General view of the Virupaksha Temple, Pattadakal
Photographer: Cousens, Henry
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the Virupaksha Temple at Pattadakal, taken by Henry Cousens in the 1880s. Together with Badami and Aihole, Pattadakal was one of the capitals of the Early Chalukya rulers, a powerful dynasty which ruled the Deccan from the 6th century. The site was used for the coronation ceremonies of its rulers. The temples at this site are grouped together and face the east. The Virupaksha Temple was erected around 740 and marks the climax of Early Chalukya art. It stands within a large walled courtyard entered through a gate on the eastern side. On the same axis as the temple's entrance, to the east, there is a Nandi pavilion. A large columned hall entered by 3 porches leads to the sanctuary which is surrounded by an ambulatory passageway. The superstructure is a multi-storey pyramid which is square shaped at the top. The wall panels, column reliefs and ceiling compositions are richly carved with figures of Hindu deities and mythological scenes.