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The Red Town of Karnataka – Pattadakkal

In the middle of nowhere in rural Karnataka is the remains of (perhaps) a glorious past. Where nicely chiseled stones and beautiful sculptures tell you million stories.

Hundreds of unnamed craftsmen with their skillful hands and genius minds lived and died for their kings and queens, while building and leaving behind stupendous architectural marvels that will remind us not of their glories, but of their rulers. As we wander through the wonder that is Pattadakkal, we imagined the scene where hundreds of workers in the rumble and tumble creating poetry out of shapeless rocks.

Pattadakkal (Pattadakalu in Kannada), also known as Raktapura or Red Town with its massive temples, were built by the Chalukyas between 6th and 8th centuries. Some of the temples were built in Dravidan style while others are built in the North Indian ‘Nagara’ style. This is often referred as an example of Chalukya kings’ appreciation of art and craftsmenship and encouraging the craftsmen to experiment with different styles.

There are 10 temples and each one is a marvel in itself. Some of them have intricate carvings on the inner roof and pillars that depict the complete story of Ramayana and Mahabharatha. The roofs made of massive granite slabs leaves us in awe for a moment.

Pattadakkal in pictures. Click on one of the individual image to for better experience.

Pattadakkal is in Bagalkot district in Karnataka and is about 22 km from Badami. Badami is connected by state buses to Belguam, Bagalkot and other centres of Karnataka. From Badami one can get taxis or autorickshaws to Pattadakkal.


7 Comments on “The Red Town of Karnataka – Pattadakkal

  1. The kings were there all the time, but it is those artists who left their mark for generations. I always wonder why those people did not even sign their names in those creations, and the kings took credit.

    It is beautiful, and you are doing wonderful work , by sharing these little known places with readers who have no clue that such gems exist.

    The temples and surroundings look well maintained now. ASI?

  2. I have been dreaming to visit this place since long. You could make it. It’s really sad that we do not know any thing about the people who really shed their sweat and blood to create such master pieces.

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