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Group of monuments At Pattadakal
Group of monuments At Pattadakal
Pattadakal is located in Karnataka
Coordinates: 15°56′54″N 75°48′57″E / 15.9484°N 75.8159°E / 15.9484; 75.8159Coordinates: 15°56′54″N 75°48′57″E / 15.9484°N 75.8159°E / 15.9484; 75.8159
Country India
State Karnataka
District Bagalkot
 • Official Kannada
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
Nearest city Badami
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Group of Monuments at Pattadakal
Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List
Virupaksha Temple, Dravidian style
Type Cultural
Criteria iii, iv
Reference 239
UNESCO region Asia-Pacific
Inscription history
Inscription 1987 (11th Session)

Pattadakal also spelled Paṭṭadakallu is a World Heritage site, a village and an important tourist centre in the state of Karnataka and is located on the left bank of the Malaprabha River in Bagalkot district and is 22 km from Badami and 514 km from Bangalore. It is 22 km from Badami and about 10 km from Aihole, both of which are well known for Chalukya monuments. The Pre-Chalukya historical and Archaeological site Bachinagudda is also near Pattadakal.


Old Kannada inscription of Chalukya emperor Vikramaditya II on victory pillar, Virupaksha Temple, Pattadakal, c.733–745
Old Kannada inscription of Sinda chieftain Chavunda II (1162 A.D.), describes grant made for construction of the Sangameshvara temple by Chalukya King Vijayaditya

Pattadakal, site where Badami Chalukya kings were crowned, was the capital of the Chalukya dynasty of Karnataka in Southern India between the 6th and 8th centuries. The Chalukyas built many temples here between the 7th and 8th century.[1] There are ten temples at Pattadakal, including a Jain sanctuary surrounded by numerous small shrines and plinths in fusion of various Indian architectural styles (Rekha, Nagara, Prasada and Dravida Vimana). Four temples were built in Chalukya Dravida style, four in Nagara style of Northern India, while the Papanatha temple in a fusion of the two idioms. In all, nine Shiva temples and a Jaina basadi (called Jain Narayana temple built in the 9th century by the Rashtrakutas), situated along the northern course of a river.

Pattadakal is a great centre of Chalukya art and architecture, noted for its temples and inscriptions. According to inscriptions, the place was known by the names Kisuvolal (Red Town - mostly mountains near pattadakal gave this name), Raktapura, Pattada Kisuvolal. The literary work Hammira Kavya of 1540 quotes the place as Pattashilapura and Hammirapura. It has been mentioned in the 11th and 12th century inscriptions, as well as in the literary work Singirajapurana of 1500 and Hammira Kavya as the place where the Chalukya kings were crowned.

Pattadakal continued to be an important centre under the Rashtrakutas and the Kalyani Chalukyas. It became a chief city for a small region called Kisukadu-70. The Sindhas of Yaramabarige (Yelburgi) also ruled it for some time.

Chalukya style of architecture

The Chalukya style originated in Aihole (450), Architects experimented with different styles, blended the Nagara and Dravidian styles, and evolved their own distinctive style. At Pattadakal, the Chalukya kings were crowned. In the middle of the 7th century, temple building activity shifted from Badami to Pattadakal. There are ten temples here, four are in Nagara style and six are in Dravidian style. The largest of all the temples in Pattadakal is Virupaksha temple.

Group of Monuments, Pattadakal

Kannada inscription[edit]

There are numerous Kannada language inscriptions at Pattadakal. Important among them; at Virupaksha Temple, there is 8th (733–745) century Old Kannada inscription on victory pillar, in the Sangameshvara temple, there exists a large inscription tablet (696-733) describing grants made by King Vijayaditya for the construction of the temple.

World Heritage Site[edit]

UNESCO in 1987 included Pattadakal in its list of World Heritage sites.[2] [3][4][5][6]

The group of 8th century monuments in Pattadakal are the culmination of the earliest experiments in the vesara style of Hindu temple architecture. The town displays both Dravidian (Southern) and the Nagara (Northern) styles of temple architecture.

Groups of monuments[edit]

Jain Temple[edit]

Jain Narayana temple built by the Rashtrakuta dynasty at Pattadakal

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. It consists of a mukhamantapa, a navaranga, shukanasa and garbhagriha. Its construction may be of the 9th century. Principle deity of the temple is Parshvanatha,23rd tirthankar of Jainism.

Walls of the upper shrine reflect the arrangements of the walls of the ground floor on a diminished scale. Its antarala front is covered by the basal part of the sukanasa projection, while the parapet on the other three sides carries karnakutas and salas. The third storey of lesser width is relieved on its sides except on the front side. The bays contain kudu-like arches and half-arches as in northern style temples. The subdued griva recess over this storey supports a beautifully carved square shikhara.

