Pattadakal, also called Paṭṭadakallu or Raktapura, is a complex of
7th and 8th century CE
Jain temples in northern Karnataka
(India). Located on the west bank of the
Malaprabha River in
Bagalakote district, this
UNESCO World Heritage site is 14 miles
(23 km) from
Badami and about 6 miles (9.7 km) from Aihole,
both of which are historically significant centres of Chalukya
monuments.. The monument is a protected site under Indian law
and is managed by the
Archaeological Survey of India
Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
UNESCO has described
Pattadakal as "a harmonious blend of
architectural forms from northern and southern India" and an
illustration of "eclectic art" at its height. The
Hindu temples are
generally dedicated to Shiva, but elements of
Vaishnavism and Shaktism
theology and legends are also featured. The friezes in the Hindu
temples display various Vedic and Puranic concepts, depict stories
from the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, the Bhagavata Purana, as well as
elements of other
Hindu texts, such as the
Panchatantra and the
Jain temple is only dedicated to a single
Jina. The most sophisticated temples, with complex friezes and a
fusion of Northern and Southern styles, are found in the Papanatha and
Virupaksha temples. The Virupaksha temple is an active house of
3.1 Site layout
3.3 Kadasiddheshwara temple
3.4 Jambulingeshwara temple
3.6 Chandrashekhara Temple
3.7 Sangameshwara Temple
3.8 Kashi Vishwanatha Temple
3.9 Mallikarjuna Temple
3.10 Virupaksha Temple
3.11 Papanatha temple
Jain Narayana Temple
3.13 Other monuments and inscriptions
4.1 Early medieval era music and arts
5 See also
8 External links
Pattadakal monuments are located in the Indian state of Karnataka,
about 165 kilometres (103 mi) southeast of Belgaum, 265
kilometres (165 mi) northeast from Goa, 14 miles (23 km)
from Badami, via Karanataka state highway SH14, and about 6 miles
(9.7 km) from Aihole, set midst sandstone mountains and Malprabha
river valley. In total, there are over 150 Hindu,
Jain and Buddhist
monuments, and archaeological discoveries, dating from the 4th to 10th
century CE, in addition to pre-historic dolmens and cave paintings
that are preserved at the Pattadakal-Badami-
The nearest airport to
Pattadakal is Sambra
Belgaum Airport (IATA
Code: IXG), a 3 hour drive to the west, which operates daily flights
to Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai. Access to the site by train
is also possible via an Indian Railways service that stops at Badami
on the Hubli-Sholapur metre-gauge line.
Pattadakal ("place of coronation") was considered a holy place, being
where the Malprabha river turned northwards towards the Himalayas and
Kailasha mountan (uttara-vahini). As its name implies, it was used
Chalukya dynasty for coronation ceremonies, such as that of
Vinayaditya in the 7th century CE. Other names this place was
known by were Kisuvolal meaning "valley of red soil", Raktapura
meaning "city of red", and Pattada-Kisuvolal meaning "red soil valley
for coronation". The site, states Archaeological Survey of
India, is mentioned in texts by Srivijaya and is referred to by
Ptolemy as "Petirgal" in his Geography.
Pattadakal became, along with nearby
Aihole and Badami, a major
cultural center and religious site for innovations in architecture and
experimentation of ideas. The rule of the Gupta Empire during the
5th century brought about a period of political stability, during
Aihole became a locus of scholarship. The experimentations in
architecture extended into
Badami over the course of the next two
centuries. This culture of learning encompassed
Pattadakal in the 7th
century which became a nexus where ideas from northern and southern
India fused. It was during this latter period that the Chalukya
empire constructed many of the temples in Aihole-Badami-Pattadakal
After the fall of the Chalukya Empire, the region was annexed by the
Rashtrakuta kingdom, who would rule over the region into the 10th
century. In the 11th century, and into the 12th century, the region
came under the rule of the Late
Western Chalukya Empire,
Chalukyas of Kalyani), an offshoot of the Early Chalukya
Empire. Although the area was not a capital region, nor in
proximity to one, numerous sources such as inscriptions,
contemporaneous texts and the architectural style indicate that, from
the 9th to 12th centuries, new Hindu,
Jain and Buddhist temples and
monasteries continued to be built in the
Pattadakal region. Historian
George Michell attributes this to the presence of a substantial
population and its burgeoning wealth.
Throughout the 13th century, Pattadakal, the Malprabha valley, as well
as much of the nearby Deccan region, was subject to raids and plunder
Delhi Sultanate armies that devastated the region. This
period ended with the rise of the
Vijayanagara Empire. It was
responsible for the construction of forts for the protection of the
monuments, as evidenced by inscriptions in the fort at Badami.
