PATTADAKAL, also spelled PATTADAKALU is a World Heritage Site, a Village and an important tourist centre in the State of Karnataka, and is located on the left bank of the MALAPRABHA River in Bagalkot District. It is 22km from BADAMI and 514km from AIHOLE, both of which are well-known for Chalukya monuments. The pre-Chalukya historical and archaeological site BACHINAGUDDA is also near Pattadakal.
Pattadakal, the place for Chalukya’s 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 10 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 Chalukyan Dravidian style, four in the 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 the Holy Scriptures.
Pattadakal was a great centre of art and architecture. According to the inscriptions, the place was known by the names KISOVOLAL (red town ——- mostly mountains near Pattadakal gave this name, RAKTAPURA. It continued to be an important centre under the RASHTRAKUTAS and the KALYANI CHALUKYAS. It became a chief city for a small region called KISUKADU. The SINDHAS of YARAMABARIGE (Yelburgi) also ruled it for some time.
UNESCO, in 1987, included PATTADAKAL in its list of World Heritage Sites. The group of 8th century monuments in Pattadakal are the culmination of earliest experiments in the VESARA style of Hindu Temple architecture.
VIRUPAKSHA Temple is the largest and grandest of all the Temples in Pattadakal. It was built in the 8th century by Queen Lokamahadevi to commemorate her husband Vikramaditya — 2 victories over the Pallavas of Kanchi. The Temple has rich sculptures. It has a sanctum, pillared navaranga and triple entrances from the north, east and south porches. It has a massive gateway in front from the east.