Papanatha Temple, Pattadakal

Dec 16, 2011

Papanatha Temple is about a 100m walk from Pattadakal Temple Complex.

A board gives out sufficient information:

This temple (known as Mukteshwar temple in the inscription) appears to have been originally a modest structure but in all probability was extensively renovated at the time of construction of Virupaksha temple (AD 740). It is distinguished for the rich sculpturing and the Rekha-Nagara shikhara over the sanctum.

This east facing temple has on plain Garbha Griha, Ardha Mantapa, Sabha Mantapa and Mukha Mantapa provided with Kakshasana. Curiously the eastern half of the Sabha Mantapa accomodates a huge monolithic Nandi instead of a seperate Nandi Mantapa. This temple is built on unusually huge plinth with the usual mouldings, embellished wih elephants and other animal motifs. The wall above is relieved with a large Kudu type of Deva Khostas at regular intervals accomodating Shaiva and Vaishnava deities and perches sheltering stone windows. Noteworthy is the introduction for the first time of elaborately carved narrative panels depicting the stories from the Kiratarjuniya and Ramayana on the outer wall.

The names of the figures of these episodes as also name of the sculptures like Devaraya, Chengamma, Baladeva and Revadi Ovajja are also engraved below them.

The characteristic feature of this temple however is the introduction of fully developed Rekha-Nagara Prasada with an elaborately carved Mukha Pattika of the Sukanasa besides three Ghana Dwaras on the walls of the Garbha Griha have collossal sculptures of Nataraja, Mahishamardhini.

The ceiling of the front porch is shown as if carried by the Kubja bears a birth king basrelief of Nataraja dancing with Parvati acompanied by musicians and garland bearing Gandharvas comparable to the earlier ttemple at Aihole. The pillars of the entrance porch bear Kinnara couples. The pillasters of the Sabha Mantapa accomodate medium sized graceful sculptutes of Apsaras and amorous couples at the bottom and Purana Kumbha motif at the top.

The front porch.

Beautiful art work.

Inside of the front porch. Imaginary creature with body of lion with elephant head.

The opposite side.


Nataraja with Parvati.

A munch of vanaras ~ monkeys. I guess this is related to Ramayana.

A window. As seen from inside

...and outside.

Panels depicting stories from Ramayana.

Rama aiming his arrow at Vali's back.


Rekha-Nagara  Shikhara.

It's a relatively long temple.

Most tourists miss this beautiful temple. Even the guides are not interested in showing this temple. Ideally one should see Papanatha temple first and then see Pattadakal temple complex.

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