Pattadakal,situated in Karnataka,under the
Chalukya Dynasty,achieved a harmonious blend of architectural forms from the
north and south of India. There is an impressive series of nine Hindu temples,as
well as a Jain sanctuary. The sculptural art of the early Chalukyas is
characterised by grace and delicate details. The narrative reliefs illustrate
various episodes from the great Hindu epics - Ramayana and Mahabharata,from the
holy book - Bhagavata and tales of Panchatantra.
An impressive series of nine Hindu temples,as
well as a Jain sanctuary can be seen there. Four of the temples here are in the
south Indian Dravidian architectural style while four are in the north Indian
Nagara style while Papanatha temple exhibits a hybrid style.
The oldest temple at Pattadakal is the
Sangamesvara Temple built by Vijayaditya Satyasraya (A.D. 697-733) is a simple
but a massive structure. The Temple of Virupaksha, built around 740 A.D. by
Queen Lokamahadevi to commemorate her husband's victory over the kings from the
south is a masterpiece in itself.
Another small temple with a fine figure of the
Dancing Shiva with Nandi & Parvathi by his side. Built with a northern style
tower,there is a horse-shoe arched projection on its facade.
The Mallikarjuna & the Virupaksha temples
were built by two queens of Vikaramaditya II to commemorate the victory of the
Chalukyas over the Pallavas. As the Virupaksha temple was built by Queen
Lokamahadevi,it was originally called Lokeshwara. The temple is rich in
sculpture like those of Lingodbhava,Nataraja,Ravananugraha & Ugranarasimha.
Built in the southern Dravida style,it is the largest temple in the enclosure.
Half a Kilometer from the enclosure,on the
Pattadakal-Badami Road,is this Jain temple built in the Dravidian style. It has
some very beautiful sculpture & probably dates from the ninth century.