Dedicated after Shiva, Kadasiddheswara Temple is the first temple you will be visiting as you enter the Pattadakal site. In size this temple is much smaller than say the Virupaksha Temple or the Mallikarjuna Temple , located further deep in the site.
Possibly this temple was constructed during the regime of the Chalukya king Vijayaditya (696 - 733 CE). And this temple remains as an example of one of the earliest experiments the Chalukya clans did in the temple architecture. Otherwise this is built in what is called the Nagara style of architecture.
Kadasiddheswara Temple is essentially a two section structure built on a fluted and elevated platform. The first part is the front hall and the second is the sanctorum that houses the Linga. To that extend it is simple structure to comprehend. A few steps in the front of the temple takes you to the hall mentioned above. Further inside is the doorway to the sanctorum.
At the center of the door lintel is the image of Shiva and his consort Parvati in a seated posture. Next to it is the image of Nandi, Shiva's mount. On either sides of the Shiva-Parvati image are the images of Brahma (on the left) and Vishnu on the right. Around the doorway jambs are the typical floral scroll decorations. Further down are the images of river goddesses.
In the center on the closed sanctuary you will see the Linga (phallus) icon, the main object of worship, installed on a platform.
Unlike its later counterparts the Kadasiddheswara Temple doesn't spot columns. The hall in front of the sanctorum is illuminated through the two stone cut windows in Swastic pattern. The northern one is original while the southern window is reconstructed as part of the restoration work by the archeological department.
After seeing the inside go around the temple to see the details on the outer walls, especially that corresponds to the sanctorum.
Here you see three large images located on the north, south and western walls. There are executed in a coarse style and also in a partially mutilated or worn out condition. The first image you would see as you go around the temple in a clockwise direction (that is on the south wall) is of Shiva (or possibly Lakulisha, the founder guru of Pasupatha sect ) . The image is in a standing posture with matted hair.
The next image (on the west wall ) located right behind the temple is of Ardhanareeswara. This is the image of Shiva and Parvati combines into one form. The left (male) half is Shiva while the right (female) half is Parvathi. The image of Ardhanareeswara is portrayed leaning over Nandi , the bull.
On the next wall (north) is the image of Harihara (an aspect of Shiva-Vishnu combine).
All the three images mentioned are frames within pilasters on either sides and headed by pediments called gavaksha in Indian archetecture. Gavaksha literally means (cow's eye) and it is made in descending and interlocking patterns to form a pyramid like header over the images.
Above these pediments and around the whole of the temple is a band of frieze (decorative band) like a giant garlanded that encircles the temple.
The spire (tower) is made in the characteristic Nagara style with its curvilinear shape. The nine progressively diminishing tiers makes the tallest part of the temple. On the east side (towards the front) of the tower is a sukanasa (projection) with a shallow niche in the front. Inside the niche is the image of dancing Shiva and Parvati.
From Kadasiddheswara Temple you will precede to Jambulingeswara Temple or Galaganatha Temple, both located a few meters south of Kadasiddheswara Temple , along your excursion path.
Well, this is piece for those of you who are new to the concepts of Hinduism. To that extend this is an oversimplified narration to make the understanding easier. For those who are keen to know more, the scope and resources are endless. So that's a disclaimer to begin with! Though it is referred with a single common name , Hinduism, it is in fact a conglomeration of many sects, sub sects , often with its own pantheons, beliefs and religious practices. Unlike many religions, Hinduism doesn't have definite a founder. The religion practically 'evolved' over 4000 years or so into its present form.
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.
Pattadakal (Pattadakallu in local language ) in the Indian state of Karnataka is renowned for the group of the 8th century CE monuments. Pattadakal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.