Pattadakal Temples

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Pattadakal is less than an hour`s drive from Badaumi which is about 3 hrs drive from Hubli. The monuments here are a contribution by the Chalukyas of Badaumi. It lies on the banks of the river Malaprabha, is a world heritage site. You see an overview of the temple complex., Left to right is Kadasiddeshwara T, Jambulinga T, Galaganath T, Sangameshwara T, Virupaksha T, Kashi Vishveshwara T and Mallikarjuna T. The Papanath Temple is a few minutes walk from this complex. There is a Jain Temple ie a few minutes drive. Temples made here mark the blending of the Rekha-Nagara-Prasada and the South India Vimana styles of temple building. Vibrant and graceul sculptures provide panoramic glimpses of the contemporary society in its various dimensions.

There are 10 temples of North and South Indian styles. Rest have been ruined by nature and partly by ignorant villagers. Pattadakal was a important religious centre during the days of early Western Chalukyas from 500-757 A.D. Name of Vikramaditya II is closely associated with the beautifying of Pattadakal. Jnana Shivacharya, a scholar from a kingdom north of the Ganga settled down in Pattadakhal indicates the cultural contact between North and South India in those days. You see board outside Kadasiddeshwara Temple.

Temple probably built in the middle of the 7th century. It shows an experimental stage in the development of temple architecture. All temples in Pattadakal are east facing and barring the Jain temple are dedicated to Lord Shiva. Every temple mainly has 2 parts: the sanctum sanctorum (garbha- grihas) proper and in its front the auxiliary parts: the vestibule (antarala or ardha-mandapa), pillared hall (sabha-mandapa), portico (mukha-mandapa) in the front along the same axis. The interior of the former is plain. The latter is meant for various cultural and religious activities.

Board outside Jambulinga Temple. In the past Pattadakal had another name: `Kisuvolal` (kisu=red, volal=valley city) as also Raktapura (Red City). Temples are Northern and Southern styles.

Jambulinga Temple probably built in the middle of the 7th century, in the Nagara style. The façade of the vimana above the entrance shows Dancing Shiva with Parvati and Nandi watching. In the Northern style from above the square (nagara) garbha-griha rises a square tall superstructure (shikhara) of curvilinear profile (rekha) divided horizontally but distinctly into 3 or 4 or 5 zones (bhumi). It is crowned with a cushion like circular, flattish, solid member releived on the edge into series of parrallel sharp vertical ridges allround looking like a gadroom (amalaka). On it are a pot (kalasha) and needle like staff (suchi) one on the other. In pic no 7 you can see the amalaka and kalash. In the front of Sikhara is a sculptural replica of the deity enshrined in the garbha-griha which you can see in the center of the picture.

Board outside Galaganath Temple was built around 750 A.D. and is in Northern or Nagara style. Art historians call Pattadakal site as `the laboratory of Indian temples` as also `Cradle of Indian temple architecture` so is Aihole.

The most striking feature of this temple is its majestic Shikhar. You see the temple plinth is quite big which seems to indicate that the temple was originally a much larger one. The high curvilinear sikhara comprises 4 bhumis marked by the karna-amalakas and has a vertically bold jalaka of laced tiny niches. The Galaganatha, Kadasiddheswara, Jambulinga, Papanatha and Kashi Visvesvara temples are made in the North Indian style.

Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Lingam inside the temple made on black granite, highly polished on a high moulded red sandstone pitha as you can see in this picture. Sangamesvara, Mallikurjana and Virupaksha are made in South Indian style.

On walls of temple you see a beautifully carved sculture of 8 handed as Andhakasurari Siva. There are also base reliefs of Ganga and Jamuna at the bottom and elaborately carved Nataraj accompanied by musicians on the lintel.

Sangameshwara Temple made around 720 A.D. This temple is dedicated to Vijayeshwara named after the builder of the temple Vijayaditya. Made in South Indian style vimana the super structure rising from above the square garbha-griha consisting of retreating storeys generally ranging from one to three or more. The topmost storey is crowned with a square (nagara) or circular (vesvara) or octagonal (dravida) stupi ie sikhara with a constricted neck (griva) below. The sikhara carries atop a kalasa and stupi.

A two tier south Indian type of Shikar tops the shrine representing an experimental type of Vimana type immediately preceeding that of the Virupaksha and Mallikarjuna temples. The structure on the immediate right of the picture is Vijay Sthamb made when King Vikramaditya II defeated the Kanchi king. Very well made temple. The Nandi mandapa is outside the temple.

You can see it is a large structure but the temple is effective. The sculptures are unfinished which indicate that the structure was left incomplete for some reason. Inscriptions indicate name of sculptor as Paka. Since this picture taken from a distance can see the ruins. To the right of picture is the Galaganatha Temple. What you see in front are ruins of earlier structures.