Pattadakal was a part of the border region that witnessed wars between
Vijayanagara and the Sultanates to its north. Following the collapse
Vijayanagara Empire in 1565,
Pattadakal was annexed by the
Sultanate of Bijapur, which was ruled by the
Adil Shahi dynasty.
In the late 17th-century, the Mughal Empire, under Aurangzeb, gained
Pattadakal from the Sultanate. After the collapse of Mughal
Pattadakal came under the control of the Maratha Empire. It
later changed hands, yet again, when Haider Ali and Tipu Sultan
wrested control of it in late 18th century but would lose it when the
Tipu Sultan and annexed the region.
The monuments at
Pattadakal are evidence of the existence, and the
history, of interaction between the early northern and southern styles
Hindu arts. According to T. Richard Blurton, the history of
temple arts in northern
India is unclear as the region was repeatedly
sacked by invaders from Central Asia, particularly during the Muslim
incursions from the 11th-century onward. The subsequent "warfare has
greatly reduced the quantity of surviving examples". The Pattadakal
monuments completed in 7th and 8th century are among the earliest
surviving examples of these early religious arts and ideas.
There are ten major temples at Pattadakal, nine
Hindu and one Jain,
along with numerous small shrines and plinths. Eight of the major
temples are clustered together, a ninth one about half a kilometer
south of this cluster, and the tenth, a
Jain temple, located about a
kilometer to the west of the main cluster. The
Hindu temples are all
connected by a walkway, while the
Jain temple has road access.
Pattadakal monuments reflect a fusion of two major Indian
architectural styles, one from north
India (Rekha-Nagara-Prasada) and
the other from south
India (Dravida-Vimana). Four temples were built
in the Chalukya Dravida style, four in the
Nagara style of Northern
India, while the Papanatha temple is a fusion of the two. The nine
Hindu temples are all dedicated to Shiva, and are on the banks of
Malaprabha river. The oldest of these temples is Sangameshwara, which
was built during the reign of
Vijayaditya Satyashraya, between 697 and
733 CE. The largest of these temples in
Pattadakal is the Virupaksha
Temple, which was built between 740 and 745 CE.
The last temple built in the Group of Monuments is the
known locally as the
Jain Narayana temple, which was likely built in
the 9th century during the reign of
Krishna II of Rashtrakutas. Its
style is patterned on the lines of the Kailasanatha temple at
Ardhanarishvara (left half Shiva, right half Parvati) at the
A relatively small temple, the
Archaeological Survey of India
Archaeological Survey of India has
dated it to around the mid 7th century CE, but George Michell
dates it to the early 8th century. The temple faces east and is
built around a square garbha griha (sacrum sanctum). It houses a
linga on a pitha (platform), and the Nandi bull faces it from outside;
there is a mandapa around the sacrum center. Another mandapa provides
a circumambulation path in an expanded axial layout. Much of the
temple has been eroded or was damaged in the following centuries. The
Shikhara (spire) is a northern
Nagara style (Rekhanagara) with a
sukanasa projection on the east. The sukanasa has a damaged Nataraja
accompanied by Parvati.
The outer walls of the Kada Siddheshwara sanctum feature images of
Ardhanarishvara (half Shiva, half Parvati) on its north, Harihara
(half Shiva, half Vishnu) to its west and
Lakulisha to the
south. Mounted on a lintel at the sanctum entrance is Shiva
and Parvati flanked by Brahma and
Vishnu on either side. The steps at
the sanctum entrance are flanked by the river goddesses Ganga and
Yamuna, with attendants.
Nataraja sukanasa on Jambulingeshwara temple spire.
Another small temple, the Jambulingeshwara temple, also called the
Jambulinga temple, is variously estimated by ASI and Michell to have
been complete between mid 7th and early 8th century,
respectively. The temple is built around a square garbha griha
(sacrum sanctum), whose outer walls feature intricate devakoshtha
(linteled niches with decorated frames with Hamsa and mythical
makaras). Inside the frames are images of
Vishnu on its north, Surya
(Sun god) to its west and
Lakulisha to the south. The temple also
experiments with the idea of projecting sukanasa from the shikhara in
front, over the mandapa. The temple still faces east, greeting the
sunrise. The Nandi too is provided with a raised platform which is in
ruins and the Nandi image shows signs of erosion. The dancing
Nataraja with Parvati and Nandi by his side on the frontal arch
sukanasa is better preserved.
The style of the temple is northern rekha-nagara with a curvilinear
profile of squares diminishing as they rise towards the sky. The
amalaka and kalasha of the northern style, however, are damaged and
not in place. The entrance of the Jambulingeshwara mandapa is
decorated with three shakhas, each with purnakumbhas below their
capitals. A swan themed frieze covers the passage way with the faint
remains of the carvings of swans, kutas and salas.
