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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Group of Monuments at Pattadakal

Designated as a world heritage site in 1987, Pattadakal is 17 km from Bijapur in Karnataka. The Virupaksha Temple and the Banashankari Temple here are the most famous sites that attract tourists. It has been chosen because of the 10 major temples belonging to the early Chalukya period ranging from 7th to 9th centuries. The massive gateway and the number of inscriptions at the Virupaksha Temple are noteworthy. The Banashankari Temple is dedicated to the Goddess Banashankari and is situated in a small hamlet enroute Badami. The Goddess idol has eight arms and is seated on a gold lion. It is believed that the deity guards the village and every here a huge fair is held in her honor where thousands of devotees come to pay their homage to her.According to one of the inscriptions, Lokamahadevi, wife of Vikramaditya II, to celebrate his conquest of Kanchi, built the Virupaksha temple. The interiors showcase the scenes from Mahabharata and Ramayana and one of the exquisitely carved designs seems like an elephant from one side and buffalo from the other. The other tourist attractions in the city include the Jambulinga Temple, which has a fine figure of the Dancing Shiva, a horseshoe arch that projects from its fa├žade and a North-Indian style tower. The Dravidian-style Jain temple from the ninth century has some beautiful sculptures too. Mallikarjuna and Papanatha temples dedicated to the deity Virupaksha are elaborate and rich in details and have been chiseled intricately and delicately. One can see two styles of Indian architecture, side by side, at Pattadakkal.

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