Pattadakal, a ceremonial site of the early Western Chalukyan kings, is located near Aihole and Badami in Karnataka. The site has nearly six temples that are today part of the UNESCO world heritage site. The group of monuments here includes temples and a Jain sanctuary surrounded by numerous small shrines and plinths. Famous for its blend of Chalukyan architecture, Pattadakal is also a holy place for royal coronation 'Pattadakisuvolal'. Temples constructed here mark the blending of the Rekha Nagara Prasada (North Indian Style) and the Dravidian Vimana style of architecture.
Group of Monuments at Pattadakal
Virupaksha Temple: This was built by Queen Lokamahadevi, wife of Vikramaditya II to commemorate the victory of her husband over the Pallavas of Kanchi. The temple has a massive gateway and closely resembles the Kailasanatha temple of Kanchi which served as model for this temple. Built in southern Dravidian style, the temple is rich in sculptures of Lingodbhava, Nataraja, Ravananugraha and Ugranarasimha. Virupaksha temple also served as a model for the Rashtrakuta ruler to carve out the great Kailasa at Ellora. The Virupaksha temple also has illustrations from certain episodes from the Ramayana, Mahabharata, Bhagavata and Panchatantra.
Sangameshvara Temple: One of the massive and incomplete temples of Pattadakal, Sangameshvara was built by Vijayaditya Satyasraya during 697-733 AD. The temple has almost incomplete sculpture panels pierced with stone screens and separated by pilasters. The temple has a main three storey vimana that is well decorated with miniature roof forms.
Mallikarjuna Temple: Mallikarjuna temple is a classic example of South Indian temple art style. This temple is considered as a sister temple of the Virupaksha temple, since it was built by Trilokyamahadevi, second queen of Vikaramaditya II in 745 AD to commemorate the victory of her husband over the Pallavas of Kanchi.
Kashivisvanatha Temple: This temple built by the Rashtrakutas in the 8th century spells the northern architecture. Located adjacent to the Mallikarjuna temple, Kashivishvanatha depicts the Lingaraja temple in Orissa in style and architecture.
Galganatha Temple: Built in the style of Rekha Nagara Prasada, Galganatha temple is famous for the sculpture of Lord Shiva killing the demon Andhakasura. The incomplete state of this temple provides a unique cross-sectional view of the circumambulatory passage, which features a sloped roof like that of Hucchimalli Gudi in Aihole.
Kadasiddeshvara Temple: Also reflecting the Hucchimalli Gudi of Aihole, this temple has a sculpture of Lord Shiva holding a Trishul in his hands. The ribs on the curved, northern-style tower stop at roof level rather than extending all the way to the ground.
Jambulinga Temple: Built in Nagara style, Jambulinga is the twin of Kadasiddeshvara temple. The Vimana (or the façade in ribs) is decorated with horseshoe-shaped blind arches. The front face (Eastern side) of the tower has a large panel of Shiva dancing with Nandi and Parvati. A similar panel on the Kaddasimbeshvara tower is heavily damaged.
Jain Temple: Built in the Dravidian style by Rashtrakutas of Manyakheta, this Jain temple is located on the Pattadakal-Badami Road. This temple has some wonderful sculptures that probably date back to the 9th century. The temple is believed to be built either by Kind Amoghavarsha I or his son Krishna II.
Papanatha Temple: This temple is famous for its mixed sculpture that depicts the Vesara style. Initially, the temple was started in nagara style but was later changed to a more balanced Dravidian style. Sculpture here bears scenes from the great epics Ramayana and Mahabharatha. The temple has many similarities with Navabrahma temples in Alampur, Andhra Pradesh which was also built by the Chalukyan dynasty.
Apart from these temples, Pattadakal also accommodates a Museum of the Plains and the Sculpture gallery that are maintained by the Archeological Survey of India. Other important monuments at Pattadakal include the monolithic stone pillar bearing inscriptions, Naganatha temple, Chandrashekara temple and inscriptions in the Mahakuteshwara temple.
Pattadakal is about 127 km from Hubli - the nearest major city and 22 km from Badami, 10 km from Aihole - other centers of tourist attraction. It is in the Bagalkot district of Karnataka state and on the banks of the river Malaprabha. It takes about 2 hours drive from Hubli on the National Highway 218.