A walk down the ancient India: Pattadakal

At a mere distance of 22 kms. from the famous Badami caves, exists the rustic village of Pattadakal. Located on the left side of the Malaprabha river, Pattadakal lives graciously, away from the madness of the contemporary world. Evidence suggests that Pattadakal came into being around 6th or 7th century when the Chalukyas decided on making the place its capital. As the time passed, the place became home to temples of Dravidian and Nagara architecture style.Today, Pattadakal houses a group of 10 magnificent temples that remind us of the ancient, rich Indian heritage and of the art that’s been lost with time.

Pattadakal was taken into the UNESCO World Heritage sites in 1987 & is fondly called the ‘city of the crown rubies’. 

Also read: A 1500 old tale set in stone: Aihole temples 

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Pattadakal is a group of 10 temples built from red bricks and sandstone. Temples are ornamented with intricate carvings, each telling a tale of its own. This architecture is a testimony to the freedom of expression that artists enjoyed thousands of years ago without any censure-ship.

Patadakkal @Life on Weekends
Lord Shiva with matted locks in Pattadakal @Life on Weekends
Nandi of Lord Shiva in Pattadakal @Life on Weekends
Nandi of Lord Shiva in Pattadakal @Life on Weekends

Today, we are scrutinized and judged brutally so much so that we develop layers in our personality, each befitting a certain audience. With constant threat to our original identities, we have learnt to masquerade our expressions & behave as per the socially acceptable norms. This was not the case back then.

Come to visit these temples and you would be surprised to see the extent of liberty atisans had at work. They were allowed creative freedom and were free to cut rocks, mould sand and built structures in all kinds of experimental ways, in ways they like.

Rock cut sculptures, Pattadakal @Life on Weekends
Rock cut sculptures, Pattadakal @Life on Weekends

Also read: The tales of a bygone era, Hampi

Travel Trivia:

  1. Reaching Pattadakal – Fly to Hubli or drive to Badami and take a local commute to Pattadakal. In the absence of any good stays in Pattadakal, I advise you to keep Badami as your base
  2. Timings and tickets: 8 am to 6 pm (Sunday closed); INR 10 per head
  3. Best time to visit: October to March
Lord Shiva and his decorated locks, Pattadakal @Life on Weekends
Lord Shiva and his decorated locks, Pattadakal @Life on Weekends

©2017, Yamini Gupta. All rights reserved.

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