A close up of the temple. As you can see it is made on a plinth having a moulded base divided by Deva Koshtas. Pillars are characteristically plain and heavy. To right of picture you see pillars in the sabha-mandapa. There are four rows of four heavy pillars each. You can see beautiful sculptures of Vishnu, Varaha, Shiva in the niches of the outer walls. Something special about temple design and make.

Extreme left you see Galaganatha temple, in the centre is Jambulinga temple and right is the Sangameshwara temple. Temple on left is made in Northern style while that on right is in Southern style makes it easy to know the difference in styles.

Virupaksha Temple. It is the largest and finest temple made in South India style. It has a large court and fine hall for Nandi. Porch on eastern side has two pillars that are decorated with couples. Flanking the entrance are 2 Dwarapalas. It is built after the pattern of Kailasnatha temple Kanchi.

It is also called Lokeshwar temple that was built by Lokadevi, the Queen of Vikramaditya II in 740 A.D. in commemoration of the victory over the Pallavas. It measures 224 feet east-west and 105 feet north-south with one central shrine and two subsidiary shrines and a Nandimantapa that you cannot see in this picture. This picture is actually a post card. Extreme left you see the Vijay Sthamb that you saw in an earlier picture.

A side view of the temple. Note the sculptures on the walls of the temple. Remember the temple was made in stone.

A rear side view of the temple.Took this picture to give you an idea of temple size. This is the western side.

Virupaksha Shiv temple in right and center of picture. If it is a Shiv temple some distance away will be a Nandi-mandapa ie a pillared pavilion enshrining the sculpture of Nandi. Structure that you see on extreme left of picture houses the Nandi that you shall see later. Could have clicked better pictures of temple exterior. If any of you have better pictures please mail me me - id above.

Inner ceiling of the main entry porch ie eastern side has a large ceiling panel displaying Surya, the sun god, an an excellent eg of balance and composition. The god is accompanied by Usha and Pratyusha with bow and arrow to dispel darkness, in the chariot drawn by seven horses controlled by Aruna, the charioteer-welcomed by gods, semi divine beings in the cloud sky.

Dwarapala on one side of the entrance. When u remember that this is all in stone - u may wonder how it was made. Can someone send me a picture of Narasimha and Hiranyakasipu ie on the southern panel of the Virupaksha temple.

A happy couple - entrance to temple. In the domain of Chalukyan sculptural art the most favourite art expression is Natya Shiva. The royalty patronised this performing art form as per the Natyasastra of Bharatamuni, the great pioneer and exponent of the art of dance. In support of this are two inscriptions in the Virupaksha temple, one in Sanskrit and the other in Kannada.

The hall or Rangamantapa is supported by 18 massive rectangular pillars in 4 rows. On the top of each pillar is the capitalof taranga type supporting the beams. The pillars are full of sculptures of Ramayana, Mahabharata and Bhagavata together with floral designs. Pillars also have sculptures of mithuna couples and some of women sporting wonderful jewellery and hair style. You can see the hall and pillars. It leads to an inner sanctum where a lingam is kept.

A closer view of a pillar capital of the patra (scroll type). Pillar capital can be of 3 types: of wavy prodile (taranga), scroll ie patra or like hand fist type (mushti). All pillars are richly decorated as you can see in this and subsequent pictures.

On column you see scene of Ashokvati ie where Sita was kept captive in Lanka.

Another scene from the Ramayana. I used Muthu Guide - good knowledge, speaks Hindi and patient. His nos 9449438078.

Ravana lifting the Kailash mountain - note the number of Ravana hands. What is noteworthy is owing to the swinging of the mountain the alarm created amongst the inmates of Kailasa so naturally brought out the fear stricken animals, a saiva-gana throwing a stone at Ravana, another aiming an arrow from the bow towards him. On account of the unbearable weight of the mountain on him Ravana`s leg is stuck on the earth. Inspite of all this Siva remains totally composed and unmoved. Parvati is struck by fear and holds Siva by her side.

On the outer wall of a mandapa is a beautiful depiction of Gajendra Moksha. The composition is exceedingly well balanced, rhythmic and superb in execution.

Loving couples top - floral design below. This is a pillar.

Top part is birth of Lord Krishna in jail.

Top is Samundra Manthan - churning of the sea by Devas and Asuras. Although pic not very clear wanted to show what exist in Pattadakal around 740 A.D. exists in Bangkok Airport today. See next picture.

Samundra Manthan Bangkok Airport.

Northern side mandap of Virupaksha temple. U see Natya or Dancing Shiva with 8 hands standing on apasmara, the death. In left hand in picture is a damaru and right hand is Agni indicated by a flame. The hands right in front are holding a snake.

This is Deviroop killing the Asura who is in the form of a buffalo so she is known as Mahishasuramardini.

