Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Destination Pattadakal

Jambulinga temple , 7th century, Rekhanagar prasada style (North Indian)
Horse shoe projection on the curvilinear gopuram!

Pattadakal, a world heritage site is not prominent on a traveler's radar as it is comparatively far flung.This place had eluded me for  a very long time. We finally got a chance to visit the 8th century center of art and architecture as an offshoot of trip due to social reasons. 

Pattadakal comprises of a group of monuments surrounded by well manicured lawns and  uttarabhimukhi ( flows from south to north) river  Malaprabha. The spic and span surroundings with all the hawkers and stalls at a distance transports you into the past without a second's delay. Wish all historical sites in India are maintained like Pattadakal.

 Kada Siddeshwar Temple, 7th century ,Rekhanagara prasada style (North Indian)
The severed sculptures on the front facade-A reminder of Muslim austerities

The initial attempt in monument construction was sometime around 3rd/4th century and visible signs of experimentation are prominent across the site. What makes it interesting are the small scale models of the temple and the many variations it underwent before the final monument was built.This could be unique to Pattadakal as i haven't come across use of models at any other location. One can also see the Linga in its barest form without the pitham in the temples that are no longer used for worship. The bottom base of linga which is rarely visible is a hexagon. Recommend one visit the place and hear out the guide on  the significance of the 6 sided base

Galaganatha Temple, 8th century ,Rekhanagara prasada style (North Indian)
Sandstone temple with intricate work

Sangamesvara temple, 7th century Dravida Vimana style ( South indian)
Old Kannada inscription of Sinda chieftain Chavunda II (1162 A.D.) describes grant made for construction of the Sangameshvara temple by King Vijayaditya
The center of chalukyan patronage was also the location for coronations.The grandest of the temples in the complex , the Virupaksha temple and the Mallikarjuna Temple were built by the queens in honor of the kings' victory over his Pallava opponents. Stories from Mahabharat, Ramayan and Bhagavata are sculpted into the stone monuments. Also common are religious figurines God and Demi Gods and scenes from the daily life.

Mallikarjuna Temple  and Kashivisvanatha Temple- 8th century Dravida Vimana style ( South Indian)and Rekhanagara prasada style(North Indian)
Mallikarjuna temple was commisioned by Rani Trilokyamahadevi

Virupaksha Temple and Nandi temple - 8th century Dravida Vimana style ( South Indian)
Queen Lokamahadevi  commisioned the temple in 745 to commemorate her husband's victory (Vikramaditya II) over the Pallavas of Kanchi.

Cluster of temples at Pattadakal. Image courtesy:

Nandi at Virupaksha

 Virupaksha pillared navaranga

East entrance - Virupaksha
 Old Kannada inscription on victory pillar, 733–745

 Narratives from Mahabharata , Ramayana

Shikara Kashivisvanatha Temple

 The scaled models

Pattadakal Cluster of temples!Unesco World Heritage site

Date : December 2014
Place : Pattadakal, Karnataka

Tip : December and it was scorching hot! So you know what to do.
First : Chalukyan style of architecture
The travel connection :  “You have to taste a culture to understand it.” Deborah Cater

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