Badami-Pattadakal-Aihole, located in the state of Karnataka belong to the Southern part of India. This temple circuit stands tall and is the best bet to get the first hand information on Dravidian style of architecture, being prominent during Chalukya’s reign. Various kings had built temples to mark their rule.
Badami: It is famous for Cave temples and are dedicated to both Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. Nataraja Shiva idol in dancing posture, Ardhanariswara idol, finely decorated ceiling, Varaha incarnation and Vamana incarnation of Lord Vishnu, Lord Vishnu in His famous eternal sleep posture are a few. One cave was dedicated to Jain Mahavir and one could notice other Tirthankarsin this cave. Other important structure is Fort.
Melagutti Shivalayam and Mahakuteswar Temple, Nandi idol are unique in their architectural style. Beauty of the cave structures was enhanced by the Bhutnath lake.
Pattadakal: About 30 km away from Badami, this place is known for temples with Nagara and Dravida style of architecture. Papanath templewith episodes of Ramayana and Mahabharata and sculptures of various Gods and Goddess are found here. Virupaksha templehall is supported by monolithic pillars with beautiful carvings and Nandi idol is present. Mallikarjuna temple was endowed with episodes from sree krishna’s life. Both these temples were built by the queens Lokamahadevi and Trilokyamahadevi respectively.
Other imporatnt temples are Sangameswar, Galagnath, Jambulingas, Siddeshwar.
Aihole: About 15 km away from Pattadakal, in between one could enjoy the kudala sangam which is the confluence of Krishna, Malaprabha, Ghataprabha. More than 100 temples are scattered in Aihole.
Ladkhan Temple in Dravidian style with unique chalukyan architecture. Gudi Temple, Suryanarayana Temple, Durga Templeis an unique and unparallel structure in India with the combination of buddhist and Jain style. Huchimalli temple, Meghuti was founded by Ravi kirti with special attention on art work. Buddhist and Jain temple are present on the hillock. Kunti temple complex is another attractive with various sculptures especially Lotus seated brahma is outstanding.
How to Reach Badami-Pattadakal-Aihole: Well connected by road network and nearest major railway stations are Bagalkot, Gadag. Nearest airport is Belgaum.