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Purudkul. Great Sivite temple. [Virupaksha Temple, Pattadakal.]

Purudkul. Great Sivite temple. [Virupaksha Temple, Pattadakal.]

Photographer: Biggs, Thomas

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1856

Shelfmark: Photo 965/1(54)

Item number: 965154

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the Virupaksha Temple at Pattadakal, taken by Thomas Biggs in 1855, from 'Architecture in Dharwar and Mysore'. This view shows a side of the pillared hall of the temple. Pattadakal, like neighbouring Aihole and Badami an important centre of the Chalukya dynasty, is located on the Malaprabha river in north Karnataka. The Chalukyas were a dynasty with different branches which ruled over parts of the Deccan (now in Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh), in different periods. Pattadakal is believed to be the site where the coronation ceremonies of the Early Chalukya kings took place, between the 6th and 8th centuries. Nine temples, dedicated to Shiva and surrounded by minor shrines, line the west bank of the river, and a Jaina temple, from the later Rashtrakuta period, lies about a third of a mile away. The temples with their diverse styles represent the finest achievement of early Chalukyan architecture, and Pattadakal is now a World Heritage Site. Some of them are in the southern or dravida style and some display the northern or nagara style of temple architecture. The Virupaksha and the Mallikarjuna are two of the most impressive temples here, built in the southern style. Lying side by side, they were commissioned by two sisters, the queens of Vikramaditya II (ruled c.734-c.45), to commemorate his victory against the Pallavas of Kanchi, and were originally named after the queens as the Lokeshwara (by Queen Lokamahadevi) and Trailokeshwara (by Queen Trailokadevi), respectively. Modelled after the temple at Kanchi, the two temples were themselves the inspiration for the Kailasanatha temple built by the Rashtrakutas at Ellora in the late 8th century.

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