Excavation by the Archaeological Survey of India in the premises of the temple has brought to light the remains of a large temple complex built in bricks and also a beautiful sculpture of Tirthankara standing in sama-bhanga indicating the existence of a temple, probably belonging to the pre or beginning of the early Chalukyan rule.

Plan of temple

Virupaksha Temple[edit]

Virupaksha temple at Pattadakal

Virupaksha temple is the largest and grandest of all temples in Pattadakal built in 8th Century, built by Queen Lokamahadevi (Trilokyamahadevi)in 745 to commemorate her husband's victory (Vikramaditya II) over the Pallavas of Kanchi. The Virupaksha temple is rich in sculptures like those of Lingodbhava, Nataraja, Ravananugraha and Ugranarasimha. Virupaksha is the earliest dated temple with the sukanasika, being closely followed by the Mallikarjuna temple. The biggest temple in Pattadakal is Virupaksha, enclosed by a large prakara. According to an inscription, the temple was built by Lokamahadevi, the consort of Vikramaditya to commemorate his three victories over the Pallavas and occupation of Kanchi. Its original name was Lokeshvara or Lokapaleshvara. This was perhaps built in about first half of the 8th century. This temple has a sanctum, an inner passage, pillared navaranga and triple entrances from the north, east and the south porches. It has a massive gateway in front from the east and a small gate behind. There are inscriptions and imposing stone carved figures inside the stone mantapa. A little inside is the four-pillared Nandimantapa, which has a fine large stone bull. The sanctum has a circuit path and installed on the square pedestal, a black Shivalinga. The famous Kailasa temple at Ellora was built on the model of the Virupaksha temple here. The Kailasantha temple at kanchipuram was built based on the model of Virupaksha temple. The architect of the temple was given the title as Tribhuvanacharya.

Sangameshvara Temple[edit]

Sangameshvara temple

Sangameshwara Temple (was called Vijayewara) is The oldest temple in Pattadakal, built by Chalukya King Vijayaditya Satyashraya ( 696-733), it has no sukanasika. The temple is in Dravidian style perhaps the oldest among the temples and it consists of a Sanctum, Inner passage and navaranga. The sanctum and inner passage are enclosed by a path way for pradakshina, which has several lattices of different design, sculptured on the outer walls various figures like Ugranarasimha and Nataraja. Both the Sangamesvara temple and the Virupaksha temple are similar to each other in being square on plan from the base to shikhara. The main vimana is of three storeys. The lowermost storey is surrounded by two walls. The second storey being an upward projection of the inner wall. While the outer wall encloses the covered circumambulatory round the sanctum. The navaranga has 20 pillars in four rows. Its exterior walls have stone carved figures. The sanctum has a Dravidian tower. According to an inscription in Kannada dated 1162, it was built by the Early Chalukya king Vijayaditya and was named Vijayeshvara.

Chandrashekhara Temple[edit]

To the left of the Sangameshvara is the small Chandrashekhara Temple. Its architectural style is very simple, without any idols or fragile carvings. This small shrine consists of sanctum with a Shivalinga and a small hall. Only one idol of doorkeeper remains now.

Mallikarjuna Temple[edit]

Mallikarjuna and Kasivisvanatha temples at Pattadakal, built 740
Pattadakal Kashi vishwanatha temple
Mallikarjuna and Kashivishwanatha temples
Kashivishvanatha temple built by the Rashtrakuta dynasty at Pattadakal, Karnataka

Mallikarjuna Temple is a smaller version of the Virupaksha temple and was built by Vikramadiyta's second queen Trilokyamahadevi in 745. This temple is also was constructed by Rani Trilokyamahadevi to celebrate the victory (by Vikramaditya II) over the Pallavas. The Mallikarjuna temple was built immediately after and close to the Virupaksha temple (It has a similar plan), with a 4 storeyed vimana with a circular griva and shikhara. Mallikarjuna temple in Dravidian style. To the north of the Virupaksha temple lies the Mallikarjuna which was formerly known as Trailokeshvara. It is in close proximity with the Sanghameshvara temple in design, construction and sculpture, but smaller in size. The porch has a beautiful image of Narasimha killing Hiranyakashipu and two female idols. Here are two grand images on both the sides of the entrance to the navaranga. The eighteen pillars of the navaranga have figures pertaining to Ramayana, Mahabharatha and those representing social conditions of those days. On the ceiling are beautiful figures of Gajalakshmi and Shiva-Parvathi with Nandi. On the external walls are sculptures like Shiva, Nandi, Lakulisha, Nataraja, etc. This temple was built by Trailokya Mahadevi, the queen of Vikramaditya II.'

