Pattadakal

It was thirty minutes in the rickety bus before I saw the first glimpse of a temple; it was the Jain temple of Pattadakal which stands separate from the others. We scrambled to the front of the bus and were told to get down after a few minutes.

Pattadakal
Where the bus drops you 

Another few steps and the temple complex is on your right. The road flanked by trees on either side leads to the ticketing counter. You pass quite a few shops selling food and snacks.

Pattadakal
Road to the Temple complex entry

Blue seems to be a rage in the village almost all the shops were painted blue and with bright red explosion of Gulmohur it was simply beautiful. These colours create a contrast with the earthen shades of the temple..

The temple complex
I have to admit even though I love all things history and am an architect I had no clue what this town (village?) has when I saw it on Gounesco list. This tiny point on the map has one of the most beautiful temple complexes of India. The complex carries a lot of relevance for temple architecture being the first place where beehive shikhara was used (Nagar style).
Along with some major temples like Virupaksha Temple, Sangameshvara Temple and Galganatha temple there are numerous shrines which house varying sized of shiva-ling.  Each of these are complimented by an idol of nandi lord shiva’s steed at the same scale. What was interesting was there were few shrines which had a lion instead of nandi.
Pattadakal
Lighting the temple insides

Old Kannada inscription in various styles were something which will attract you to inspect the rock panel at Sangameshwara temple closely. The inscription is quite crisp, we couldn’t read it as we know nothing about Kannada.

Pattadakal
Steps leading to temple roof- Sanghameshwara

Few of the temples are still used for worship and aarti was going on as we arrived. It was a bit odd to think that you had to buy a ticket to see the lord. Huge black nandistatue with worshippers around will definitely grab your attention that is the Viruprakhsa temple. Kailasha temple at Ellora was built on its model. I am still in awe of the Kailasha temple and it was exciting to see the model on which it was based.

Pattadakal
Nandi worship from a distance

Pattadakal
Column at the Virupraksha Temple

You are sure to work up an appetite after walking around the temple complex for a long time. Shouts of akka (elder sister) or anna (elder brother) will greet you as you walk towards the exit; sample the local Johar roti with vegetable curry, spices and a few slices of onion. Do take care the red powder that the lady is putting on your plate is really spicy but far too tasty to miss. Get a small bowl of curd from the next lady and you’ll be safe.

Pattadakal
Johar Roti and curry

Another twenty minutes of wait and thirty minutes of a mini bus ride got us to Badami where the caves had been waiting for us for hundreds of years.

Have you been to Indian Temples? Which one of the temple complexes you liked the best?

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