes from Hindu mythology. Many of these carvings are on Lord Shiva, especially the dancing forms. The other ancient temples in this group are the Mallikarjuna and the Virupaksha Temples. Pattadakal Temples also include major temples like Kadasiddheshvara Temple, Jambulinga Temple, Galaganatha Temple, Chandrashekara Temple, Papanatha Temple, Kashivisvanatha Temple and the Jain Temple.
The temples at Pattadakal
Among the group of Pattadakal Temples, four temples have been built in the Dravidian style, four in the Nagara style, and Papanatha Temple illustrates a perfect blend of both styles of architecture. The Rashtrakutas constructed Kashivisvanatha Temple during the 8 th century AD. Galaganatha Temple was constructed in the north Indian style and is famous for a sculpture of Lord Shiva killing the demon Andhakasura. Kasi Visweswara is another temple that boasts of the nagara style of architecture. Below are the other important Pattadakal Temples.
Virupaksha Temple was built in 745 AD by Queen Lokamahadevi to celebrate her husband's victory (Vikramaditya II) over the Pallavas of Kanchi. The temple was planned on the structural lines of Kailashnath Temple of Kanchi. Ironically, Virupaksha Temple stood as an example to be followed for Kailashnath Temple at Ellora. Virupaksha Temple is also famous for its rich sculptures and structures such as Lingodbhava, Nataraja, Ravananugraha and Ugranarasimha.
Mallikarjuna Temple was constructed in 745 AD by Trilokya Mahadevi, the second queen of Vikramaditya II. She honored the triumph of the Chalukyas over the Pallavas by erecting a temple to commemorate the victory. Renowned for the beauty of its artistic sculptures, Mallikarjuna Temple was modeled after Virupaksha Temple.
Among the Pattadakal Group of Temples, Papanatha Temple is the only one that has been designed using both south and north Indian styles of architecture. Papanatha Temple dates back to 680 AD and has a Nagara styled Vimanam (’vimanam’ means ‘mountain peak’ and refers to the rising tower over the sanctum). While the initial style seemed to have followed the Nagara design, later it appears that it was changed to the Dravidian style. Here sculptures depicting scenes from the epics Ramayana and Mahabharata are famous.
On the Pattadakal-Badami Road, you will come across the famous Jain Temple constructed by the Rashtrakutas of Manyakheta. This temple has been constructed in the Dravidian style and has many beautiful sculptures. There are different versions about who was instrumental in mooting the idea of constructing this temple. According to some, King Amoghavarsha I was the brain behind the venture whereas some opine that his son Krishna II was instrumental in initiating the construction of the Jain temple in the 9th century AD.
Jambulinga Temple houses the idols of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. There is an image of the sacred bull of Lord Shiva, the Nandi, too. Constructed with a horse-shoe shape projection on its exteriors, Jambulinga Temple’s architectural style matches that of the Hucchimalligudi Temple of Aihole which has a Nagara style.
Sangamesvara Temple is one of the oldest of the Pattadakal Temples and was erected by King Vijayaditya Satyashraya during 697-733 AD. The temple is colossal but incomplete.