Galaganatha Temple's sabha mandapa floor and covered pradakshina
Galaganatha temple lies to the east of the Jambulingeshwara
temple. Unlike the previous two temples, ASI estimates this temple to
be from the mid 8th century, whereas Michell states that it is
likely from late 7th century. The temple is a northern
rekha-nagara style with a linga, and a vestibule (antarala) within the
temple sanctum (garbha griha). Outside the temple is a seated Nandi
that faces the sanctum.
The sanctum has a covered circumambulatory path (pradakshina patha),
indicating that this
Hindu tradition was well established by 7th to
8th century. Various mandapas exist in this temple, such as a social
or community hall (sabha mandapa), used for ceremonial functions, and
a mukha mandapa, of which only the foundation remains. The
entrance to the mandapa is flanked by the river goddesses Ganga and
The Galagatha temple is mostly in ruins, except for the southern part
which contains a carved slab showing an eight-armed
Shiva killing the
demon Andhaka, while wearing a garland of skulls as a yajnopavita
(sacred thread across the chest).
According to Michell, the
Galaganatha temple is notable for being
almost an exact copy of the Svarga Brahma temple of Alampur in Andhra
Pradesh, a temple that is dated to 689 CE. Given both Alampur and
Pattadakal were a part of the
Badami Chalukya kingdom, an exchange of
ideas is likely. The basement of the eastern moulding is notable
for depicting friezes of
Panchatantra fables, such as that of the
mischievous monkey and the fable of two-headed bird.
Chandrashekhara temple is a small east facing temple without a tower.
It is situated on the south side of the
Galaganatha temple. This
temple has been dated by Michell to the late 9th or early 10th
century, whereas the ASI dates it to the mid 8th century.
The temple has a garbha griha with a
Shiva linga and a closed hall; a
Nandi sits on a platform to the east facing the linga. It is laid
out within a space 33.33 feet in length and 17.33 in breadth, on an
adhishthana (platform based on certain design rules in Hindu
texts). Detailed Pilasters, yet lacking in ornamentation, decorate
the exterior walls of the temple. There is a devakostha (niche) in
the walls on either side of the Chandrashekhara temple sanctum. The
temple lacks a lintel, but features a dvarapala (guardian) on each
side of the entrance; the door frames are carved with shakhas.
Left: Sangameshwara Temple's pillared entrance; Right: A side showing
experimentation with window styles and wall carvings.
Sangameshwara temple, also called the Vijayeshvara temple, is a large,
Dravida style east facing temple located on the south side of the
Chandrashekhara temple. Inscriptions at the temple, and other
evidence, date it to between 720 CE and 733 CE. The death of its
patron king, Vijayaditya, in 734 CE resulted in the temple being left
unfinished, although work continued intermittently in later
centuries. During the
Badami Chalukya reign, between 543-757
CE, other important Sangameshwara temples were built, such as the one
at KuDavelli; in modern times, this temple was relocated to Alampur,
after extensive restoration work. The inscriptions found in this
and other temples mention sponsor names from different centuries,
including those of
Hindu queens, suggesting they actively supported
the temple architecture and arts.
Vishnu avatar Varaha relief on Sangameswara Shaiva temple
Although the temple is not the largest among those at
Pattadakal it is
nonetheless of imposing proportions.  The temple has a square
layout, with an east facing sanctum. The sanctum, surrounded by a
covered pradakshina patha (circumambulatory path) lit by three carved
windows. Inside the sanctum is a
Shiva Linga. In front of the sanctum
is a vestibule that is flanked on each side by smaller shrines. These
shrines once contained carvings of Ganesha and Durga, but the carvings
have since gone missing. Further east of the hall is a seated
Nandi. Past the vestibule is a mandapa within which are sixteen
massive pillars set in groups of four, which may have been added after
construction of the temple was completed.
The vimana superstructure above the temple and the outer walls of the
temple are well preserved. The vimana is a two tiered structure,
crowned with a square kuta-sikhara and kalasha. The temple walls
contain many devakostha (niches) carved with images of
Shiva, some of which are in various stages of completion. The
temple is built on a raised moulded base, with decorative friezes of
elephants, yali and makara mythical creatures. Above the kapota
(eaves) are detailed friezes of ganas (playful dwarfs), who are
portrayed as if they are struggling to hold the weight of the temple
structure. The parapet displays hara (various kinds of string in Hindu
temple texts) of various styles, including karnakutas (square), and
salas (oblong), which flow with the design below them and are
decorated with kudus.
