Galaganatha Temple

Galaganatha Temple dedicated to lord Shiva is a compact yet strikingly unique temple in Pattadakal. The most striking part of the Galaganatha Temple is its dexterously executed tower and the fluted final atop. Most likely the Galaganatha Temple was built around 750 CE during the regime of the early Chalukya king Vikramaditya II.

Galaganatha Temple dedicated to lord Shiva is a compact yet strikingly unique temple in Pattadakal. The most unique part of the Galaganatha Temple is its dexterously executed tower and the fluted final atop.

Most likely the Galaganatha Temple was built around 750 CE during the regime of the early Chalukya king Vikramaditya II.

The original temple had the typical features of a Hindu temple. That is the sanctum (garbhagriha) housing the icon of the god, a vestibule (antarala), a circumambulatory path (pradakshinapatha) around the sanctum and the vestibule , the open hall and the entrance porches to the hall.

However many of these features are non existing or probably never completed. What you can see now of the Galaganatha Temple are the sanctum, the tower above it, the partially dilapidated circumambulatory path, all of it stands above the fluted basement of the plan. Of course you can see the large Linga made of hard granite inside the shrine.

The temple is built on a plinth (about 40fX30ft/ 12mX9m) with three tiers of ornate base mouldings.At intervals on the base are the boxlike chaitya arches (kudus) with images. Like mentioned earlier most of the perephral structures of the temple is non existing. So the door to the sanctorum is directly accessible from outside. Over the lintel of the door is beautifully carved image of dancing Shiva along with musicians. On either sides of the doorjambs are the images river goddesses Ganga and Jamuna along with their mounts.

Now going around the temple, you will reach a pavilion along the south side wall of the temple. In fact there where two more such pavilions on the north and west sides, but are missing. These pavilions are called devakoshta pavilions. The south pavilion contain a giant bas-relief image of Shiva slaying the demon called Andhakasura (the blind demon). In fact this is a very popular mythical theme that adorns may ancient temples dedicated to lord Shiva. Essentially it portrays the victory of the good over the evil.

On either sides of this panel are perforated windows.
The well preserved part of the Galaganatha Temple is its architecturally thrilling spire (tower). This has a striking similarity with the temples at Alampur in Andhra Pradesh. For all that matter it could be executed by the same architect.
On either sides of this panel are perforated windows.
The well preserved part of the Galaganatha Temple is its architecturally thrilling spire (tower). This has a striking similarity with the temples at Alampur in Andhra Pradesh. For all that matter it could be executed by the same architect.

Hoysala Map

The political future of the upcoming Hoysalas was greatly influenced by the two larger neighboring powers – the Chalukyas of Kalyani and the Cholas of Thanjavur. During the 11th and 12th centuries power in the southern peninsula were focused on these two kingdoms. If you draw a diagonal line on the south India’s map connecting Vijayawada in Andhrapradesh to Mangalore in Karnataka, you can get a very approximate border between these two empires.

Galaganatha Temple

Galaganatha Temple dedicated to lord Shiva is a compact yet strikingly unique temple in Pattadakal. The most unique part of the Galaganatha Temple is its dexterously executed tower and the fluted final atop. Most likely the Galaganatha Temple was built around 750 CE during the regime of the early Chalukya king Vikramaditya II. The original temple had the typical features of a Hindu temple. That is the sanctum (garbhagriha) housing the icon of the god, a vestibule (antarala), a circumambulatory path (pradakshinapatha) around the sanctum and the vestibule , the open hall and the entrance porches to the hall.

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