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Pattadakkal Dance Festival

by Madhav Srinivasan 5 year, 6 months ago

Complete with a rich heritage dating back to the 7th and 8th centuries, the Pattadakkal festival is celebrated by dance and art connoisseurs from across India. Read on to understand the cultural significance of this festival and its ceremonial rituals…

Organized by the Government of Karnataka, the annual Pattadakkal dance festival takes its name from the small town located in Karnataka. Pattadakkal was not just the second capital of Chalukyan Empire, but was also celebrated as the ceremonial center since rulers were crowned and commemorated here. It is an important historical site included in most of Karnataka holiday tours.

A Quick Look at the Festival

Situated on the banks of the Malaprabha River, the earliest temples in Pattadakkal belong to 4th century AD and further temples were constructed in the subsequent centuries. This world heritage center is home to ten major temples where both south and north Indian architectural traditions share one landscape.

Pattadakkal, with such cultural and ethnic importance, is but a befitting place for the renowned dance festival that take place in its many temples in the month of January. The festivals and events that are conducted during this time annually are full of gaiety, grandeur and beauty and is the best time to book South India holidays.

What You’ll Witness

Most temples in Pattadakkal are dedicated to Lord Shiva or Natraja. The oldest of the Pattadakkal temples is the Sangamesvara Temple constructed by King Vikramaditya. Most aspects of Hindu mythology are showcased in dramatic themes in the temple’s architecture. Other prominent temples in this city include the Virupaksha, Mallikarjuna, Kadasiddheshvara, Galaganatha, Papanatha, Jambulinga and Kashivishvanatha Temples.

When you visit the city during the dance festival, you will be transported instantly a magical world that brings to the fore Chalukyan festivities. Coupled with performances from several popular artists in the fields of classical dance and carnatic music, the ambience forms a suitable backdrop to the annual dance festival.

Classical dance aficionados or dance lovers of any kind are sure to enjoy the diverse art forms on display here. The festival is also known as the Chalukya Utsava and is also held in the neighborhood temples of Aihole and Badami.

Getting There and More

The temples and the heritage sites in the city are open on all weekdays. While you might need to pay a small fee to enter the site, entry on Fridays is free. Besides the festival, an ideal time to visit the city would be between October and February. Best way to reach Pattadakal will be to book packages from Bangalore.

If you are traveling by air, the Bangalore and Vasco da Gama (Goa) airports are the closest. By train, you can reach Badami, the closest railway station, to reach Pattadakkal. Many buses as well as tourist cabs can also be taken from Badami, which is located at a distance of 29 km or Aihole, which lies at a distance of 17 km from the city. If you’re an architecture buff or interested in dance, check out the Pattadakkal festival – you won’t regret the time spent. 

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