A number of Shaivism,
Shaktism themes are presented in
the carvings at the temple. The Shaiva iconography include a dancing
Ardhanarishvara (half Shiva, half Parvati as essential
halves of each other),
Shiva with Bhringi,
Shiva spearing the demon
Andhaka, and the yogi, Lakulisha. The Vaishnava iconography includes
Vishnu such as Varaha lifting goddess earth (Bhudevi).
Excavations into the foundations of its ruined hall, in 1969 and 1971,
revealed the archaeologically significant discovery of a brick temple
structure beneath the hall. This discovery led to the proposal that
Sangameshwara had been built over an older temple, possibly dating to
the 3rd century CE.
Kashi Vishwanatha Temple
Kashi Vishwanatha temple with Nandi facing the sanctum.
Also known as Kashivishweswara, the Kashi Vishwanatha temple is
another of the smaller temples at Pattadakal. The temple has been
variously dated to the late 7th century, early 8th century or the
Much like the other temples, the core of the Kashi Vishwanatha temple
is the square garbha griha (sanctum), which houses a linga. To the
east of the garbha griha is the moulded platform of a Nandi-mandapa,
featuring the image of a seated Nandi. The temple also features a
pranala, a stone structure used to drain out water used during
devotional activities, and an antarala, or foyer, connecting to a
mandapa with a ruined entrance porch. The river goddesses Ganga and
Yamuna are still visible at the entrance to the mandapa. The
temple sits on a raised platform, with five layers of mouldings,
decorated with 8th-century carvings of horses, elephants, lions,
peacocks and flowery vine designs. The wall surfaces have pilaster
pairs supporting chaitya-style arches. The entrance door
features a Shaiva dvarapala (guardian) on each side.
Sculptures of Ardhanariswara (half-Shiva, half-Parvati) and Lakulisha
are carved into the northern wall of the temple mandapa, but these
have been damaged and defaced. The kapota (cornice) are decorated
with motifs and carved with ganas (playful dwarfs) carrying garlands;
brackets show flying couples and kirtimukhas.
The superstructure, displaying a well developed North Indian
Nagara style, is a rising five stage projection of centered
squares with a complex pattern of interlocking gavakshas, but the
amalaka and kalasha are now missing. The sukanasa, mounted on a
spire in front of the temple, is of a dancing Uma-Maheswara
(Parvati-Shiva) set inside a chaitya-arch.
Inside the temple are pillars and pilasters intricately carved with
friezes depicting the
Bhagavata Purana (Vaishnavism), the
(Shaivism) and the Ramayana. One frieze shows the demon
mount Kailasha, others show the playful pranks of Krishna, while
another narrates the Kalyansundarmurti (marriage of
Parvati). One relief in particular shows
Shiva coming out of
the cylindrical linga. The mandapa ceiling has carvings of Shiva,
Nandi and Parvati holding Kartikeya. This image is concentrically
surrounded by the ashta-dikpalas (eight directional
Mallikarjuna temple, also called the Trailokeswara Maha Saila Prasada
in a local inscription, is a mid 8th-century
Shiva temple sponsored by
queen Trailokyamahadevi. It is located south of the Kashi
Vishwanatha temple, southwest of the Sangameswara temple and in close
proximity to Virupaksha. The temple was built about the same time
as the Virupaksha temple, with a similar design and layout, but is
somewhat smaller and has a few important differences.
Left: Mallikarjuna Temple walled entrance; Right: A wall carving.
The temple reflects a fully developed South Indian vimana style
architecture. Its garbha griya (sanctum) has a
Shiva linga, and
features a circumambulatory path (pradakshina patha). In front of the
sanctum is an antechamber (antarala) with small shrines for Durga as
Mahishasuramardini killing the buffalo demon and another for Ganesha
on each side, both currently empty. A Nandi-mandapa is included in the
temple wherein Nandi faces the sanctum. Access to the sanctum is
through a pillared sabha-mandapa (community hall) with entrance
porches, enclosures (prakara) and a gateway (pratoli).
Lovers inside Mallikarjuna temple.
The temple, though similar to the Virupaksha temple, experiments with
new architectural ideas that makes it distinct. The depiction of a
dancing Shiva, as Nataraja, in the Mallikarjuna temple is set in the
shallow arch of the sukanasa. As another example, the topmost storey
of the shikara superstructure of this temple lacks hara elements
(threads), while its roof is hemispherical unlike the square roof of
the Virupaksha temple.
The use of stone carvings for storytelling is prevalent throughout the
temple. The legends of
Hindu epics and the Puranas are depicted on the
temple pillars in the community hall. These stories span all major
traditions within Hinduism, including Shaivism,
Shaktism. The rasa lila of Krishna, whose stories are found in the
Bhagavata Purana, are shown on friezes as are
Hindu fables from the
Panchatantra. Like other
Hindu temples, the friezes of the
Mallikarjuna temple show kama and mithuna scenes of amorous couples.
