Monuments of Pattadakal – Epitome of Chalukyan Architecture

Quick Facts

Heritage MonumentGroup of Monuments at Pattadakal
LocationPattadakal, Karnataka, India
Heritage TypeSacred & Religious Site
Commencement of construction of first monument7th Century CE
Completion of construction of last monument8th Century CE
Architectural TypeStone Temples
Architectural StyleVesara (Karnata Dravida) – mix of Nagara & Dravida
Royal PatronageVarious Kings & Queens of the ruling dynasties
Ruling DynastyBadami Chalukyas & Rashtrakutas
Religious AffiliationHinduism & Jainism
Religious Dedication toHindu gods and Jain Tirthankars
SpecialtyFinest of Chalukya style of Architecture
UNESCO World Heritage SiteYes

Your Guide to Pattadakal:

About Group of Monuments at PattadakalPhoto Gallery – Group of Monuments at Pattadakal
Attractions at PattadakalNear by attractions
Geographical LocationHow to reach Pattadakal
Tourist InformationMaps & Others
Pattadakal – red soil valley for coronation of Chalukya kingsTale of the Chalukyas of Deccan

About Group of Monuments at Pattadakal

  • Pattadakal became prominent under the Badami Chalukya dynasty (r. 543 CE – 753 CE) who used to hold the royal pattabanda (coronations) in the temple complex they built there and the word Pattadakal literally means ‘coronation stone’ or ‘place of coronation’.
  • Pattadakal was also known as ‘Kisuvolal’ meaning ‘valley of red soil’, ‘Raktapura’ meaning “red town”, and ‘Pattada-Kisuvolal’ meaning “red soil valley for coronation”.
  • In ancient history Pattadakal finds mention as “Petirgal” in Ptolemy’s Geography written in 150 CE.
  • Experimentation of temple architecture by the Chalukyas which began in Aihole as early as 5th century CE and continued at Badami, found it’s culmination and zenith at Pattadakal during the 7th and 8th century CE.
  • During 7th & 8th century CE Pattadakal became a melting pot of northern Indian Nagara style of temple architecture and south Indian Dravidian style of architecture to result in the Vesara style of architecture. 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.
  • There are 10 major temples at Pattadakal – 9 Hindu and 1 Jain.
  • The 9 Hindu temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva, as the Chalukyas though originally Vaishnavites but by then they had converted themselves into Shivaites. However, all the Hindu temples features theology and legends from Vaishnavism and Shaktism also.
  • 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.
  • Four Hindu temples are constructed in the traditional Dravidian style of architecture, with another four temples containing elements of Nagara architecture. The Papanatha temple is a confluence of both architectural styles.
  • After the fall of the Badami Chalukya Empire, Pattadakal along with most of the region came under the rule Rashtrakutas who continued the temple building activities and the Jain temple known as the Jain Narayana temple, was likely built in the 9th century CE during the reign of Krishna II of Rashtrakutas.
  • The Jain temple was dedicated to 23rd Jain Tirthankar, Parsvanatha.
  • The temples of Pattadakal follows a basic temple architecture plan where the Garbha Griha (sanctum sanctorum) opens to an Antarala (vestibule) and houses the idol on a Pitha (pedestal). A pillared Mandapa (hall) adjoins the Antarala. A Shikhara (spire) rises on top of the Garbha Griha and contains an Amalaka (a ribbed stone) with a Kalash (pot with mango leaves and a coconut) at its finial. The Vimana (pyramidal tower) then comprises both the Garbha Griha and Shikhara.

Return: Guide to Pattadakal

Read here: Pattadakal – red soil valley for coronation of Chalukya kings

Read here: Tale of the Chalukyas of Deccan

Attractions at Pattadakal

Sangameshvara Temple:

Sangameshvara Temple, Pattadakal
Sangameshvara is the oldest temple in Pattadakal, built by Chalukya King Vijayaditya Satyashraya (r. 696 CE – 733 CE) around 720 CE and the temple was originally called “Vijayeshwara”. The temple seems to have never been completed in spite of several later efforts.

Dedicated to Lord Shiva, this large temple is built in Dravidian style has a main shrine and two sub shrines for  ‘Mahishasur-mardini’ and ‘Ganesha’.


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Virupaksha Temple:

Virupaksha Temple, Pattadakal

The Virupaksha temple (previously known as Lokesvara Temple), dated to 740 CE is the largest and grandest of all temples at Pattadakal, was built by Queen Loka Mahadevi after the successful military campaigns of King Vikramaditya II against the Pallavas.


