Exploring the Magnificence of Virupaksha Temple in Pattadakal

Posted On : 15-3-2018
Virupaksha Temple Pattadakal

Long debated upon whether the construction of Virupaksha temple was influenced by the Pallava temple at Kanchipuram or not, the Virupaksha Temple is richly decorated with sculptures and consists of a complex of structures in the South Indian fashion. It was built by Loka Mahadevi, the chief queen of Vikramaditya II during 733-744 A.D. This dynasty also has to its credit many structured temples in the Deccan heartland, some in the southern style, some in the northern, sometimes standing side by side at a single site.

Virupaksha Temple Architecture

It is the largest temple of Pattadkal. The temple has a hall with a number of pillars, a holy place of adoration, and three anterooms. There are courtyards, a pillared monastery, and a few small shrines. The temple is known for its quality of construction showcasing a well-developed Dravidian architectural style. The Virupaksha complex is set within a rectangular walled enclosure into which a series of shrines were built. There is a fairly big gopura or gateway on the east side and a smaller one on the west side. Between the eastern gopura and the temple proper, is a shrine dedicated to and containing sculptures of Nandi the vahana (vehicle) of Lord Shiva. The main temple building consists of a large pillared mandapa (hall) and the antechamber and shrine with an enclosed circumambulatory passage over which a southern style superstructure has been constructed - the Vimana.

Three porches project from the mandapa (hall), one on front and two on either side. Both outside and inside the temple is lavishly sculpted with dynamically posed figures of Shiva in all his different aspects. These sculptures, in their vitality, relate to other Nth Century anis tic idioms of India, such as those to be found in Orissa or Rajasthan. Sculptures of Shiva dancing on the dwarf of ignorance, or Mahishasur Mardini (Durga) slaying the demon Mahisha are incomparable.

Other elaborately sculpted figures, doorways, dwarapalas all indicate the growing complication and elaborate forms identified with the artistic developments in South Asia after 6th Century AD. Be it Pattadakal, Badami or Aihole, all in present-day Karnataka, one has to witness the wonders of this dynasty to do any justice to them. The whole of the interior of this temple is embroidered with elegant carvings and aesthetically modeled sculptures. Scenes from the Ramayana (abduction of Sita), Mahabharata (Bhishma lying on a bed of arrows), and Krishna lifting the Govardhan mountain) are beautifully depicted on the pillars.

Basic information of Virupaksha Temple

Address: Hampi, Karnataka 583239

Creator: Chalukyas

Completed: the 7th century

Deity: Virupaksha (Shiva) Virupaksha (Shiva)

District: Bellary

How to reach the Virupaksha Temple?

Panadakal is near Aihole, another complex having about 125 temples. Aihole is north of Hampi, which can be reached from Hospet. the nearest rail point, Pattadakal can also be reached directly from the highway linking Bangalore and Hospet.

How to reach by Pattadakal By Train?

Pattadakal does not have its own railway station, and the nearest railway station is Badami, it is 15 km away from Pattadakal.

How to Reach Pattadakal by Road?

Regular bus services are available to Pattadakal from cities like Belgaum, Badami, Aihole, Bangalore, etc. You can also take shared taxis or cabs from these cities.

How to Reach Pattadakal by Air?

The closest international is Bellary, which is 350 km away. Taxis and cabs are available from Bellary to Pattadakal, Hampi.