Pattadakal is a town in Karnataka famous for its group of monuments that are the culmination of earliest experiments in vesara style of Hindu temple architecture. The temples were built in the 8th century CE. The uniqueness of this place derives from the presence of both the Dravidian or the Southern and the Nagara or the Northern (Indo-Aryan) styles of temple architecture!!
Pattadakal is 22 km from Badami, the capital of the Chalukya dynasty of Southern India, who built the temples in the seventh and eighth centuries. There are ten temples including a Jain sanctuary surrounded by numerous small shrines and plinths. Four temples were built in Dravidian style, four in nagara style of Northern India and the Papanatha temple in mixed style.
The group of monuments in Pattadakal was designated a World Heritage Site in 1987.
The best known is the Virupaksha temple, built by Queen Lokamahadevi in 745 to commemorate her husband's victory (Vikramaditya II) over the Pallavas of Kanchi. The temple closely resembles the Kailashnatha temple in Kanchi which served as a model for this temple. The Virupakhsa temple in turn served as an inspiration for the Kailashnatha temple built by the Rashtrakuta dynasty in Ellora. The Virupaksha temple is rich in sculptures like those of lingodbhava, Nataraja, Ravananugraha and Ugranarasimha.
Sangameshvara Temple built by King Vijayaditya Satyashraya is incomplete, yet attractive.
Kashivisvanatha temple was built by the Rashtrakutas in the 8th century.
Mallikarjuna Temple is a smaller version of the Virupaksha temple and was built by Vikramadiyta's second queen Trilokyamahadevi in 745.
Galganatha temple contains a sculpture of Lord Shiva killing the demon Andhakasura, 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.
Jain Temple located on the Pattadakal-Badami Road, is built in the Dravidian style by the Rashtrakutas of Manyakheta. It has some very beautiful sculptures & probably dates from the 9th century and was built by either King Amoghavarsha I or his son Krishna II
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. Sculptures here speak of scenes from Ramayana and Mahabharatha. This temple has many similarities with the Navabrahma temples in Alampur, Andhra Pradesh, which were also built by the same dynasty.
Museum of the Plains and Sculpture gallery is maintained by the Archeological Survey of India on the Bhutanatha temple road.
Other important monuments here are the monolithic stone pillar bearing inscriptions, Naganatha temple, Chandrashekara temple and inscriptions in the Mahakuteshwara temple.
Temples in Pattadakal
Pattadakallu is the second capital of the chalukyan kingdom.There are ten temples including a Jaina basadi of Rashtrakuta times and also surrounded by numerous small shrines and plinths.
- Virupaksha Temple
Virupaksha Temple was built by Queen Loka Mahadevi (originally named as Lokeswara) after the successful military campaigns of King Vikramaditya II against the Pallavas (4th-9th centuries CE).
- Mallikarjuna Temple
Originally called the Trailokeswara temple in honour of the Queen Trailokya Mahadevi.
- Sangameswara Temple
Sangameswara Temple was built in 720 CE by Vijayaditya and originally named as the Vijayeswara temple.
- Kadasiddheswara Temple
Kadasiddheswara Temple was constructed during the middle to late 7th century CE.
- Jambulingeswara Temple
- Galaganatha Temple
One of the last to be built at the site around 750 CE, possesses an exquisitely developed superstructure in the northern style as adopted by Early Chalukyan architects.
- Chandrashekhara Temple
This relatively small structure is placed between the Sangameswara and Galganatha temples.
- Papanatha Temple
Located to the south of Virupaksha temple, it boasts of a vimana of the northern style with an elaborately carved sukanasa at front.
- Kasivisweswara Temple
It showcases the wonderfully developed style of rekha nagara shikhara rising in five stages, unfortunately the amalaka and kalash are missing.
- Monolithic Stone Pillar
A monolithic stone pillar bearing inscription stands in front of the Mallikarjuna temple. The inscription is in Siddhamatrika and Kannada – Tamil characters of 8th century CE.
- Jain Temple
Locally named the Jain Narayana temple, it was constructed much later during the rule of Rashtrakuta Dynasty in 9th century CE.