Aug 122011

Reaching Pattadakal:

After visiting the fort and the caves of Badami (Read here: Badami: A Beautiful Town of the Caves) in the early morning, I started my journey towards Pattadakal, which is just 22 kms away from Badami. I was not having more information about Pattadakal. I just knew that there are some temples which are cover under UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Public transport is not frequent on Badami-Pattadakal-Aihole stretch. You have to wait for 30 mins to an hour to catch a public bus, sometimes may be upto two hours. Tourists mainly prefer to travel by their own transport on this route, but as a budget traveler, you had to rely on the public transport. I got a bus from Badami to Pattadakal after 30 minutes wait and reach there within an hour. The palm trees en-route were spread all around and reminded you a village of kerala, though not as beautiful as those are.

En-route Badami-Pattadakal

Malprabha Riverside

First impression of Pattadakal seemed like a small, underdeveloped rural settlement, but still it is the home of one of World Heritage Site. The village is situated on the bank of Malprabha River.This place reached its pinnacle of glory under the Chalukyas from the seventh to the ninth centuries functioning as a royal commemorative site. The group of about nine temples, surrounded by numerous minor shrines and plinths, represents the climax of early Western Chalukyan Architecture. King Vikramaditya II (734 – 745 AD) and his art loving queens Lokmahadevi and Trailkyamahadevi, brought sculptors from Kanchipuram to create fantasies in stone in Pattadakal .

Malprabha River

Malprabha River

I left the bus just outside the temple complex, bought a ticket (Rs.20/-) and went inside a widespread temple complex.

Pattadakal Temple Complex:

It has a set of nine temples built almost in a single file, showing the architects’ desire for experimenting in various styles.Pattadakal represents the culmination of early Chalykyan art. Four of the temples here are in the south Indian Dravidian architectural style while four are in the north Indian Nagara style while Papanatha temple exhibits a hybrid style.

Pattadakal Temple Complex

Temple Complex

Virupaksha Temple

The Virupaksha temple, the most beautiful of all temples, were built by the queen of Vikaramaditya II to commemorate the victory of the Chalukyas over the Pallavas. As the Virupaksha temple was built by Queen Lokamahadevi, it was originally called Lokeshwara. The temple is rich in sculpture like those of Lingodbhava, Nataraja, Ravananugraha & Ugranarasimha. Built in the southern Dravida style, it is the largest temple in the enclosure. While the Kailasanatha temple of Kanchi served as a model for this temple (given the interaction between the Chalukyas and the Pallavas), this temple served as the model for the Ellora Kailasanatha temple built by the Rashtrakootas.

Virupaksha Temple with Victory Pillar

Nandi Mandapa in front of Virupaksha Temple

Pillar Details: Scenes from Mahabharata. The middle panel shows Bhishma on a bed of arrows.

Pillar Details: Scenes from Ramayana with inscriptions between the rows.

A close view of Virupaksha Temple

Sangameshvara Temple

Perhaps the oldest temple in Pattadakal, it was built by King Vijayaditya ( 696-733 AD) and was called Vijayewara after him. Now called Sangameshwara, the temple is built in Dravidian style and consists of a sanctum, inner passage & a hall. There are sculptures on the outer wall like those of Ugranarasimha and Nataraja.

Sangameshvara Temple

Mallikarjuna Temple

Built by Trailokyamahadevi, the queen of Vikramaditya II (734-745AD), it was originally called Trailokeshwara Temple. It is similar to the Virupaksha Temple but smaller in size. The ceiling has panels of Gajalakshmi and Nataraja with Parvathi. Pillars in the temple depict the birth and life of Krishna. There are sculptures of Mahishasuramardini (very similar to the one in Mamallapuram) and Ugranarasimha.

Mallikarjuna Temple

Galaganath Temple

Built of sandstone, the tower is in the northern “Rekhanagara” style. The temple was probably never completed. It contains a beautiful sculpture of Shiva in the act of killing the Andhakasura.

Galaganath Temple

Other temples of Pattadakal Complex include Kashivisvanatha Temple, Kadasiddhesvara and Jambulingeswara’ Temples and Papanatha Temple.

Kashi Vishweshwar Temple

Another view

A view of temples

A group of temples

A wall picture

A temple wall

@Temple Complex

@Temple Complex

Pattadakal Temple Complex

After spending nearly 2 hours in Pattadakal, I wanted to move to my next destination Aihole, but the problem of transport haunted me at least for one hour. There were no direct public transport available to Aihole. Finally after waiting about an hour, I got an auto to Aihole, a destination I have never read before, neither in history books nor in geography books.

  8 Responses to “A Day at Pattadakal Temple Complex in Karnataka”

  1. I am planning a trip to that part of India (I live in the UK) in January/February next year). I believe that Badami, Aihole and Pattadakal are well worth visiting. Any other tips? With thanks, Jenny D

    • Hi, That’s really good. You will enjoy these places. Try to visit Hampi (South from Badami) or Bijapur (North from Badami) or cover both. Worth visiting. Hampi is magical and attracts millions of the tourists throughout the year. Have a nice trip.

  2. nature is wounder,god is great.

  3. Hey Avanish, just commented on your Bundi trip page. Well, seems like we prefer the same roads. When were in Pattadakal? I went south in Feb-March 2011. Again borrowed a bike from a friend in B’lore, a Yamaha, and took the following route: Shivanasamudra Falls, Mysore, Bandipore, Madhumalai, Ooty, Wayanad, Coorg, Belur and Halebidu, Shravanabelagola, and back to B’lore. From there, I took a over-night bus to Hampi, and then onto Badami. Missed Pattadakal though, because of lack of time. Had a great time, overall.
    So where are you planning to go next?

    • Hi, you had some great next plans are da series of trips…right now I am in Katra, J & K..will go to Bikaner in this month’s end, next month to varanasi, Dec to Agra n Fatehpur Sikri…n den in Jan Trekking to chamba, dalhousie n khajiyar…Bt I doubt any of this will b on bike..see u somewhere.

      • Hi Avanish, “see u somewhere”, sure, I look forward to that!
        By the way, I’ll say (like a lot of others) you do a wonderful photography job. Great pics, esp the way you frame them, and a concise, but complete write-up. Me, I am too lazy to do anything. What camera do you use?
        Katra, uh. I am based in Ludhiana. You planning a Delhi to Bikaner ride? I usually ride there from Ldh, and I rate Suratgarh-Bikaner road as one of the best rides in India. And I too plan to be in general-Raj area around Dec end.
        Trekking in Jan? That would be brrrrr cold! Try the Dainkund to Jot walk/trek, if that’s possible. Not too long, fairly high for the area, maybe below winter snowline. Another option is Chamba to Kangra valley, over one of the multiple passes (e.g. Inderhara), but that’s only Summer option.

        • Hi Balraj,
          Thanks for liking the pictures. Earlier, I was using Sony DSC H-10, but now I have a Canon EOS 550D. Still learning about the photography. I would love to do the recommended treks by you. Let’s see in future, and if you come to Delhi..let me know. We can meet in Delhi.

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