Pattadakal Papanatha Temple – Bagalkot Heritage Drive - Day 2

Bagalkot Heritage Drive - Day 2 – Pattadakal Papanatha Temple

Papanatha temple view from behind

After Virupaksha temple we just felt as if it was the last in the Pattadakal temple complex, as the guide went after this taking his fee of Rs200. But I wasn't filled my mind so wanted to explore more, none of them from my group of eight joined me so I went alone to explore beyond the Nandi mandapa in front of the Virupaksha temple, as there is Mallaprabha River flowing just after the temple. Went down to see the river & was not much impressed to see the river being in bad condition as any other river in India, people washing cloths & bathing. So didn't feel like to go down the steps to the water, so straight away went on the other side of the banks of the river & was surprised to see a lawn after the compound wall of the Pattadakal temple complex, & decided to see what it is & stopped right away to see a small road in-between the two compound walls & sewage water left flowing on the road making it no tourists visiting the other side, but I just didn't bother to wait & followed the path & seen the board saying Papanatha Temple, & as I walked further the temple was visible & was pretty much surprised to see such a big temple being isolated from the Pattadakal temple complex.

Mallaprabha river infront of the temple almost dry
Route stone
No wonder why this temple is not visited by any of the tourists & felt bad when even the tourist guide didn't say anything about such a beautiful temple. This was 2nd best temple for me in Pattadakal after Virupaksha temple. Felt bad to see how the villagers have spoiled the surroundings from sewage water & all the dirt from their houses. Leaving behind all these I went to see all around the temple to see such beautiful sculptures on the walls of the temple. There was a watchman kept for this temple alone may be the reason being it might be damaged for being isolated from the main temple complex. I spent almost 20mins here alone & even till I left the place I didn't see any other tourist coming to this place, reason being boards not put properly for the route. Most of them end their Pattadakal journey at Virupaksha temple Nandi mandapa.
Front view of Papanatha temple
 Coming back to the temple structure, Papanatha Temple is dedicated to Mukteswara constructed in 740 A.D. Initially, the construction was started with Nagara style, but later it was switched to Dravidian style. This combination of south & north Indian characters, namely Dravidian & Nagara, some scholars refer to as Vesara. The Shikhara belongs to the Rekha-Nagara type while the other characters like shala, kuta & hara belong to the Dravidian type. The sculptors who designed Virupaksha temple also designed Papanatha temple, namely Sarvasiddhi Achari, Beladeva & Changamma.
Beautiful artwork on the walls of the temple
The wall surfaces are relieved with niches (devakoshthas) housing Saiva & Vaishnava deities & depicting episodes from the Ramayana.

Pillars of the entrance porch bear Kinnara couples & engaged columns have the figures of Dvarapalas. Lions & sardulas are carved at the corners above the entablature & the ceiling panel depicts dancing Siva with Parvati & musicians & flying figures.
Shiva & Parvati dancing. Their feet are crossed in 'Swastika' posture
Lions carved at the corners of the ceiling
I then tried to see from the small entrance door & thought there is nothing much to see inside as it was totally dark & stinking inside, when the watchman said me to remove my slippers before entering inside & I had a second thought by then when I finally decided to explore what was inside, as I had traveled all the way 300m from the main Pattadakal temple complex so I entered inside to see total darkness & not much impressed till I seen some intricate carvings on the ceiling & just tried to capture photos but failed to see anything in the pictures then had to click with flash & suddenly the bat’s started flying away & was a bit panicky that time but after seeing the picture in the camera. I tried all my best to use some long exposure photos to capture the amazing art work on the whole of the ceiling, some of the best I've seen, & I was totally felt worth for exploring this, by the time I realized that it was too late since I left my group at the main temple complex I started running back to the parking lot as it was already late, so couldn't do much exploration on the pillars & inside the temple, called up my group & we started towards Banashankari temple as it was already 2.30pm & thought the temple might close.
Sculptures on the ceiling
Most beautiful Sculptures on the ceiling

Some information about the inside of the temple, Pillars & pilasters of the other mandapa's are relieved with medium-sized graceful sculptures of damsels & couples (mithunas) in playful moods. The central bay ceiling of the sabha-mandapa is adorned with panels depicting Anantasayana surrounded by the Dikpalas, nagaraja & Gajalakshmi from east to west. Here figures of rearing lions are cared projecting from above the entablature. Central ceiling of the ardha-mandapa has relief sculpture of dancing Siva in the company of Parvati & musicians. The western ceiling here has figure of Nagaraja. Both the mandapa's & the sanctum have ornate doorframes.

Bagalkot Heritage Drive - Day 2 – Shri Badami Banashankari be continued…