Pattadakal is one of the three great centres of experimentation in Indian temple architecture, along with Aihole and Badami.
The complex was created in the 7th-8th centuries under the patronage of the Chalukya dynasty. It houses a series of temples representing architectural experiments that combined different architectural forms from northern and southern India, a collection of full sized 3D models testing out ideas and visions out of which developed the final harmonious form.
Pattadakal’s sculptures are noted for their grace, vigour, rich imagination and fine details. Besides gods, demi-gods and human figures, narratives from the Ramayana and Mahabharata are expressed delicately in its stones.
One masterpiece stands out – Virupaksha temple, built c. 740 by queen Lokamahadevi to commemorate her husband’s victory over the kings from the south.