Pattadakal in north Karnataka is an ancient complex of Hindu and Jain temples of 7th and 8th century CE. The complex has numerous temples that are quite significant and are visited by pilgrims from all around the nation. Pattadakal is situated at the banks of the Malaprabha river in the district of Bagalkot. This river is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is an add on to the pride of the place. The place is rather considered holy because of the river which is turned towards the Himalayas. Pattadakal is well-defined by UNESCO as a ‘harmonious blend of architectural forms from the north and south India’.
The art and beauty of the temples of Pattadakal are so unique and electrifying that they together make this place worth visiting. Most of the Pattadakal temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva. The monuments and inscriptions on these temples teach a lot about ancient times and attract a great number of people on a yearly basis.
Best Time to Visit Pattadakal
The best time to visit Pattadakal is from October to March. During this time of the year, the overall temperature and climatic conditions are very pleasant for tourism activities.
History of Pattadakal
Pattadakal was ruled by the Chalukya dynasty in the 7th century. Kisuvolal was the other name of the place which meant ‘the valley of red soil’. The Chalukyan rulers focused a lot on the cultural development of the region and during their reign, they built many temples in the Aihole-Badami region. In the 10th century, the region came under the rule of the Rashtrkuta kingdom which continued till the 11th century.
The Chalukyas again gained control over Pattadakal in the 12th century and resumed the work of building temples in the region. Pattadakal then got ruled for significant time periods by the Vijaynagar empire in the 14th century and by the Adil Shah dynasty in the 16th century. Pattadakal was also ruled by the Mughals, the Marathas, and the Britishers.
After India’s independence, the place got explored and preserved by ASI and it developed as a spiritual tourist destination for Hindu and Jain devotees.
Major Attractions in and Around Pattadakal
1. Virupaksha Temple
This is one of the largest temples in Pattadakal and was built in the 8th century for the purpose of commemorating the victory of king Vikramaditya II over the Pallavas of Kanchi. Furthermore, there are multiple inscriptions as well as the stone carvings featured on the stone Mantapa attracts tourists from across the country. Along with this, the sculptures of various Hindu Gods can also be found on the walls of this temple.
2. Kashiviswanatha Temple
This temple was built and constructed by the Rashtrakutas in the 8th century. What is really great about this temple is the fact that it displays the Nagara architecture in its finest form. Moreover, the pillars in the passage of this temple have many intricately carved female statues engraved on them.
3. Mallikarjuna Temple
The Mallikarjuna Temple is quite similar in terms of architecture as well as infrastructure to the Virupaksha temple. Built during the 7th century, this temple follows the Dravidian architectural style. The temple is believed to have been built by the queen Rani Trilokyamahadevi, the second wife of King Vikramaditya.
If you visit Pattadakal then one of the best options in terms of things to do would be to go shopping. From here you might just be able to buy a souvenir for your loved ones as it is the little things which make a difference in our lives bringing a certain sense of joy and happiness.
5. Galaganath Temple
Located on the banks of the Tungabhadra river the temple was built in the 8th century. People visit the temple to witness the most popular sculpture of Lord Shiva killing Andhakasura demon. Furthermore, you will be also finding somewhat small figurines of Gajalakshmi and Kubera in the vicinity of the temple.
6. Papanatha Temple
This temple was started with the nagara style construction initially. However, the architecture was changed and the temple was later rebuilt in the Vesara style. If you visit this temple then you will be finding a lot of insightful carvings on the walls of this temple along with the sculptures of Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati, and Lord Vishu.
How to reach Pattadakal
It won't be wrong to refer Pattadakal as a national treasure. Yes, this complex of Hindu and Jain temples is a must-visit for anyone who is interested in Indian culture and heritage. Pattadakal is located at a distance of about 1,772, 603, 1,888, 446 km from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru respectively. Check the information below to see how you can reach Pattadakal from other cities.
The nearest airport from Pattadakal is in Belgaum. It is located at a distance of about 170 km from Pattadakal. There are many direct flights that operate from some specific Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, and Chennai to Belgaum. From the airport, one is required to take a taxi or a bus to reach Pattadakal.
Here is a list of Indian cities from where flights are available to Pattadakal
If you are planning to visit this place by train then Badami is the nearest railhead which is located at the distance of around 20 km from this tourist destination in Karnataka. From this station, you can either hire a cab or can get on a public bus to reach the desired location in Pattadakal.
This place is very well connected with other cities by road. You can easily find some of the state-run buses which commute on a regular basis from places like Bengaluru, Bijapur, Hubli, etc. Apart from buses, you can also travel by taxis or self-drive here.