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Travel to Pattadakkal - a Unesco World Heritage Site

Updated on November 17, 2020
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Lakshmi Menon is a published author who writes both fiction and non-fiction. She is also a travel enthusiast.

Pattadakkal- A World Heritage site

Pattadakal is a small village in North Karnataka, situated on the banks of the River Malaprabha, in the District of Bijapur. Pattadakkal is renowned for its beautiful and ancient temples built by mighty Chalukya Dynasty.Pattadakal is one of the World Heritage Sites of India. It is also one of the important tourist destinations of Karnataka. These temples are also known as the 'Cradle of Indian Architecture'.

Pattadakal was the second most important city of the Chalukyas and it was used as the site of royal ceremonies like coronations. , Pattadakal is also called as Pattadakallu or Raktapura.

Temples of Pattadakkal

The kings of Chalukya Dynasty were great lovers of art and architecture. They built a group of 8 temples in the Pattadakkal complex. These temples are - Sangameshwara, Virupaksha, Mallikarjuna, Chandrasekhara (all built in the southern Dravida Vimana style), Kadasiddeshwara, Jambulinga, Galaganatha, and Kasivisveshwara (the last 4 built in the northern Rekhanagara Prasada style).

These temples are built using local red sandstone, from the hills that surround the region and spread across 5.56 acres. The immediate difference one can notice in the styles is the gopuram. The southern style gopuram is shorter, broader at the base, and squat. In the case of northern style gopuram is that they are taller and better proportioned. On a detailed look one can notice the difference in architecture. In the southern style, the temples are richly carved, both inside and out, whereas the northern style temples have plain outer walls, with only an occasional carving.

Virupaksha Temple at Pattadakkal

Virupaksha Temple is facing east, and is still a living temple. You can see a huge statue of Nandi greeting you at the entrance. It

This temple was built by Lokamahadevi, the Queen of Vikaramaditya II in about A.D.740 to commemorate her husband’s victory over the Pallavas of Kanchipuram. It is referred to as "Shri Lokesvara Mahashila Prasada", placing one dressed-up stone upon another without any cementing agent.

It has a resemblance of Kailashanatha Temple at Kanchipuram on plan and elevation. You can see two small shrines for Ganesa and Mahishamardini facing each other in the front.

It is also one of the most richly carved temples in the complex with beautifully proportioned. The 18 pillars in the temple has intricately sculpted murals depicting scenes from the puranas like Ramayana and Mahabharata, in each of them.

The temples in the complex are under Archaeological Survey of India and are well maintained.

Sangameshwara Temple

Sangameshwara temple the oldest temple in Pattadakal, it was built by King Vijayaditya ( 696-733 AD). Ugranarasimha, Nataraja sculptures are seen on the outer wall

Dance Festival at Pattadakkal

Every year during the first quarter (January or February) Pattadakal celebrates the annual dance festival also called the Chalukya Utsava.

Aihole - Located close to Pattadakkal, this temple city is famous as the 'Cradle of Indian Temple Architecture'.

Aihole has over 125 temples, all intricately carved and rich in detail. The oldest temple here, is perhaps the 5th century Lad Khan Temple. The Durga (Fort) Temple has a semi-circular apse and a complete portico.

Reaching Pattadakal:

From Bangalore distance 514 kms.

From Badami distance 22 kms.


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