Pattadakal, in Karnataka, represents the high point of an eclectic art which, in the 7th and 8th centuries under the Chalukya dynasty, achieved a harmonious blend of architectural forms from northern and southern India. An impressive series of nine Hindu temples, as well as a Jain sanctuary, can be seen there. One masterpiece from the group stands out – the Temple of Virupaksha, built c. 740 by Queen Lokamahadevi to commemorate her husband’s victory over the kings from the South.
Situated between the Malaprabha River to the north, and a minuscule village to the south, Pattadakal possesses a sort of holy city comprised of an impressive series of eight Hindu temples dedicated to Siva. Somewhat off to the side, towards the village, is the ninth Sivaite sanctuary, the Temple of Papanatha, as well as a Jain temple. In the monumental complex of the central zone are structures whose design was strongly influenced by the architecture of northern India: the temples of Galaganatha and of Kashi Vishveshvara, which are noteworthy for their square-shaped shikharas with curved edges. They stand along with other temples of a pure Dravidian style – Sangameshvara, built between 696 and 733, and Mallikarjuna, built consecutively from 733-44. Cornices decorate the walls of these temples and the roofs are the complex, storeyed type found in southern architecture.
Since 1987 it is a Unesco site.
Thanks to Nagi for the postcard.