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Pattadakal



 

What :

Pattadakal is a town located in the northern part of the Indian state of Karnataka. While the town itself is slightly off the major tourism high traffic circuit of India, it is home to a group of temples that have fascinated people from around the world, many of whom have traveled to come and see these wonderful historical treasures.

There are around ten temples at Pattadakal. The entire group of monuments has been collectively declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since the year 1987. Pattadakal reached its cultural and historic zenith under the rule of the Badami Chalukiya Dynasty which has been responsible for creating other centers of culture in Karnataka such as Hampi and Badami. Pattadakal acted as a second capital to the Chalukiyas and also served as their coronation center.

For enthusiasts of ancient architecture and history, Pattadakal is a must see site because of the diversity that its temples represent. Built between the 3rd and 8th century AD, the temples at Pattadakal represent a number of major Indian temple building styles and themes. Some of the temples are built according to the North Indian Nagara form of architecture with their curve-linear towers, while others are built more to a south Indian Dravidian aesthetic which is symbolized by their square roofs and receding tiles.

The major structures at the group of temples at Pattadakal include the Virupaksha, Mallikarjuna, Sangameshvara, Chandrashekra and Papanatha temples. Apart from their architectural styles, each of these temples has a unique character that sets them apart from one another. Some of the temples like the largest, the Virupaksha, are dedicated to the Hindu deity Lord Shiva and are embellished heavily with carvings and sculptures depicting episodes from the ancient Hindu Vedic texts, the Ramayana and the Mahabhartha. There is also a massive Nandi statue on the premises which is the traditional boar vehicle of Lord Shiva. Many archeologists and historians believe that the Virupaksha temple at Pattadakal served as the inspiration for the amazing monuments one sees as far afield in India as the world famous Ellora shrines.

Others such as the Chandrashekra temple, is an extremely simplistic structure with no carvings but rather thought to be built to commemorate major military victories or other fortuitous events. The oldest temple in the complex is the Sangameshvara temple which with its hall of twenty pillars laid out in a quad-laterally symmetrical grid never ceases to amaze visitors.

Another set of interesting structures at Pattadakal include the Mallikarjuna temple which is smaller twin of the largest temple in the complex, the Virupaksha temple and was made to commemorate the military victory of the legendary King Vikramaditiya over the rival Pallava Dynasty who ruled the southern coastal regions and are the builders of great seats of Tamil culture such as Tanjore and Mahabalipuram.

While most temples at Pattadakal are shrines to Lord Shiva, the Papanatha temple is a Jain sanctuary and stands out with its amazing statues of elephants. The Papanatha temple also serves as the venue of the annual Pattadakal Dance Festival which attracts visitors from across India and around the world.

When :

The temples at Pattadakal are open to visitors all year round. Many tourists take advantage of the pleasant weather between October and March, making it a popular time to visit Pattadakal.

In recent years, a traditional dance festival is organized every January and February at Pattadakal. The venue of the festival is the Jain Temple at the site, the Papanatha temple. The Pattadakal Festival of dance is a great opportunity for foreign visitors to come and experience the immensely rich dance forms and traditional music of Karnataka.


Where :

Pattadakal is located in the south Indian state of Karnataka. The nearest international airport to Pattadakal is Bangalore (Bengaluru) which is around 500 km away. Most foreign visitors coming to visit Pattadakal are culture and temple enthusiasts who take the time to visit not just Pattadakal but also the many other famous sites in its periphery including Badami, Hampi, Hoaspete, Hubli and Aihole.


Who :

The group of temples at Pattadakal would interest any visitor due to the richness of its design, glorious history and intricate sculptures.

Pattadakal would hold particular interest for enthusiasts of history, architecture, spirituality as well as culture and philosophy.

For enthusiasts of relics and architecture, the temples at Pattadakal provide an interesting window into the many styles of temple building in India ranging from the highly ornate to the profoundly simplistic. Pattadakal features temples built in the fashion of the north Indian Nagara as well as the south Indian Dravidian styles.

For the photography enthusiast, the best time to photograph the temples at Pattadakal is early in the morning when the light is at its softest and you can shoot some interesting cut light shots of the various temples at the complex along with their intricate sculptures, construction features and carvings.

Appropriate Attire :

Visitors are advised to wear clothing that is suited to the weather and covers arms, legs and shoulders as many of the temples while not active are still considered sacred sites by locals.

On most days the weather in Pattadakal is sunny and a tour of the group of temples requires walking outdoors in the sun. Visitors should therefore take adequate precautions against the sun and keep themselves well-hydrated.



Guest Reviews about Pattadakal Tour :

 
  Irina Lukovskaia - Brustman
March - April 2013
We are back from our amazing voyage to India and I would like to Thank You for facilitating such a fabulous journey for us.
Everything was perfect and completely exceeded our expectations.
I also appreciate your patience and advice regarding traveling with the driver, as to your point train experience would not be as explicit and personable.
Hotels:
All opulent level hotels were stunning……..
Monuments: Simply fantastic – we were blown away…….
Driver Excellent – kept us safe and sound  - what an experience to be on the roads there……
GuidesAll very nice
We are very pleased and are considering another trip to the southern part.
I am very happy to come across your company simply by chance and will be contacting you again when the time comes for the next trip. By the way, could you please let me know what other countries do you cover? REFERENCE AVAILABLE.  INDEPENDENT TRAVEL
 
 

 
  Patricia Werhahn – Three Family Members
February 2013
My entire family truly enjoyed our trip to India and Easy Tour definitely made it amazing. We really appreciated the fact that everything was on time and very efficiently organized. We enjoyed all the sites! We definitely would recommend Easy Tour to anyone looking to travel on a private tour in India and if we travel there again, we will use Easy Tour again. Oh and we must have had the best driver in India for the portion of Delhi to Udaipor. He was just amazing! All our guides were excellent except for the one in Jodhpur. All the other guides always very enthusiastic. REFERENCE AVAILABLE.  INDEPENDENT TRAVEL
 
 

 


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