Interior of Virupaksha Temple, Pattadakal
Photographer: Cousens, Henry
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the interior of the Virupaksha Temple at Pattadakal, taken by Henry Cousens in the 1880s. Together with Badami and Aihole, Paddatakal 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 its extraordinarily rich sculptural panels depicting Hindu deities and mythological scenes marks the climax of Early Chalukya art. The temple stands within a large walled courtyard entered through a gate. To the east, a Nandi pavilion faces the temple. A large columned hall entered by 3 porches leads to the sanctuary which is surrounded by an ambulatory passageway. The interior columns are decorated with bands of narrative friezes illustrating epic scenes and the ceiling panels have naga deities and dancing Shiva icons. The temple is covered by a multi-storey pyramid which is square shaped at the top.