In other places, artha scenes such as a worker walking with an
elephant carrying a log and single women with different emotional
expressions are carved into stone; one of these women carries
an 8th century musical instrument.
Left: Virupaksha Temple from southwest corner; Right: A Nandi shrine
The Virupaksha temple, located to the immediate south of the
Mallikarjuna temple, is the largest and most sophisticated of the
monuments at Pattadakal. In inscriptions, it is referred to as
"Shri Lokeshvara Mahasila Prasada", after its sponsor Queen
Lokmahadevi, and is dated to about 740 CE. The temple is
notable for its range, and quality, of construction exemplifying a
well developed Dravidian architectural style, as well as the inscribed
names of the artists beneath the panels they worked on.
As is common with other temples at Pattadakal, the Virupaksha temple
was built facing east centred around a square garbha griya (sanctum),
Shiva Linga, surrounded by a covered circumabulatory path
(pradakshina patha). In front of the sanctum is an antarala with two
small shrines within which are facing images of Ganesha and Parvati,
in her Durga aspect as
Mahishasuramardini killing the buffalo
demon. The external Nandi pavilion is aligned on an east-west
axis, as are the mandapa and antechamber. The temple site forms a
rectangle consisting of fused squares bounded by walls, which are
decorated with carvings. Within the compound are smaller shrines,
of which there were once 32, based on the foundation footprint layout,
but most have since been lost. The entrance leads to a mandapa with 18
columns (4-5-aisle-5-4, with a 4x4 set forming the inner mandapa and
two leading to the darshana space).
A relief at Virupaksha temple
The tower above the sanctum is a three-storey pyramidal structure,
with each storey bearing motifs that reflect those in the sanctum
below. However, for clarity of composition, the artisans had
simplified the themes in the pilastered projections and intricate
carvings. The third storey is the simplest, having only parapet
kutas, a kuta roof with each face decorated with kudus – a structure
common in later
Hindu temples. A kalasha-like
pot, found in festivals, social ceremonies and personal rituals such
as weddings, crowns the temple. The top of this pot is 17.5 metres
(57 ft) above the temple pavement, the highest for any pre-9th
century South Indian temple. The sukanasa on the tower is large,
exceeding half the height of the superstructure, to aid visibility
from a distance.
The sanctum walls, and also those of the nearby mandapa space, are
decorated with intricately detailed carvings. These carvings depict
images of Shaivism, Vaishnavism, and
Shaktism deities, and themes,
such as Narasimha and Varaha (Vaishaivism), Bhairava and Nataraja
Harihara (half Shiva-half Vishnu), Lakulisa (Shaivism),
Brahma, Durga, Saraswati, Lakshmi, and others. According
to George Michell, the carvings on the walls and porch of the
Virupaksha temple exterior are "vehicles for diverse sculptural
compositions, by far the most numerous found on any Early Chalukya
monument". Other than
Hindu gods and goddesses, numerous panels
show depict people either as couples, in courtship and mithuna, or as
individuals wearing jewellery or carrying work implements.
A Virupaksha frieze showing two
The temple has numerous friezes spanning a variety of topics such as,
for example, two men wrestling, rishi with Vishnu, rishi with Shiva,
Vishnu rescuing Gajendra elephant trapped by a crocodile in a lotus
pond, scenes of hermitages, and sadhus seated in meditative yoga
posture. Vedic deities such as
Surya riding the chariot with Aruna,
Indra on elephant and others are carved in stone. A few depict
scenes from the
Ramayana such as those involving golden deer, Hanuman,
Ravana and Jatayu bird, Sita being abducted, the
struggles of Rama and Lakshmana. Other friezes show scenes from the
Mahabharata, Krishna's playful life story in the
Bhagavata Purana and
the Harivamsa as well as fables from the
Panchatantra and other Hindu
The temple contains historically significant inscriptions that provide
hints about the society and culture of 8th-century India. For example,
one inscription mentions a grant to the "musicians of the temple" by
Kailasha temple at
Ellora Caves was modeled after this
temple, although the Virupaksha temple was itself modeled after the
Kailasanatha temple at Kanchipuram.
The Papanatha temple is situated apart from the main cluster of eight
monuments. It is about half kilometer to the south of Virupaksha and
has been dated towards the end of the Early Chalukya rule period,
approximately mid 8th-century. The temple is noted for its
novel mixture of Dravida, and Nagara,
Hindu temple styles .
