At a distance of 400 meters from Pattadakal Bus Stand, Virupaksha Temple is an ancient Hindu shrine located in Pattadakal, Karnataka. It is the biggest and most ravishing of all temples in Pattadakal, and among the must include places in Pattadakal Tour Packages.
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Virupaksha Temple is the only functioning shrine in the temple complex, and among the popular places to visit in Pattadakal. The temple was constructed in 745 AD by the Chalukyan ruler Vikramaditya's consort Queen Lokamahadevi to commemorate his victory over Pallavas of Kanchi.
Built in the Dravidian style of architecture, the temple has three mukhamandapas on three sides with a large stone gateway on the East towards Malaprabha River. A large pillared hall is following by a sanctum with a circular path for pradakshinas. The mukhamandapas and the pillars of the hall have wonderful carvings of gods and scenes from Ramayana and Mahabharata.
The highlight of the temple is the sculpture of God Surya with his consorts riding a chariot, carved on the ceiling of Eastern Mukhamandapa. Other famous sculptures of Virupaksha Temple include Ravana lifting Mount Kailash, Narasimha killing Hiranyakasipa, Parvathi's marriage scenes, Kurukshetra War Scenes, Fight between Bheema and Duryodhana, Fall of Bhishma, Scenes from Ramayana, Samudra Madhana, Mruthyunjaya & large dwarapalakas. The ceiling of the Mukha mandapa has nice images, like the one of Brahma sitting on Lotus. The outer walls of the temple also consist of few great sculptures - Hanuman carrying Sanjivani hill, Gajendra moksha, etc.
There is a large Nandi mandapa opposite the shrine with black stone monolithic Nandi. The walls of the Nandi mandapa have few beautiful carvings of female images. This temple is considered to the reference for the famous Kailasa Temple at Ellora. There is a stone inscription dating back to 733 AD.
Complex Timings: 9 AM to 5 PM
Entrance: Rs. 10 for Person, & Rs. 25 for Camera