- Pattadakkal- Where the Past comes Alive
Pattadakkal is situated along the banks of the Malprabha River. The town
is today most famous for its temples, which are the only remnants of a
once glorious era. You can find Chalukyan art at its best in the dozen
or so temples scattered across the terrain here.
Pattadakkal has in fact been declared as a UNESCO world heritage site on account of its temples, which were all built around the 7th and 8th centuries. The most famous among the temples include the Sangameswara temple, the Virupaksha temple, the Mallikarjuna temple, the Galganatha temple, the Papanatha temple, the Jambulinga temple and the Jain temple. Rich in carvings and sculptures, these temples display a blend of the Rekha Nagara Prasada and the Dravida Vimana styles of architecture.
Pattadakkal revolves mainly around its annual dance festival when the town comes into its own. It was the second capital of the Chalukyan kings; the place used to be the venue for the coronation of the Chalukyan kings.
The Virupaksha temple and the Mallikarjuna temples were built by the
two queens of Vikramaditya II in memory of his victory over the
Pallavas. The former, built by Queen Lokamahadevi is one of the most
beautiful of all. The huge gateway contains inscriptions narrating the
story of victory. The carvings on the roof and on the walls are
intricate and elaborate and tell stories from the Ramayana, the
Mahabharatha and the Panchathanthra. Every nook and corner of the
temple, from the wall niches to the ceiling panels, contains evidences
of the sculptors skills. In fact the Kailasa temple at Ellora is said
to have been modeled on this one.
The Mallikarjuna temple is a smaller version of the Virupaksha temple. You can find screens on the walls with framed sculptures. Unlike the Virupaksha temple, this one has a domed top. The Jain basadi here is also equally spectacular, built in the Dravidian style of architecture with two gigantic elephants guarding the entrance. The temple, which dates back to the 9th century, has beautiful sculptures to its credit.
The Jambalinga temple, built in the Nagara style, contains a finely sculpted figure of the Nataraja, with the Nandi and Parvathi on either side. An interesting feature of the temple is the horse shoe shaped projection.
The Papanatha temple, built in the Nagara style, again has sculptures depicting scenes from the Ramayana and the Mahabharatha. The temple is surprisingly similar to the ones in Alampur, Andhra Pradesh, indicating that both were built during the same period.
- Best Time To Visit
September to February.
- How to Reach
Belgaum airport is the nearest airport, 180 km away.
Badami railway station is the nearest, 29 km away.
Pattadakkal is well connected by road to Badami (29 km) and Aihole (17 km).