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Pattadakal – A Village Known for Its Ancient Temples of Varying Architectural Styles
An Overview of Pattadakal
Located in the Bagalkot district of Karnataka, on the banks of River Malaprabha, is the famous village of Pattakadal. The place is famous for housing several Chalukya era monuments and was included in the World Heritage Site list by UNESCO in 1987. The village is primarily famous for its ancient temples dating back to the 8th century, and built in diverse architectural styles. Most of these temples are believed to be built on an experimental basis as the first examples of Versa style architecture used for the construction of Hindu temples. 

Some Renowned Temples of Pattadakal
Virupaksha Temple:  This ancient temple was built under the tutelage of Queen Lokamahadevi, who wanted to commemorate the victory of her husband Vikramaditya II, over the Pallavas. Constructed around the 7th century, the temple shares its architecture with the Kailasanathar Temple of Kanchi, to a great extent. This temple is believed to be amongst the oldest temples existing in India, and features ancient statues and sculptures of various Hindu gods, which include Nataraja, Lingodhbhava, Ravananugraha and Ugranarasimha.

Mallikarjuna Temple: This is another ancient temple dating back to the7th century, which was built immediately after the construction of Virupaksha temple was completed. The temple shares its design with the Virupaksha temple, although it is a bit smaller in size. This temple was constructed under the aegis of Queen Triloyamahadevi, the second wife of King Vikramaditya, to celebrate his victory over the Pallavas. Both the Mallikarjuna Temple and the Virupaksha temple before it were built in accordance with the Dravidian style of architecture.

Sangameshwara Temple: This temple, which was previously known by the name of Vijayeshwara temple, was constructed by the renowned Chalukya King Vijayaditya Satyashraya. The temple, which was built in the Dravidian style architecture, took over 36 years to complete, with its construction beginning in 696 AD and ending in 733 AD. It features a hall, along with an inner passage and a sanctum. The outer walls of the temple are decorated with the carved images of Nataraja and Ugranarasimha, while its hall and roof are designed in a manner quite similar to that of the Virupaksha temple.  The entire structure of this temple is crafted in an amazing and skillful manner and presents a perfect example of the best aspects of Chalukya style architecture.

Papanatha Temple: The Papanatha Temple is located on the southern egde of the Virupaksha section, and is believed to have been built in 680 AD. The temple consists of a big hall and an anti-chamber, besides which it also features the sculptures of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Among the most prominent attractions of this temple are the 16 massive pillars built to hold the roof of the central hall. In addition, the temple is also known for the statues of Nandi and Virabhadra, the two doorkeepers, which are placed near the entrance to the inner hall.

Galaganatha Temple: The Galaganatha temple, which is believed to have been constructed in the early years of the 8th century, is placed in the northern region of Virupaksha .The temple features a sanctum containing a Shiva Linga, besides which it also has a Navaranga and Shukanasa. The temple also has a circuit pathway that surrounds the main sanctum, in addition to the small sculptures of Gajalakshmi and Kubera.

Jain Temple: This temple was again constructed in accordance with the Dravidian style architecture and dates back to the 9th century. The temple was constructed by the Rashtrakutas of Manyakheta and feature several unique idols and sculptures. It believed that the instructions for the construction of this temple were issued either by King Amoghavarsha or his son Krishna II.


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