Opposite the Virupaksha temple is the Nandimantapa. It is a big structure with carvings on wall as you can see. It is a 7.5 metres square raised on a high adhisthana of mancha-bandha type.

A close up view of Nandi made in black granite. The mandapa, open on all sides has four heavy and ornate pillars (2.10 to 2.40 metres in height) having circular upper part - see column in left of picture and note sculpture on extreme right of picture.

A similar Nandi mandapa exists at Vishwanatha Temple Khajuraho that was made hundreds of years later. Did this temple inspire that one?

Kashi Vishveshwara Temple is constructed out of dressed blocks of sand-stone. It is assigned to the 8th century. The vimana is in the northern style but the Nandi mantapa is ruined and the shikhara is lost. Missed clicking the Ghata-pallava and Amalaka pillar forms that are inside the temple.

Left is Kashi Vishveshwara Temple, centre is Virupaksha T and in the centre/right is the Mallikarjuna Temple. The Kashi temple built with Nagara (curvilinear) Shikhara and is about 40 feet in length and 25 feet in breadth. A series of Chaitya windows and amalakas are placed alternatively form the corners of the shikhara. The frontal portion of the shikhara has beautiful reliefs of dancing Shiva and Parvati.

A close up view of the Shikhara. Excellent work.

You see Kalyanasundara - marriage of Lord Shiva and Parvati. Both Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu come for the wedding.

Mallikarjuna Temple is similar in design to the Virupaksha one. However their Shikara`s have a different design. The temple is dedicated to Shiva called as Trailokyeshwara. This temple was also constructed to commemorate Vikramaditya`s victory over king of Kanchi. It is modelled after the Kailasa T at Kanchi. Temple is in the southern style. There is a small Nandi in front of the temple entrance.

This board is by the Archaeological Survey of India. Can someone help with a picture of Natya Shiva with Uma and Nandi (Mallikarjuna Temple).

A side view of the Mallikarjuna Temple. It has three entrances, one on the extreme right, other on the opposite side and third on the east. As you can see there are sculptures of Saiva and Vaishnava deities on the walls of the temple. It measures 47 feet in length and 40 feet in breadth. Has 18 pillars and are full of sculptures fromthe Ramayana and other Puranas. The beautiful Shikhara has a circular Stupi (dome) as compared to a square one in Virupaksha. The temple is built on a high plinth comprising of moulding at bottom above which is wall has various deities. At the top of the main shrine is a 2 tiered typical South India Shikara. Ceiling has Gajalakshmi. The garbhagriha has a beautiful lotus carved in the inner circle - got damaged with time.

Scene from Mahabharat in the center. Bhishma sarasayya - sleeping on arrows in the centre.

Depiction of episodes underlying morals from the Panchatantra as for eg the Mongoose and the Snake that you see. The story goes, the mongoose a pet in a family once seeing a snake crawling into the cradle with the the sleeping bady, killed it to save the baby. On returning home the mother sees the blood stained mouth of mongoose concluded that it has slain the baby and killed the mongoose. When she saw the baby she realized her mistake and regretted her hasty action.

A few minutes away from the Virupaksha temple is the Papanath Temple. It was built around 680 A.D. in the Northern style. The temple was originally intended to be dedicated to Vishnu who appears on the ceiling as Seshashayi but later was dedicated to Shiva. Outer walls has a wealth of sculptures as you shall see.

A side view of the temple. It is on a slight height. The external wall has a series of sculptural panels displaying the main events of the entire Ramayana from the performance of the Vedic `putra kameshthi` to Sri Rama`s coronation.

A rear view of the temple.

Unlike other temples the Nandi is inside the temple.

As you enter the temple the ceiling has this sculpture ie Nagaseshiya. Face is human form, 2 hands, lower part of body is that of a snake. There are 4 heads of snakes that you see. Can someone help with a proper narration of this picture.

Sculptures on temple wall. It shows an Army of people going to build the Ram Sethu bridge to Lanka.

Temple window allows light to come in. Center has Swastik. Above has 2 headed snake.

A few minutes from the main temple complex is the Jaina Rock-cut Shrine. It is locally called `Jaina Narayana`.

A view of the shrine. In case I have made any mistake please write in. I might have mixed up between sculptures of Virupaksha and Mallikarjuna temples.

Huge elephants at the entrance to temple one of which you see. Narrations credit goes to Tourist Guide by Veeresh B. Angadi and booklet by the Archaeological Survey of India.

Close to Pattadakal is a ancient Shiva Temple at Mahakuta ie is of importance for providing early protype characteristic of South Indian Vimana consisting of octogonal domical finial supported by a super-imposed series of small shrines. The temple has natural pond called Vishnu Pushkarni. It is surrounded by hills. There was something special about this temple complex - very peaceful, spiritually uplifting.

While driving to Aihole the next morning saw this beautiful farm growing sunflower. Could not resist sharing.