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Pattadakal in Karnataka is famous for its ancient temples dating back to the 7th - 8th century. The sandstone temple complex is a refined example of Chalukyan architecture. Pattadakal was designated UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.

The picturesque village of Pattadakal is situated on the banks of the Malaprabha River in the Bagalkot district of Karnataka. A series of nine Hindu temples and a Jain sanctuary built in the 7th - 8th century present fine examples of the superior art and architectural accomplishments of the Chalukya dynasty.

In ancient times the town was also known as Kisuvolal, meaning the red town, since the sandstone here is reddish in color. The temple region surrounded by several plinths, remarkable carvings and small shrines is a treat for history lovers. The quiet atmosphere also provides a serene retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life.

The temples are distinctive, as they display a harmonious blend of architectural forms from northern and southern India, the Dravidian and the Nagara (Indo-Aryan) styles of temple architecture. They also showcase the remarkable craftsmanship of the era, sporting amazing carvings on both the interiors and exteriors of the temples.

Pattadakal was the ceremonial capital of the Chalukyan Empire, and it was here that the emperors were crowned. It was also the second capital of the Chalukyan Empire after Badami. Most of the temples were erected to mark the victory of the Chalukyan rulers. The oldest temple here is Sangamesvara, while other notable temples include the Kadasiddhesvara, Jambulingeswara, Mallikarjuna, Virupaksha and the Galaganatha temples.

The intricately carved temples include sculptures of Navagrahas, Dikpalas, dancing Nataraja, Varahavishnu, and Trivikrama, as well as episodes from the Ramayana, Mahabharata, Bhagavata and Panchatantra.

Sangameswara Temple
One of the oldest temples in Pattadakal, this temple was built by King Vijayaditya between 696-733 A.D.. The temple, built in the Dravidian style, consists of a sanctum, inner passage and a hall. The sanctum houses a lingam. The path surrounding the Garbhagriha (= the main sanctum) is lit by windows in the north, west and south sides. The Sangamesvara Temple and the Virupaksha Temple are very similar to each other architecturally, as both have a square layout from the base to top. East of the temple hall, a Nandi image resides on a plinth. The outer walls of the temple display sculptures of Ugranarasimha and Nataraja.
Kadasiddheswara Temple
This temple, dating to the 7th century, has a square sanctum which houses a lingam on a rectangular Mandapa. The entire temple is built on a raised platform and conforms to the northern style of temple architecture. The outer walls of the sanctum area are carved with images of Ardhanariswara, Harihara and Shiva. The doorway of the sanctum is decorated with images of Shiva and Parvati surrounded by attendants. There are also images of Brahma, Vishnu and river goddesses on either side of the doorway.
Jambulinga and Galaganatha Temples
The Galaganatha and Jambulinga Temples are fine examples of the North Indian style of temple architecture. They are characterized by the presence of a curved tower (Shikhara) over the inner sanctum. The Galaganatha Temple has an especially well-preserved tower. The temple is decorated with intricate carvings depicting stories from the Panchtantra.
Virupaksha Temple
Virupaksha Temple is the only temple amongst the Pattadakal shrines where regular puja is offered. This temple was constructed by Queen Trilokyamahadevi, the wife of Vikramaditya II, in honor of his victory against the Pallavas of Kanchi in the year 735 A.D. This is the largest temple in the cluster, and it is built in the Dravidian style of temple architecture. The temple is to some extent a replica of the Kailasanatha temple of Kanchi, and has 18 pillars that are beautifully decorated with carvings displaying scenes from the Puranas. In addition, there are also carvings of Ravananugrahamurthy, Narasimha, Gajendramoksham and Nataraja. The Virupaksha Temple is a large complex and is characterized by tall Vimana with axial Mandapas. This is enclosed by a wall with Gopura entrances in front and behind. The Rashtrakuta ruler Krishna I was influenced by the architecture of the Virupaksha Temple, and utilized it as a model to carve out the great Kailasa at Ellora.
Mallikarjuna Temple
This temple was also constructed by Queen Trailokyamahadevi in 740 A.D. to commemorate her husband’s victory over the Pallavas. The two temples Virupaksha and Mallikarjuna, situated very close to each other, resemble each other to a great degree, with regard to their plan, architecture and wall carvings. The ceiling of this temple boasts images of Gajalakshmi and Nataraja with Parvathi, whereas the pillars depict the life of Lord Krishna. Also present are the sculptures of Mahishasuramardini and Ugranarasimha.
Jaina Temple
This is the last inclusion in the cluster of temples at Pattadakal, and was constructed in the 9th century, during the reign of the Rastrakuta King Krishna II. Popularly known as the Jaina Narayana, this Jain temple has three stories, although only two stories of the temple are functional.
A classical dance festival is held at Pattadakal, every year in January
The famous Virupaksha Temple Car Festival is held in March every year.
The Mallikarjuna Temple Festival is held during March and April.
Nearby places Train stations Airports
SAMBRE 156 Km 02H 53m
Bijapur 138 Km 02H 08m
Hubli Junction 118 Km 02H 01m
Solapur Junction
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Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Best Seasons
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Season Min. Temp. Max. Temp.
Summer 22 °C 40 °C
Winter 10 °C 30 °C
Summers are uncomfortable with temperatures touching 42C. Monsoon follows in Jul-Sep. Ideal time to visit is during Oct - Feb period.

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