The unusual layout of the temple is possibly due to its construction,
which occurred in three stages, but there is a lack of epigraphical
evidence to support this hypothesis. Its architectural and sculptural
details do show a consistent and unified theme, indicative of a plan.
The temple is longer, incorporating two interconnected mandapas, one
with 16 pillars and another with 4 pillars. The decorations,
parapets and some parts of the layout are Dravida in style, while the
tower and pilastered niches are of the
As with the other temples, the Papanatha temple faces east towards the
sunrise and has a
Shiva linga in its garbha griya (sanctum) except
there is no Nandi-mandapa. Instead, there is an image of Nandi housed
in the sabha mandapa facing the sanctum. The temple walls are
notable for the carved deities and themes of Shaivism and Vaishnavism;
Durga is depicted in one of the niches. Intricately carved panels are
displayed on the walls, depicting legends such as the
excerpts of the Kiratarjuniya.
The centre of the ceiling is decorated with an elaborate Shiva
Nataraja, while other ceiling slabs show Vishnu; one panel shows him
in a reclining Anantasayana pose. Outside, in the mandapas, are
images of single women and couples, in courtship and different stages
of mithuna. Many panels show musicians with different types of musical
Jain Narayana Temple
Jain Narayana temple
The Jaina temple at
Pattadakal was built during the 9th century,
possibly with sponsorship from the
Krishna II or the
Kalyani Chalukyas. Unlike the other nine temples, the Narayana temple
Hindu deities and intricate panels of the other nine, but
instead has a statue of a Jina carved into the north side kapota
Hindu temples, this temple also features a square sanctum, a
circumambulatory path, an antechamber, a mandapa and a porch. The
mandapa is divided into seven bays at the north and south walls, with
narrow niches containing seated Jinas. The bays are in the North
Indian style, and the tower storey has a carved square shikhara.
The mandapa has a row of lathe-turned sand stone pillars. The
kakshasana are decorated with the figures of dancers, purna-ghata,
nidhis, vyalas but some of the artwork is only partially finished. The
entrance features carvings of a life sized elephant torso with
riders. According to Adam Hardy, the niches of this
mandapa may have previously featured images.
Archaeological Survey of India
Archaeological Survey of India has conducted excavations at the
site yielding evidence of an older temple and Jaina presence.
According to the ASI,the excavations uncovered "the remains of a large
temple complex built in bricks and also a beautiful sculpture of
Tirthankara standing in sama-bhanga indicating the existence of a
temple, probably belonging to the pre or beginning of the early
Other monuments and inscriptions
Kannada inscription of Chalukya emperor
Vikramaditya II on victory
pillar, Virupaksha Temple, Pattadakal, c.733–745.
Kannada inscription describes grant made for Sangameshwara temple
by Chalukya King
A number of inscriptions in the old
Kannada language have been found
at Pattadakal, notably those at the Virupaksha, Sangameshwara and
Papanatha temples. These inscriptions are an important source of
information regarding the grants made by King Vikramaditya, and
Vijayaditya, various queens, and others, for the construction and
operation of the temple.  They have also provided valuable
insight into the evolution of various written Indian scripts. As an
example, one particular 8th century column is inscribed in two
Sanskrit scripts, the northern Indian Siddhamatrika script[note 1] and
the southern Indian proto-Kannada-Telugu script.
Other notable monuments at
Pattadakal include a monolithic stone
pillar bearing numerous inscriptions, the Naganatha temple, the
Mahakuteshwara temple, which also bear numerous inscriptions, as well
as several small shrines dedicated to Shiva. Near the Virupaksha,
Sangameshwara and Mallikarjuna temples is a Shaiva stone pillar,
featuring a trident emblem. The pillar bears inscriptions stating it
was erected by Jnana Shivacharya from Mrigathanikahara, located on the
north bank of the Ganges, and that he had gifted a parcel of land to
the Vijayeshwara.
In 2008, Upinder Singh wrote that S. Venkateshaiah, a senior
archaeologist with the ASI had located the quarry where the stones
were sourced some 5 kilometers away from the Pattadakal. The site is
notable for sketches of Shiva, Nandi, Durga, Ganesh, trident, peacock,
swastika, symbols and inscriptions. Some of these may be emblems of
guilds (sanghata) that quarried and supplied the stones for
According to art historian Cathleen Cummings, the monuments at
Pattadakal are a historically significant example of religion, society
and culture, particularly
Hindu and Jain, in the Deccan region and is
an expression of
Hindu kingship and religious worldview of 8th-century
India. She writes that the artisans express the conflicting concepts
Dharma (duty, virtue, righteousness) and
Moksha (liberation) in
Hindu theology, particularly Pashupata Shaivism. Furthermore, she
states that the significance lies not just within individual images
but also in their relative location and sequence as well how it
expresses the historic tension in
Hindu religious tradition between
the stately life of the householder and the life of the renouncer
The expression of Dharma, particularly raja-dharma (royal authority
and duty) as exemplified by Rama, and
Moksha are seen throughout the
various temples at Pattadakal. The former is depicted in various
friezes using examples of the life story of Rama from the Ramayana,
while the latter is expressed with images of Lakulisha, Nataraja,
Yoga, and numerous ascetics. Other imagery that is particularly
Pattadakal is that between
Purusha and Prakriti, the soul
and the matter, the masculine and the feminine.
