(Last Updated on : 03-07-2012)
Pattadakal, now a small village (Bagalkot District
), is about 29 km north-east of Badami on the Mumbai-Sholapur - Hubli - Bengaluru route. It is about 545 km. north-west of Bengaluru
and about 630 km. South-East of Mumbai in the Indian state
. Situated on the left bank of the Malaprabha river
, are Pattadakal and its immediate neighbours: Badami and Aihole about 29km south-west and 24km north-east respectively. The nearest Airport for domestic flights is Hubli about 100 km. south of Badami which is connected by good roads.
Surrounded by numerous long hill ranges of soft pinkish red sandstone, with sparse scattered forests, is located Pattadakal. Traditionally the place is deemed to be sacred as the river here takes a northward turn almost at a right angle (Uttara vahinee).
As per epigraphical records, and a Kannada inscription of 1162 from this place and literary works such as the Singiraja Purana, the most well known kings of the Puranic lore such as Nriga, Nahusha, Nala, Pururava, Vasu, Sagara, and others as well as the historical Nanda and the Mauryan dynasties, are said to have come down here to celebrate their coronation ceremony known as "Patta Bandha Mahotsava". The first word of this expression becomes a prefix to the name of the place "pattada and kisuvolal/kal". In Kaviraja Marga, a ninth century literary work of Shri Vijaya, Kisuvolal is referred to as one of the boundaries of the core area of the most refined and chaste Kannada language. Badami was the capital of the western Chalukyan kingdom where a fort was built by Pulakesi I, the third king of the dynasty in 543 BC. Aihole was already a celebrated centre of a well knit merchants' guild that in course of time grew as powerful and dominant as "Ayyavole Ainurvaru" (i.e. Aihole 500) in the whole of south India.
Besides, these two places are traditionally associated with the Puranic characters: Vatapi and Ilvala, the wealthy evil brothers who were subjugated and refined by Agastya, a great rishi of Vedic lore. The places are therefore named after them and the large pond in Badami is known by the name of the rishi as "Agastya tirtha".
Art historians stunned at the varieties, forms and styles of the magnificent temple monuments in hundreds in these places exclaimed that the site is "the laboratory of Indian temples as also the "Cradle of Indian temple architecture." A visitor to these places sooner or later realises that there is no exaggeration in such euphemistic descriptions.