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Mallikarjuna Temple:

Mallikarjuna Temple, Pattadakal

Mallikarjuna Temple is a smaller version of the Virupaksha temple and was built by Vikramadiyta’s second queen Trailokyamahadevi in 740 CE, for the same reason as Virupaksha temple – successful military campaigns of King Vikramaditya II against the Pallavas.


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Papanatha Temple:

Papanatha Temple, Pattadakal

Papanatha temple originally known as Mukteshwar temple (as found in inscriptions) was built in the Vesara style in about 680 CE.  The Papanatha temple is a confluence of both North Indian Nagara and South Indian Dravidian architectural styles. The temple was started in Nagara style but later changed to Dravidian style.


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Galaganatha Temple:

Galganatha Temple, Pattadakal

Galaganatha Temple, is one of the last to be built at the site around 750 CE, is a typical Rekha-Nagara style temple with a linga, and an antarala (vestibule) within the temple garbhagriha (sanctum). The sanctum has a covered circumambulatory path (pradakshina patha), indicating that this Hindu tradition was well established by 7th to 8th century.


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Kashi Visvanatha Temple:

Kashi Visvanatha Temple, Pattadakal

Kashi Visvanatha temple, also known as Kashi-Vishweswara temple is the smaller of the temples at Pattadakal built with curvilinear Nagara style shikara, the temple is about 40 feet (12 m) in length and 25 feet (7.6 m) in breadth. It is not exactly known when the temple was built, but most likely it was built in the mid-8th century CE by the Rashtrakutas.


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Chandrashekhara Temple:

Chandrashekhara is a small east facing temple without a tower and is placed between the Sangameswara and Galganatha temples. The temple has a garbha griha with a Shiva linga and a closed hall and a Nandi sits on a platform to the east facing the linga. It is laid out within a space 33.33 feet (10 m) in length and 17.33 feet (5.2 m) in breadth. A Devakoshtha is designed on both the north and south walls of the sanctum. Dwarpalas (door keeper) grace either side of the entrance door to the shrine.
Jambulinga Temple:

Jambulinga Temple, Pattadakal

Jambulinga or Jambulingeshwara is a small east facing temple built around a square garbhagriha (sacrum sanctum) which houses a lingum on a pitha and opens to the antarala at front which further expands to a mandapa. The temple has a small Rekha-Nagara tower built in 3 diminishing stages with a sukanasa projecting from the shikhara at the front.

The outer wall of the temple features intricate devakoshtha (lintel-led niches) with decorated frames of Hamsa (Swan) and mythical Makaras (crocodiles). Inside the frames are images of Vishnu on its north, Surya (Sun god) to its west and Lakulisha (Shiva) to the south. The small Nandi mandapa to the east is in a ruinous state with the crouching image of Nandi all but destroyed.

Jambulinga Temple, Pattadakal
Kada Siddheshwara Temple:

Kada Siddheswara Temple, Pattadakal
Kada Siddheswara another small temple was most likely constructed sometime during the middle to late 7th century CE and shows an experimental stage in the development of temple architecture. The temple faces east and is built around a square garbha griha (sacrum sanctum). It houses a linga on a peetha (platform), and the Nandi bull faces it from outside; there is a mantapa around the sacrum center.


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Jain Rock Cut Temple:

Jain Rock Cut Temple, Pattadakal

The Jain Rock Cut Temple also known as Jain Naryana temple was built during the 9th century, possibly with sponsorship from the Rashtrakuta King Krishna II or the Kalyani Chalukyas.


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Monolithic Stone Pillar:

Monuments of Pattadakal

In front of the Virupaksha Temple is a monolithic stone pillar bearing old Kannada inscription of the victories achieved by Chalukya emperor Vikramaditya II during his reign between 733 CE – 745 CE.

Please scroll down to checkout other nearby attractions.

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Geographical Location:

District: Bagalkot
State: Karnataka
Country: India

Location of Karnataka in IndiaPattadakal in map of Karnataka

Pattadakal or Pattadakallu is an UNESCO World Heritage site located on the left bank of the Mahaprabha river in northern part of the state of Karnataka, India at about 443 km from Bangalore. Pattadakal was a great center of Chalukya art and architecture and the Group of Monuments at Pattadakal stands today as one of the finest examples of earliest experiments in the Vesara style of Hindu temple architecture.