The temples at
Pattadakal are symbolic of the Chalukya inclination
towards integration, and experimentation, resulting in a merging of
the Northern and Southern Indian architectural styles. This is
particularly evident when the architecture at Pattadakal,
Badami are viewed together. Aihole, in the 5th century, served as the
incubator for the concepts that would lead to this integration of
styles. These concepts were further refined in
Badami during the 6th
and 7th centuries. The culmination of this is, as described by UNESCO,
"the apogee of an eclectic art which, in the 7th and 8th centuries,
achieved a harmonious blend of architectural forms from the north and
south of India".
Early medieval era music and arts
Among the sculptures at
Pattadakal is one of a long neck lute
(Sitar-like) dated to the 10th-century. The site also shows friezes
with more conventional musical instruments, but the long neck lute
suggests there was a tradition of musicians innovating with new
instrument designs. Another example are the 7th-century stick zithers
found carved in the bas-relief at Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu.
Badami cave temples
Mahakuta group of temples
Sirpur Group of Monuments
Mahadeva Temple (Itagi)
Alampur group of temples, Andhra Pradesh
List of State Protected Monuments in Karnataka
^ The script is also called "early Nagari", "Kutila", "Vikata" and
"acute angled"; it is referred to as Siddham script in East Asian
^ a b c d "World Heritage Sites - Pattadakal". Archaeological Survey
of India. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
^ a b c d Group of Monuments at Pattadakal, UNESCO; See also Advisory
Body Evaluation (ICOMOS), UNESCO
^ a b c d e f g h i World Heritage Sites -
Pattadakal - More Detail,
Archaeological Survey of India, Government of
^ a b Michell 2017, pp. 12-19, 110-114.
^ World Heritage Sites - Pattadakal; Group of Monuments at Pattadakal
(1987), Karnataka; ASI, Government of India
^ Michell 2017, pp. 110-131.
^ a b c Michell 2017, p. 136.
^ Cathleen Cummings 2014, pp. 1-7.
^ Lippe 1967.
^ a b c d e f Virupaksha Temple, ASI
^ Michell 2017, pp. 12-41.
^ Gary Tarr (1970), Chronology and Development of the Chāḷukya Cave
Temples, Ars Orientalis, The Smithsonian Institution and Department of
the History of Art, University of Michigan, Vol. 8, pp. 155-184
Belgaum airport AAI, Govt of India; Official Website, Belgaum
^ New terminal building at Belagavi airport, The
Hindu (September 30
^ "Pattadakal". National Informatics Center. Retrieved 21 June
^ George Michell (2002). Pattadakal. Oxford University Press.
pp. 2–7. ISBN 978-0-19-565651-0.
^ Michell 2017, pp. 12-19, 110-124.
^ "Carved for eternity - Pattadakal". The Hindu. 6 April 2013.
Retrieved 24 May 2013.
^ a b c d e Michell 2017, pp. 19-20.
^ Hermann Kulke; Dietmar Rothermund (1998). A History of India.
Routledge. pp. 106–113. ISBN 978-0-415-15482-6.
^ George Childs Kohn (2013). Dictionary of Wars. Routledge.
pp. 146–147. ISBN 978-1-135-95494-9.
^ a b T. Richard Blurton (1993).
Hindu Art. Harvard University Press.
pp. 53–55, 212–218. ISBN 978-0-674-39189-5.
^ Christopher Tadgell (2015). The East: Buddhists, Hindus and the Sons
of Heaven. Routledge. pp. 90–95.
^ "Group of Monuments at Pattadakal". UNESCO. Retrieved 1 September
^ a b c d e f Kadasiddheswara Temple, ASI
^ a b c d e Michell 2017, pp. 110-111.
^ a b c d Jambulingeswara Temple, ASI
^ a b c d e Jambulingeswara Temple, ASI
^ a b c d e Michell 2017, pp. 111-112.
^ a b c d e Michell 2017, p. 112.
^ a b c Chandrashekhara Temple, ASI
^ a b c d e f g h Michell 2017, p. 112-114.
