Pattadakal
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Pattadakal   |   Bagalkot

Pattadakal also spelled Paṭṭadakallu is a World Heritage site, a village and an important tourist centre in the state of Karnataka and is located on the left bank of the Malaprabha River in Bagalkot district and is 22 km from Badami and 514 km from Bangalore. It is 22 km from Badami and about 10 km from Aihole, both of which are well known for Chalukya monuments. The Pre-Chalukya historical and Archaeological site Bachinagudda is also near Pattadakal.

Pattadakal, site where Badami Chalukya kings were crowned, was the capital of the Chalukya dynasty of Karnataka in Southern India between the 6th and 8th centuries. The Chalukyas built many temples here between the 7th and 8th century. There are ten temples at Pattadakal, including a Jain sanctuary surrounded by numerous small shrines and plinths in fusion of various Indian architectural styles (Rekha, Nagara, Prasada and Dravida Vimana). Four temples were built in Chalukya Dravida style, four in Nagara style of Northern India, while the Papanatha temple in a fusion of the two idioms. In all, nine Shiva temples and a Jaina basadi (called Jain Narayana temple built in the 9th century by theRashtrakutas), situated along the northern course of a river.

Chandrashekhara Temple

To the left of the Sangameshvara is the small Chandrashekhara Temple. Its architectural style is very simple, without any idols or fragile carvings. This small shrine consists of sanctum with a Shivalinga and a small hall. Only one idol of doorkeeper remains now.

Mallikarjuna Temple

Mallikarjuna Temple is a smaller version of the Virupaksha temple and was built by Vikramadiyta's second queen Trilokyamahadevi in 745. This temple is also was constructed by Rani Trilokyamahadevi to celebrate the victory (by Vikramaditya II) over the Pallavas and was built immediately after and close to the Virupaksha temple. There are two grand images on both the sides of the entrance to the navaranga. The eighteen pillars of the navaranga have figures pertaining to Ramayana, Mahabharatha and those representing social conditions of those days.

Kashivisvanatha Temple

Kasivisvesvara Temple was the last to be built in early Chalukya style. This temple was built by the Rashtrakutas in the 8th century. On the pillars of the inner passage, female figures are engraved in high relief. On the ceiling, Somaskanda is represented. Its sanctum has a rekhanagara tower.

Galganatha Temple

Galaganatha Temple was built a century later in the architecture style of Rekha Nagara Prasada which contains a sculpture of Lord Shiva killing the demon Andhakasura. The rekhanagara style tower over the temple is very fine. It seems to have been constructed during the first half of the 8th century.

Kadasiddhesvara and Jambulingeswara temples

Kadasiddhesvara and Jambulingeswara temples are both attributed to the 7th century. Kadasiddeshvara temple which has a sculpture of Shiva holding a trident or trishul in his hands and its twin temple, the Jambulinga Temple are all built in Nagara style and resemble the Hucchimalli' Guddi at Aihole.

Jambulinga temple

Behind the Galaganatha temple is the shrine of Jambulinga and has a sanctum with a shukanasa and a navaranga. At the doorway of the shukanasa are idols of Shiva’s guards Nandi and Virabhadra. In the shrine is the linga. The outer wall niches of the sancyum have idols of Shiva (Lakulisha) and Vishnu. It has a small rekhanagara tower.

Kadasiddheshvara temple

To the north, very close to the Jambulinga shrine, is the shrine of Kadasiddheshvara. There are several well executed idols of Shiva, Parvathi and Vishnu and other divinities on the outer wall.

Papanatha temple

Papanatha temple is built in the vesara style dated to 680. The temple was started in nagara style but later changed to a more balanced Dravidian style. It is located to the south of the Virupaksha has a portico, main hall, big antechamber and the sanctum with encircled path way. At the doorway of the inner hall are idols of door-keepers, Nandi and Virabhadra. There are 16 pillars in the main hall, which have fine figures of couples and carved figures of females. The ceiling has impressive figures of Shiva-Parvathi with Vishnu and the gandharvas. To the north-west, on the wall is a notable figure of a royal court.

Photography: [Divakar Hiriyadka]

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