Pattadakal along with Badami and Aihole forms a cultural triangle and center piece of Chalukyan architecture. Part of the Bagalkot district of Karnataka, Pattadakal is located about 22 km from Badami which has a railway station about 5 km away. Badami though small but is a bustling and quite densely populated town and is well connected to larger cities of Karnataka and Maharashtra by both road and railways.

Coordinates: 15°94′88″N, 75°81′64″E
Elevation: 531 m (1742 ft)
Pin/Post/Zip Code: 587211
Telephone Code: ISD 91; STD 08357
Nearest big town: Bagalkot

How to reach Pattadakal:

  • By Road: Pattadakal can be easily reached from Badami which is just 22 km away. Pattadakal can also be reached by road from Bangalore, Hyderabad or Pune, each of which are between 400 and 500 km. It can also be reached from other popular tourist spot like Panaji, Hampi or Bijapur.
  • By Air: Nearest domestic airports are at Hubli & Belgaum. Nearest International airports are at Dabolim (Goa), Bangalore & Hyderabad.
  • By Rail: Badami railway station is 5 km from Badami town and is well connected to major cities in South & West India. And Badami is about 22 km from Pattadakal.

Tour Info:

Timing: The Temples are mostly open from 6 am to 6 pm.
Best time to travel: August to February
Weather: Monthly; Current
Languages spoken: Kannada, Hindi & a bit of English

Journey & Photography notes:

The best way to visit Pattadakal is to base yourself out of Badami and hire a vehicle to visit Pattadakal. You need to buy ticket to get into the temple complex and may need to leave your shoes outside before stepping into a temple. Photography is allowed.

Our suggestion:

For Quick Trip: Make a quick tour from Hampi/Hospet or Bijapur by car for a day tour of Badami, Pattadakal & Aihole and return by night or take the 4 night 5 day North Karnataka bus tour conducted by Karnataka Holidays from Bangalore.

For Comfort Tour: Travel by air to Belgaum/Hubli and then hire a car to Badami or take a direct train to Badami. Stay over at Badami for 2 full days at least. Hire a car to visit Aihole (farthest) the first day and Pattadakal on the second day. Visit the Badami caves on the second day after returning from Pattadakal.

There are no luxury hotels at Badami (as of writing), however ‘Hotel Badami Court’ is comfortable with some decent food available at it’s restaurant. It also has a swimming pool for the guest.

For Budget Tour: Travel by train to Badami and stay over at Badami for 2 full days at least. Hire an auto rickshaw (Tuk Tuk) or take a local bus from Badami to visit Aihole (farthest) the first day and Pattadakal on the second day. Visit the Badami caves on the second day after returning from Pattadakal (if you want you can walk to the caves without hiring a vehicle).

There are quite a few budget hotels available at Badami including the KSTDC run ‘Hotel Mayura Chalukya’.

Return: Guide to Pattadakal

Near by attractions:

The Rock Cut Monuments, Badami:

Badami Cave 3Bhutanatha Temple & Agastya LakeBadami Cave 2

Badami, a corrupted form of the original name ‘Vatapi’ was the strong hold of the founders of the Chalukyan kingdom early in the 6th century CE. Badami was founded at around 540 CE by the first sovereign ruler of the Chalukyan dynasty Pulakeshin I (535 CE – 566 CE).

Badami along with Pattadakal (22 km) and Aihole (35 km) forms a cultural triangle and centerpiece of Chalukyan architecture and together they represent some of the earliest known examples of Hindu temples in the Deccan region. Badami along with the temples in Aihole had transformed the Mallaprabha River valley into a cradle of temple architecture that influenced the components of later Hindu temples elsewhere in India. Badami has been selected as one of the heritage cities for HRIDAYHeritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana scheme of Government of India.

Badami Cave Temple 1Badami Cave 2Badami Cave 3

Take a virtual tour of Badami here.
22 km from Pattadakal
Group of monuments, Aihole:

Durga Temple, AiholeLad Khan Temple, Aihole
Aihole also known as cradle of Indian temple architecture, was established in 450 CE as first capital of Chalukya kings and has about 125 stone temples, some which were constructed as experimental structures by artisans of Chalukyan period. Aihole along with Badami and Pattadakal forms a cultural triangle and center piece of Chalukyan architecture.

Aihole, located around an eponymous small village surrounded by farmlands and sandstone hills in the northern region of the South Indian state of Karnataka, India along the Malaprabha river valley, is about 447 km from the state capital Bangalore.

