Saturday, August 4, 2012

A Chalukyan Pilgrimage II - Pattadakkal

Group of monuments in Pattadakkal dated back to 8th century CE. These monuments are currently considered as world heritage site by UNESCO. This former capital of Chalukyans contains a number of temples - including a Jain temple - dated back to seventh and eighth centuries. These temples are constructed in Dravidian, Nagara and Mixed styles.

My auto reached Pattadakkal in the afternoon. After paying the driver I moved towards the ticket counter, here you don’t have to pay for camera.

Main temples in Pattadakkal are,

Virupaksha Temple - Built by queen Lokadevi in 740 AD to celebrate her husband's - Vikramadithya II - victory over Pallavas. This shrine measures 224 feet east-west and 105 feet north-south with a big hall in the centre. This complex contains one central shrine, two separate shrines and one Nandi mandapa. Rangamandapa is supported by 18 rectangular pillars in four rows full of sculptures with episodes of Ramayana, Mahabharatha, and Bhagavata engraved.

Sangameshvara Temple - Built by King Vijayaditya Satyashraya in 725 AD. This huge temple has one main shrine and two subsidiary shrines. Nine lattice windows allow the light into circumambulatory path is unique in their geometrical pattern.

Mallikarjuna Temple - This temple built by Trailokadevi - younger queen of Vikramaditya II and sister of Lokadevi - is almost in the same design of Virupaksha temple but slightly smaller.

Kashivisvanatha Temple - This 8th century temple with a nagara shikhara contains a series of Chaitya windows. The front part of the Shikhara has beautiful figures of dancing Shiva and Parvati. The central ceiling also have sculptures of Shiva, Parvati, child Kartikeya and Nandi.

Kadasiddhesvara - This temple resembles Jambulingeswara in size and design has a northern rekhanagara shikhara. Above the lintel of the Garbhagriha there is a image of Shiva, Parvati, Nandi, Brahma and Vishnu. On the outer walls you can see the figures of Harihara, Lakulisha, Ardhanarishwara etc.

Jain Narayana temple, Jambulingeswara temple, Galganatha temple etc are some other temples located here.

I walked slowly around each temple. Some priests were performing poojas on a Nadimandapa and on the Shiva temple opposite to that. Apart from this area pooja's or any other rituals were not performed in any other part of this group of monuments. After going through the entire temple, I sat on a side bench and lost in thinking about the Chalukyan times.

Well, it’s already 6 'o' clock the place is about to close. I slowly walked outside and start waiting for some vehicle to reach Badami. Around 6.15pm I got a bus to Badami. This time I got down at Badami railway station and walked towards it.

Pattadakkal Group of monuments


How to reach Pattadakkal: You will get private vehicles and buses from Badami bus stand or railway station

Information Courtesy: Archaeological Survey of India, Wikipedia.

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