Free-spirit,boho soul and attached to my Indian roots…That’s what people call me…
My exploration always includes one or other heritage site.It not only speaks for the diverse culture but also about the glorious past.And that’s what India is all about.Every single time it surprises me and makes me spell bound.
This time I thought of covering three breathtaking attractions and explore the marvelous architectures of Chalukyan dynasty.
I am travelling between two erstwhile capital towns – Badami and Aihole and in between, was Pattadakal, my destination.
In this write up, will focus on Pattadakal,but believe me,these three are inseparable.
The art and architecture not only reflects the culture of the period during which it was built but also reflects the religious bent of the Ruler during whose reign it was constructed. Pattadakal, the second capital of the Chalukyas is believed to be their coronation site.
The temple is sheer poetry carved on stone and the walls, pillars, panels and columns are adorned with beautiful carvings from the epics and Puranas.
Pattadakal was a commercial centre and a meeting place for architects and sculptors from north and south India.
A UNESCO world heritage site, this temple complex spread over a well laid out garden has an array of temples dating and are considered the center of architectural experimentation and innovation between 7th to 9th centuries.
Believe it or not:
- The temple complex received many names.It was known as Kisuvolal (valley of red soil), Raktapura (city of red), and Pattada-Kisuvolal (red soil valley for coronation) all of which refer to its holy and red soil status.
- It is believed that it was the site where the Chalukyan rulers were crowned as kings. Yet one cannot find a palace here; but there are monuments that are probably more magnificent than a palatial complex.
Architectural styles used in Pattadakal are Dravidian, north Indian Nagara style, Chalykyan art and fusion of Dravidian – north Indian style. Of the ten main temples, four were built in the southern Chalukya Dravidian style that one can see in other constructions in Karnataka, four were built in the in the Nagara style of Northern India and one, the Papanatha temple, blends the two styles.
The largest and the most decorated of all the temples are Mallikarjuna and Virupaksha temples, built to commemorate the victory of Chalukyas over Pallavas. While Mallikarjuna temple displays stories from Mahabharata and Ramayana on its walls, Virupaksha has beautiful carved pillars with mythological stories and characters.
The temple complex is situated by the Malaprabha river.In Pattadakal,all the monuments are enclosed in one large, landscaped area, which made it quite convenient.
While interacting with a guide,I got to know some interesting which I think is worth sharing.
He explained to me that in Pattadakal, the Chalukyan art had reached its zenith and it showed in the exquisite workmanship of the temples. To explain it better, he compared the Aihole monuments to that belonging to a School of Art, the ones at Badami to a High School, the ones here at Pattadakal to a College and the ones in Belur and Halebid
(Hoysala temples) to a University.
Most visitors to the area manage to tour Aihole, Pattadakal and Badami in a single day, which I think is quite possible. Make Badami your base and explore the other sites.
But since I was in no real rush to get anywhere, I decided to go a little slow,understand the history and architecture and play with the angle of my camera and I believe I managed to get some nice click.
Built in the 8th century, the Virupaksha temple is also known as the Lokeshwara , named not after the king or a deity but after the queen , Lokamahadevi who commissioned this magnificent monument to commemorate her husband, Vikramaditya 11’s victory over the Pallavas of Kanchipuram.
The queens of the Chalukyan era probably vied with each other to build temples for their kings. Mallikarjuna temple, also known as Trailokeshwara temple, after the queen Trilokamahadevi who built it.
Though the temples and structures have worn out over a period, most of them have been restored and maintained well by the authorities.Archaeological Survey of India have done a terrific job of reviving the temples
When you approach Pattadakal you are immediately taken aback by the simplicity of the surroundings and the green of the grass and the palm trees aided by the nearby river.
After spending a day , i had left Pattadakal and bid its ancient golden monuments goodbye.With so much of natural and man made beauty taking my breath away at every turn, it had been easy to whisper silent prayers of gratitude and thank god for my truly Incredible India.
Timings: 6 AM to 6 PM (These have longer visiting hours compared to Aihole temples which open at 10 AM and close at 5 PM).
Tickets: Indian (INR 30), Foreigners (INR 500), Video & Camera (INR 25)
How to get there?
Once you reach Badami,Pattadakal distance can be is easily covered.
By Air: Nearest airport to Badami is in Belgaum which is located at a distance of 190 km and connected to all the major airport through domestic flight
By Train: Nearest railway station to Badami is in Hubli which is situated 100 kms away from this city.You can hire taxi or take a state trasnport bus which plies regularly
By Road: Badami is directly connected to major cities like Bengaluru,Pune and Mumbai via National highways
- Road is narrow and bumpy.Be prepared.Drive safe.
- All the sites have a dry landscape and a hot climate. Make sure to carry hats, sunscreen and water.
- Don’t forget to carry your camera. Pattadakal is a photographers delight.
Finally,leaving you with some beautiful pictures of the road less traveled.
Stay and Wander !!!
Hi! I am Anushree Dash…
1 Part Entrepreneur
2 Parts Writer
3 Parts Social reformer
4 Parts explorer
5 Parts photographer, Too many Parts.
A free-spirited,non-conformist,,impenitent,independent,adventurous,boho soul and an admirer of life. Loves my Indian roots, Culture, Aesthetic Living, Saree, Poetry …