Mallikarjuna Temple Complex, AiholeRavana Phadi, Aihole

Take a virtual tour of Aihole here.
13.8 km from Pattadakal
Banashankari Temple:

Banashankari Temple (or Banashankari Amma temple) is a Hindu shrine located at Cholachagudda near Badami. The temple deity is also called the Shakambhari, an incarnation of the goddess Parvati.

While the original temple was built by the 7th century Badami Chalukya kings, who worshiped goddess Banashankari as their tutelary deity, the current structure is built in 18th century CE in the Vijayanagara architecture style.

The temple celebrates its annual festival called Banashankari jatre, in the months of January or February. The festival comprises cultural programs, boat festival as well as a Rath yatra (chariot festival), when the temple goddess is paraded around the city in a chariot.
17.8 km from Pattadakal
The Mahakuta group of temples, Mahakuta:

The Mahakuta group of temples is located in Mahakuta, a village near Badami. The temples date to 6th or 7th century CE and were constructed by the early kings of the Chalukya dynasty of Badami. Among the several shrines in the complex, the Mahakuteshvara temple, built in the Dravida style and the Mallikarjuna temple are the largest.

A natural mountain spring flows within the temple complex and feeds fresh water into a large tank called the Vishnu Pushkarni (“Lotus pool of god Vishnu”) and an ablution tank called Papavinasha Tirtha (“Tank of Ablution”). There is a small shrine in the centre of the Vishnu Pushkarni tank and in it there a Shiva linga (universal symbol of god Shiva) called Panchamukha linga (“five faced linga”), one face for each direction and one on top.
Mahakuta Mahakuta
11.3 km from Pattadakal
Group of monuments, Hampi (UNESCO World Heritage Site):

Hampi the erstwhile capital of the great Vijayanagar kingdom and perhaps the last great sovereign Hindu kingdom of India was a fabulously wealthy city considered to be amongst the largest and richest of it’s time in the world, had many a great monument built by its rulers until Vijayanagar lost the decisive battle against Deccan Muslim Confederacy in 1565 CE after which the city was pillaged over a period of 6 months to the state it had to be abandoned and it’s monuments became ruins.

The monuments of Hampi, some of which are living temples others in ruins is one of the most popular UNESCO World Heritage site in India and remains amongst the must visit heritage site in India.
136 km from Pattadakal
Adil Shahi Monuments, Bijapur:

Gol Gumbaz:
Gol Gumbaz or Gol Gumbad, the mausoleum of Muhammad Adil Shah (CE 1626 –56) located in Bijapur, District Bijapur, Karnataka State is an important monument of Indo-Islamic architecture aptly known for its amazing dimensions and unique acoustic features. The construction of this building was completed and the deceased king was interred in this building in 1656 CE and contains the sepulchre containing the tombs of Muhammad Adil Shah (reign 1626 CE to 1656 CE), the seventh Sultan of the Adil Shahi dynasty, his wives and daughters. Soon after his accession to the throne in  1626 CE, the Sultan started constructing this edifice for burying his mortal remains. He was buried in the vast vault beneath the floor along with other family members. The exact position of the real tomb is indicated by the wooden canopy kept on the high platform at the middle of the floor of the hall.

Ibrahim Rouza:
Ibrahim Rouza was a Mausoleum & Mosque built by “Ibrahim Adil Shah II” (1580 CE to 1627 CE), the fifth king of the “Adil Shahi” dynasty, consists of his and his wife, Taj Sultana’s tomb and a mosque within a square compound, both rising face to face from a common raised terrace, with a tank and fountain between them.
127 km from Pattadakal

Return: Guide to Pattadakal

Pattadakal Maps

Birds Eye View of Pattadakal

Pattadakal - birds eye view map

Detailed view of Monuments of Pattadakal

Pattadakal - detailed map of monuments

Pattadakal circuit map: Badami – Pattadakal – Aihole

Badami-Pattadakal-Aihole circuit map

Local cuisine:

A typical local meal in Pattadakal revolves round three staple items-rice, ragi (finger millet) and jowar (sorghum). The food is mainly cooked in coconut oil and has an affinity towards being sour. The preparations highly depends on rice, coconut and jaggery.

Art, Craft & Festivals:

Major Cultural Festival: Pattadakal is well known for the annual Pattadakal Dance festival held every year in the months of January or February.

Major Religious Festival: Apart from the more common Indian festivals of Diwali, Eid-ul-Fitr, Dussera, Ganesh Chaturthi etc. the Virupaksha Temple Car festival is annually held in March and Mallikarjuna temple festival in March / April every year.

External Links & References

Tour Packages:

Reference Links:


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