The second most important group of temple complex after Vijayanagar Empire in South India is the Temple complex of Pattadakal, a village in the state of Karnataka. Three very closely located sites in the state of Karnataka provide a remarkable concentration of religious monuments dating from the great dynasty of the Chalukya (c. 543-757). There are the two successive capital cities – Aihole (ancient Aryapura), Badami, and Pattadakal, the ‘City of the Crown Rubies’ (Pattada Kisuvolal). While Aihole is traditionally considered the ‘laboratory’ of Chalukya architecture, with such monuments as the Temple of Ladkhan (c. 450) which antedate the dynasty’s political successes during the reign of King Pulakeshin I, the city of Pattadakal illustrates the apogee of an eclectic art which, in the 7th and 8th centuries, achieved a harmonious blend of architectural forms from the north and south of India.
Situated between the Malaprabha River to the north, and a minuscule village to the south, Pattadakal possesses a sort of holy city comprised of an impressive series of eight Hindu temples dedicated to Siva. Somewhat off to the side, towards the village, is the ninth Sivaite sanctuary, the Temple of Papanatha, as well as a Jain temple.
In the monumental complex of the central zone are structures whose design was strongly influenced by the architecture of northern India: the temples of Galaganatha and of Kashi Vishveshvara, which are noteworthy for their square-shaped shikharas with curved edges. They stand along with other temples of a pure Dravidian style – Sangameshvara, built between 696 and 733, and Mallikarjuna, built consecutively from 733-44. Cornices decorate the walls of these temples and the roofs are the complex, storeyed type found in southern architecture. It is 22 km from Badami and about 10 km from Aihole. The nearest railway station for Pattadakal is Badami.