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Mallikarjuna Temple

Pattadakal in Karnataka is famous for its temple complex encompassing temples done in North Indian or Indo-Aryan style and South Indian or the Dravidian styles. In this temple complex houses the famous Mallikarjuna Temple built in the Dravidian style.

A world Heritage site, the temples were built in 7th and 8th century by the Chalukya dynasty. The temple complex of Pattadakal has ten temples including a Jain temple. There are four temples built in nagara style and four built in the Dravidian style. Among the four temples built in the Dravidian style.

The stepped pyramid formation is the marked style of the south Indian temple as seen in Sangameshwara temple. The largest temples in the complex though are the twin temples Virupaksha and Mallikarjuna Temples. Both the temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva and were constructed by the two queens of the Chalukya King Vikramaditya II to commemorate his victory over the Pallava rulers. Both the temples represent the early style of Chalukya architecture and are based on the Kailasanatha temple of Kanchipuram.

The Virupaksha Temple has a magnificently carved bull Nandi in front of the pavilion.The temple has a spacious columned hall with three porches that leads to the linga sanctum.A passageway surrounds the hall. On the carved pillars and ceilings are mythological stories.

The Mallikarjuna Temple Bangalore is identical but smaller and more compact. Exquisitely carved pillars of the interior hall depict scenes from the Panchatantra, the animal fable. The walls surrounding the temple complex and the Nandi pavilion in front of it are incomplete.

The Mallikarjuna Swami temple in Bangalore enshrining the Lord Shiva is a temple built by King Magadj of the Kempa Gowda dynasty in the 16th century. The temple is said to have a linga in the temple called Viswanath. This linga was believed to have been brought to the temple by sages. The temple has an idol of Sri Vishnu in the premises too thus making the temple accessible to both the saivaites and the vaishnavaites.

Kadu Mallikarjunaswamy Temple at Malleshwaram in Bangalore is also a well-known temple built on a hillock. It was built by Chatrapati Shivaji's stepbrother Venkoji in 1669.

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