Established during the 7th and 8th centuries, Pattadakal or Paṭṭadakallu in Northern Karnataka is standing as a symbol of the Indian art and culture. Its beautiful Jain and Hindu temples are the top tourist attractions in Pattadakal. The historical town of Pattadakal bearing the architectural brilliance of the Chalukya dynasty has become one of the best heritage sites in India. This famous tourist destination in South India is described by UNESCO as “a harmonious blend of architectural forms from northern and southern India" and the amazing height of the temples is described as “an illustration of eclectic art". Standing on the banks of the river Malaprabha, Pattadakal is a World Heritage Site displaying the Dravidian and Nagara architecture in its Hindu and Jain temples. Here are the best places to visit in Pattadakal:
Virupaksha Temple - Previously known as Lokesvara Temple, Virupaksha Temple is one of the best tourist attractions in Pattadakal. This is the biggest among the temples in Pattadakal. It was built by Vikramaditya II to commemorate his victory over the Pallavas of Kanchi during the 8th century. Beautiful sculptures of various Hindu Gods can be seen inside the temple. You can also admire exquisite carvings and multiple inscriptions featured on the Mantapa stones.
Kashiviswanatha Temple - This is the most beautiful Nagara style temple in Pattadakal. The temple was built by the Rashtrakutas during the 8th century and is believed to be the last Hindu temple built in Pattadakal. Travelers get impressed by the artistic skill of the Rashtrakutas while walking on the passage of the temple. The pillars are decorated by the beautifully carved female figures that grab the attention of the tourists visiting Pattadakal.
Jain Temple - A must visit during Pattadakal sightseeing, Jain temple displays the beauty of the Dravidian architectural style in an unmatched way. The temple is believed to be built by King Amoghavarsha I Or his son Krishna II during the 9th century. The Jain Narayana Temple includes a number of intricately carved sculptures.
Sangameshwara Temple - One of the best among the Pattadakal tourist places, Sangameshwara Temple is another beautiful structure built in the Dravidian architecture. Earlier known as the Vijayeswara temple, this is one of the oldest temples in India built by Chalukya King Vijayaditya Satyashraya between 696 and 733 AD.
Papanatha Temple - Dedicated to Lord Mukteswara, the Papanatha Temple reflects a blend of the Nagara and the Dravidian style of architecture. The temple is facing east that allows an exceptionally beautiful view when the Shiva Lingam glitters at the first rays of the sun. Travelers admire the various depictions from the Ramayana and Mahabharata beautifully carved on the wall.
Galaganath Temple - Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this beautiful temple in Pattadakal was built during the first half of the 8th century. The temple displays a sculpture of Lord Shiva killing the demon Andhakasura. Also, small sculptures of Kubera and Gajalakshmi are housed in the Galaganath temple.
Mallikarjuna Temple - This temple resembles the style of the Virupaksha temple. One of the best places to visit in Pattadakal, the Mallikarjuna Temple was built during the 7th century. The entrance of the temple is decorated by an exquisite image of Lord Narasimha killing Hiranyakashipu.