Pattadakal is a famous historic ensemble hosting ancient temples of Chalukyan architectural style. The place held its importance not only as a holy place but as a significant site where royal coronations used to take place. Temples constructed here mark the blend of different styles of temple building and it displays the historic transition of temples building as a structure itself rather than a rock-cut medium.
Sangamesvara is the oldest temple in the town of Pattadakal. The temple was constructed by Vijayaditya Satyasraya during 7th century AD. The temple was built in Dravidian style of architecture consisting a Sanctum, Inner passage and navaranga which has 20 pillars. The temple’s exterior has stone carved figures.
Virupaksha temple is the biggest and the grandest of all the temples. The temple is enclosed by a wall and with gopura-entrances at the front and also behind. The gopuras were all built and designed at the same time and they are considered as the earliest among all the temples in the group. Its sanctuary was erected by Queen Lokamahadevi around 740 AD to commemorate the victory of her husband King Vikramaditya II over the Pallavas.
Other temples in the group includes Chandrashekhara temple which is a relatively small shrine with a Shiva linga and a small hall adjoined to it. The temple displays simplicity in its style and structure.
Mallikarjuna temple is a small version of Virupaksha temple symbolizing Dravidian architectural style displaying at its porch a beautiful image of Narasimha killing Hiranyakashipu and two female idols. Temples including Kashivisvanatha temple, Galganatha temple and Kadasiddhesvara and Jambulingeswara temples were built at a later period yet holding much importance attributing to their style which is known as the architectural style of Rekha Nagara Prasada.
Apart from the Chalukyan group of temples, the site of Pattadakal also has a Jain temple presiding on the Pattadakal-Badami road. The temple is built in Dravidian style by the Rashtrakutas of Manyakheta.
How to Reach
The nearest airport to Pattadakal is Bangalore which is well connected to major cities in India and a lot of foreign destinations as well. The nearest railway station is Badami, 20 km away from the destination. The State Highway No 14 also connects Pattadakal to Badami. Aihole is around 45 km from the town and Bijapur is around 134 km which connects Pattadakal to major centers by road.
With its marvelous artistic heritage and fine blend of different architectural styles, the monuments of Pattadakal will take you to the glorious past of Indian art and culture.