Pattadakal, (also known as Paṭṭadakallu or Raktapura) is a place in the south Indian state of Karnataka . It is known to be home to various ancient Hindu and Jain temples, from 7th and 8th centuries A.D.
Pattadakkal has a deep history, and is known to have been present since as long ago as the 2nd century CE. The place was earlier called Kisuvolal, which means – “a valley of red soil”.
Between 543-753 CE (6th to 8th centuries A.D), a large complex of temples was built in the place by a dynasty of rulers in the place called “The Chalukyas of Badami (ancient Vatapi)” for the purpose of royal events such as commemorations and coronations.
In the following years (even after the fall of the Chalukyas of Badami), numerous inscriptions, contemporaneous texts, new temples (Hindu and Jain) and even Buddhist monasteries continued to be built in the region, due to the presence of a substantial wealthy and religious population here.
Due to its rich and diverse heritage, Pattadakkal was officially included in the list of World Heritage Sites under UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) in the year 1987.
Primarily, there are ten temples at Pattadakal out of which nine are Hindu temples and one is a Jain temple. Besides these, the place also has many other smaller shrines and plinths.
While eight of the major Hindu temples are grouped together in a cluster at one place, the ninth one is located about half a kilometer away from this cluster. The remaining one Jain temple in the area is located about a kilometer to the west of the main cluster of Hindu temples.
The Jain temple has a sanctum sanctorum (called garbha griha) and a vestibule (antarala). It houses the murti (idol of the deity) on a pedestal called Pitha. The centre of the building has a large, pillared mandapa (hall). On top of the garbha griha is a shikhara (superstructure).
The Hindu temples are all connected by a walkway that people can use to reach them, while the Jain temple has a direct road access.
It is easily accessible by road from many nearby major cities like Bangalore , Belgaum and Badami, which are well connected with the rest of the country. State buses (like those of KSRTC – Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation) and cabs etc. run regularly between these cities and can be taken by visitors to reach Pattadakkal.
The nearest airport to Pattadakkal is at Belgaum, which is located about 180 km away. The airport at Belgaum flights from other major Indian cities like Mumbai and Chennai which have international airports, though the nearest international airport to the place is at Bengaluru (Kempegowda International Airport).
The nearest railhead from Pattadakkal is at Badami, located about 22 km away. Visitors can reach Badami railway station by train from various cities within India and from here, hire a taxi or board a bus to reach Pattadakal.
The temples here are open to visitors and devotees between 9:00 to 5:00 PM every day. The entry fee charged in these is INR 10 per head. To use a camera, visitors need to pay an additional INR 25.
An architectural masterpiece of ancient India, Pattadakal is situated on the banks of the Malaprabha River and reflects the richness of Chalukya architecture. Built during the 7th and 8th centuries, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a cluster of 10 beautifully structured temples with striking features. In ancient times this place was also used for crown ceremonies of kings and the temples resemble the architectural style of Dravidian, Aryan, or both in their design.