Kashivisvanatha Temple[edit]

Kasivisvesvara Temple was the last to be built in early Chalukya style. This temple was built by the Rashtrakutas in the 8th century. Kashi Vishwanatha temple in Nagara style To the north of the Mallikarjuna temple is the temple of Kashivishveshvara of which only the sanctum and a passage is left. On the pillars of the inner passage, female figures are engraved in high relief. On the ceiling, Somaskanda is represented. Its sanctum has a rekhanagara tower. The structure is presumably of the 8th century.

Galganatha Temple[edit]

Galaganatha Temple was built a century later in the architecture style of Rekha Nagara Prasada. Temple contains a sculpture of Lord Shiva killing the demon Andhakasura. Galaganatha Temple lies to the north of the Virupaksha and faces the west. It has a navaranga, shukanasa and the sanctum with a linga. Around the sanctum is the circuit path way. In several niches are small figures of Kubera, Gajalakshmi and others. On the external wall niche of the circuit path way is a fine figure of Shiva. The rekhanagara style tower over the temple is very fine. It seems to have been constructed during the first half of the 8th century.

Kadasiddhesvara and Jambulingeswara temples[edit]

Kadasiddhesvara and Jambulingeswara temples are both attributed to the 7th century. 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.

Jambulinga temple[edit]

Behind the Galaganatha temple is the shrine of Jambulinga. It has a sanctum with a shukanasa and a navaranga. At the doorway of the shukanasa are idols of Shiva’s guards Nandi and Virabhadra. In the shrine is the linga. The outer wall niches of the sancyum have idols of Shiva (Lakulisha) and Vishnu. It has a small rekhanagara tower.

Kadasiddheshvara temple[edit]

To the north, very close to the Jambulinga shrine, is the shrine of Kadasiddheshvara. In size and architecture it is similar to that of Jambulinga. There are several well executed idols of Shiva, Parvathi and Vishnu and other divinities on the outer wall.

Papanatha temple at Pattadakal

Papanatha temple[edit]

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 Badami Chalukyas. Papanatha Temple is located to the south of the Virupaksha has a portico, main hall, big antechamber and the sanctum with encircled path way. At the doorway of the inner hall are idols of door-keepers, Nandi and Virabhadra. There are 16 pillars in the main hall, which have fine figures of couples and carved figures of females. The ceiling has impressive figures of Shiva-Parvathi with Vishnu and the gandharvas. To the north-west, on the wall is a notable figure of a royal court. Amorous couples and decorative carvings are found in several parts of the temple. On the external walls are figures of lion and elephant riders and Ramayana scenes. The temple appears to have built in stages. The sanctum has a rekhanagara tower. The temple appears to have built in 680.

Other monuments at Pattadakal
  • Apart from these major temples, several small Shiva shrines are seen here.
  • According to the inscription on a Shaiva stone pillar found near the Virupaksha, Sangameshvara and Mallikarjuna temples, this pillar with a trident emblem was put up by Jnana Shivacharya, who hailed from Mrigathanikahara, on the north bank of the Ganges. It also states about the gift of land by him to the Vijayeshvara.
  • The abundance of Shiva temples here clearly indicates that the place was a great Shaiva centre in ancient times.
  • Museum of the Plains and Sculpture gallery is maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India on the Bhutanatha temple road.
Mahabharata Inscription
Lord Suryanarayana

Other important monuments here are the monolithic stone pillar bearing inscriptions, Naganatha temple, Chandrashekara temple and inscriptions in the Mahakuteshwara temple.

(Source: Karnataka State Gazetteer 1983)


Being a major tourist destination, Pattadakal is well connected by Air, Rail and Road.


The nearest airport is at Belgaum, which is around 180 km from Pattadakal. Although there are not many flights that operate from Belgaum Airport, flights from Indian cities like Mumbai and Chennai operate to Belgaum. The nearest international airport is at Bengaluru.


Badami is the nearest rail head, located about 22 km from Pattadakal. Trains from major cities such as Bangalore, Solapur and Ahmedabad halt at the station. One can hire a taxi or board a bus to reach Pattadakal from the station.


Pattadakal is well connected by road. State-run buses and tourist buses ply regularly from all the major cities of Karnataka such as Bengaluru, Bijapur, Hubli and Belgaum.

See also[edit]



  1. ^ "Carved for eternity - Pattadakal". Retrieved 2013-05-24. 
  2. ^ "The Chalukyan magnificence". Retrieved 2009-03-05. 
  3. ^ "Pattadakal". Retrieved 2009-03-05. 
  4. ^ "World Heritage Sites - Pattadakal, Group of Monuments at Pattadakal (1987), Karnataka". Retrieved 2009-03-06. 
  5. ^ "Group of Monuments at Pattadakal" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-03-09. 

6.Karnataka State Gazetteer 1983

External links[edit]