Pattadakal & Aihole

Pattadakal is a UNESCO World Heritage site that has a group of temples dating from the 7th and 8th centuries. This was the 2nd capital of the Badami Chalukyas. A cluster of 10 major sandstone temples with numerous minor shrines dot this area. Our guide informs us that the temples in this area were built not necessarily for worship, but more as a school for practicing art and architecture. Hmm..... food for thought!!!

The styles here have temples of both the North Indian style with spires or curvilinear shikras traditionally called the Rekha Nagara model as well as the south Indian style or the Dravida Nagara or Mandapas with square roofs of receding tiers.

While driving to Pattadakal - a distance of about 20 kms from Badami, we had to make this stop to photograph this beautiful field of marigold flowers

A panoramic view of the complex - on the left is the North Indian Style and the right is the south Indian styles

Papanatha Temple

Galaganatha Temple

Galaganatha Temple

Sangameshwara Temple

Some close ups of the intricate work in the interior

Aihole - is a 43 kms from Badami. The tiny hamlet of Aihole greets you with an amazing array of ruins  small shrines and remnants of what was once the earliest capital of the Chalukya dynasty. It is hard to believe that this was once a bustling centre of trade and commerce. Both Pattadakal and Aihole were considered the "cradle of Hindu temple architecture" with some of the structures dating even before the 6th century. there are about 100 temples of various sizes mostl of them dedicated to Lord Vishnu.

Durga Temple a 7th century temple is the largest temple in the area with a unique semi-circular design

And now we race to our next destination to the ruins at Hampi.

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