General view of the Papanatha Temple, Pattadakal.
Photographer: Cousens, Henry
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the Papanatha 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 Pattadakal are grouped together and face east. The Papanatha Temple was built during the 8th Century in the Early Chalukya period. The sanctuary is preceded by two interconnecting columned mandapas or halls. The curvilinear tower is in the Nagara or Northern style while other elements, like the parapets above the walls, are typical of Southern Indian architecture. The sculptural decoration of the temple is remarkable. On the outer walls there are niches with friezes depicting scenes from the epics of the Ramayana and Mahabharata. The columns of the porch have fully modelled couples, maidens and guardians and the doorways to the mandapas and sanctuary are very ornate.