Pattadakal which is also called as Pattadakallu is a World Heritage Site. Pattadakal is located near river Malaprabha in Bagalkot district in the state of Karnataka in the Southern part of India. Pattadakal was the capital during the reign of the Chalukya Dynasty between 6th century and 8th century.
About the place
Pattadakal being the capital, was the place where the coronation of the Chalukya kings was performed. This was the holy place, for the performance of Pattadakisuvolal which means Royal coronation. This place is popular for the temples constructed in Dravida-Vimana Style of temple constructions. Most of the temples were built by the Chalukya kings. The oldest temple being the Sangamesvara Temple made during 697 AD to 733 AD, a simple yet massive structure. There are 10 Hindu temples and also a Jain sanctuary, which is surrounded by many small shrines, all of them excellent masterpiece in the architecture. There was a beautiful confluence of the southern and northern style of architectural styles in India.
There are four temples built in the Southern Dravida style, four temples are in the northern Indian Nagara style, while the Papanatha temple is a fabulous fusion of both the styles. In addition to these Shiva temples there is a Jain Narayana temple and sanctuary.
Pattadakal is a holy place, having impressive eight temples dedicated to Shiva and the ninth is Shivaiite sanctuary, the Papanatha temple and the tenth a Jain temple. All in all Pattadakal is a great centre of Chalukyan art and architecture and has become a popular tourist destination due to the temples and the inscription thereon. The masterpiece in this group is the Temple of Virupaksha built in 740 by Queen Lokamahadevi to commemorate the victory of her husband, King Vikramaditya II, over Pallavas and other kings from the Southern India. The king appreciated art and had brought teams of sculptors and architect from south for building and this can be noted from the inscriptions there.
Mallikarjua Temple is a smaller version of the Virupaksha Temple built by the second Queen of Vikramaditya, built in 745. This temple is close to the Virupaksha Temple with a 4 storeyed vimana shikhar and circular main “gruha”. The last temple to be built in the Chalukya style was the Kashivishvanatha Temple built in the 8th century.
The ruins of many sanctuaries lie on the east and west sides, there are two monumental gates. In the axis of the courtyard in front of the temple is the statue of Nandi, the sacred bull of Lord Shiva. The statue is made in colossal black stone and is quite impressive.
The Papanatha Temple which is unique in its style of both southern and northern style of construction. The temple is dated back to 680and is built in vesara style, the temple started in nagara style of north but was later changed to Dravidian style. The sculptures there show scenes from the great epics Mahabharata and Ramayana. Abundance of Shiva temples indicates that the place was a great shaiva centre.
Pattadakal was included in the list of World Heritage Site in 1987 by UNESCO.