^ a b c d Sangameshwara Temple, ASI
^ Carol Radcliffe Bolon (1985), The Durga Temple, Aihole, and the
Saṅgameśvara Temple, KūḐavelli: A Sculptural Review, Ars
Orientalis, The Smithsonian Institution and Department of the History
of Art, University of Michigan, Vol. 15, pages 47-64
^ Michell 2017, p. 113-115.
^ Heather Elgood 2000, pp. 165-166.
^ Vinayak Bharne & Krupali Krusche 2014, pp. 65-66.
^ Norman Yoffee (2007). Negotiating the Past in the Past: Identity,
Memory, and Landscape in Archaeological Research. University of
Arizona Press. pp. 164–167. ISBN 978-0-8165-2670-3.
^ a b c d e f g h i j Michell 2017, pp. 130-131.
^ Vinayak Bharne & Krupali Krusche 2014, p. 63.
^ a b c d e f g h i Kasivisweswara Temple, ASI
^ a b c d e Mallikarjuna Temple, ASI
^ Michael W. Meister & Madhusudan A. Dhaky 1996, p. 24.
^ a b c d Michell 2017, pp. 128-130.
^ a b c Michell 2017, pp. 128-129.
^ Blackburn, Stuart (1996). "The Brahmin and the Mongoose: The
Narrative Context of a Well-Travelled Tale". Bulletin of the School of
Oriental and African Studies. Cambridge University Press. 59 (03):
^ a b Michell 2017, pp. 115-125.
^ George Michell 2002, pp. 5, 36-44.
^ a b c d Michell 2017, pp. 115-116.
^ Kadambi, Hemanth (2015). "Cathleen Cummings,Decoding a
Royalty and Religion in the Iconographic Program of the Virupaksha
Temple, Pattadakal". South Asian Studies. Taylor & Francis. 31
(2): 266–268. doi:10.1080/02666030.2015.1094214.
^ George Michell 1977, pp. 137-140.
^ a b Michell 2017, pp. 116-117.
^ Stella Kramrisch (1993). The
Hindu Temple. Motilal Banarsidass.
pp. 241–242 with footnotes. ISBN 978-81-208-0223-0.
^ Michell 2017, pp. 115-118.
^ Cathleen Cummings 2014, pp. 73-76, 121-123.
^ Michell 2017, p. 117.
^ a b Michell 2017, pp. 117-118.
^ Michell 2017, pp. 117-121.
^ Michell 2017, pp. 117-124.
^ Lippe 1967, pp. 5-24.
^ John Stratton Hawley (1987),
Krishna and the Birds, Ars Orientalis,
The Smithsonian Institution and Department of the History of Art,
University of Michigan, Vol. 17, pp. 137-161
^ M. K. Dhavalikar (1982). "Kailasa — The Stylistic Development and
Chronology". Bulletin of the Deccan College Research Institute. 41:
33. JSTOR 42931407.
^ a b c d Papanatha Temple, ASI
^ a b c d e Michell 2017, pp. 132-135.
^ George Michell 2002, pp. 73-76.
^ a b Michell 2017, pp. 132-133.
^ Michell 2017, pp. 133-134.
^ a b c d Jaina Temple, ASI
^ Adam Hardy 1995, p. 153 note 30.
^ George Michell (2002). Pattadakal. Oxford University Press.
pp. 20, 35–36. ISBN 978-0-19-565651-0.
^ James Campbell (1884). Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency: Bijápur.
Government Central Press. pp. 669–673.
^ Richard Salomon (1998). Indian Epigraphy: A Guide to the Study of
Inscriptions in Sanskrit, Prakrit, and the Other Indo-Aryan Languages.
Oxford University Press. pp. 39 footnote 112.
^ Richard Salomon (1998). Indian Epigraphy: A Guide to the Study of
Inscriptions in Sanskrit, Prakrit, and the Other Indo-Aryan Languages.
Oxford University Press. pp. 39, 71.
^ Upinder Singh 2008, p. 631.
^ Cathleen Cummings 2014, pp. 2-5.
^ Cathleen Cummings 2014, pp. 5-9, 184, 236-268.
^ Cathleen Cummings 2014, pp. 236-245, 270-278.
^ George Michell (2002). Pattadakal. Oxford University Press.
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^ Stephen Slawek (1987). Sitār Technique in Nibaddh Forms. Motilal
Banarsidass. pp. 6–7. ISBN 978-81-208-0200-1.
Vinayak Bharne; Krupali Krusche (2014). Rediscovering the Hindu
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Hindu Temple: Royalty and
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Heather Elgood (2000). Hinduism and the Religious Arts. Bloomsbury
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