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Pattadakal, Virupaksa Temple | by Arian Zwegers
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Pattadakal, Virupaksa Temple

Pattadakal, Virupaksa Temple


Pattadakal also spelled Pattadakalu is a World Heritage site, a village and an important tourist centre on the left bank of the Malaprabha River in the state of Karnataka, India. It is close to Badami and Aihole, both of which are well known for Chalukya monuments.


Pattadakal, place for Chalukyas Coronation, was the capital of the Chalukya dynasty of Karnataka in Southern India. The Chalukyas built many temples here between the 7th and 9th century. There are ten temples including a Jain sanctuary surrounded by numerous small shrines and plinths in fusion of various Indian architectural styles (Rekha, Nagara, Prasada and Dravida Vimana). Four temples were built in Chalukya Dravidian style, four in Nagara style of Northern India and the Papanatha temple in mixed style. Nine Shiva temples and one Jaina basadi, situated along the northern course of the River, which is considered as very auspicious according to Holy Scriptures.


Virupaksha temple is the largest and grandest of the temples in Pattadakal. It was built in the 8th century by Queen Lokamahadevi (Trilokyamahadevi) in 745 to commemorate the victory of her husband (Vikramaditya II) over the Pallavas of Kanchi. The Virupaksha temple is rich in sculptures like those of Lingodbhava, Nataraja, Ravananugraha and Ugranarasimha. The temple has a sanctum, an inner passage, pillared navaranga and triple entrances from the north, east and the south porches. It has a massive gateway in front from the east and a small gate behind. There are inscriptions and imposing stone carved figures inside the stone mantapa. A little inside is the four-pillared Nandimantapa, which has a fine large stone bull. The sanctum has a circuit path and installed on the square pedestal, a black Shivalinga. The famous Kailasa temple at Ellora was built on the model of the Virupaksha temple.



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Taken on January 8, 2013