Venue: Pattadakal, Karnataka
Time: January/ February
Highlights: Performances by famous dancers and crafts mela.
Pattadakal is a small town located in the state of Karnataka, India. Every year in the month of January/ February, a famous cultural dance event is held here that is known as Pattadakal Dance Festival. The festival is conducted against the backdrop of the famous Pattadakal Temples, dedicated to Lord Shiva, that were constructed during 7th and 8th centuries. The temples, having been declared as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO, are famous for their unique blend of north and south architectural styles. Coming back to the festival, it is also known by the name Chalukya Dance Festival, and attracts thousands of tourists from all over the country and the world at large. The festival forwards an electrifying and mystical ambience what with its combination of exquisite performances with beautiful background.
Pattadakal - A UNESCO World Heritage Site
Located on the banks of the Malaprabha River in Bagalkot district, Pattadakal is a small village in Karnataka widely popular for its historic temples. It is 22 km away from Badami which is now a part of the state of Karnataka but then was the capital of Chalukya dynasty. It is believed that the Kings of Chalukya dynasty of South India, constructed the temples in Pattadakal in 7th and 8th century. The extraordinary aspect of these ancient temples is the excellent amalgam of Dravidian and Indo-Aryan architecture that makes the site a perfect example of India's diversity. These temples are a great tourist destination. The place has in total of ten temples, out of which four temples are built in Dravidian style, six in Nagara style of Northern India. Additionally, the place also has a Jain sanctuary surrounded by numerous small shrines and plinths.
Besides having fun and frolic at the three-day extravaganza of dance and music, you can also enjoy numerous interesting tourist attraction sites that Pattadakal forwards. Once you have enjoyed and reveled in the spirit of the performance by renowned artists, who do much to bring back the magic of the bygone era, you can explore sites like Virupaksha Temple, Sangameshvara Temple, Mallikarjuna Temple, Kashivisvanatha Temple, Kadasiddhesvara and Jambulingeswara' temples, Galganatha temple and Jain Temples. Other important monuments here are the monolithic stone pillar bearing inscriptions, Naganatha temple, Chandrashekara temple and inscriptions in the Mahakuteshwara temple. If time permits, you can also visit nearby locations such as Aihole, once the regional capital of the Chalukyas, and Badami, the capital of Chalukya dynasty. A trip to these places would bring you closer to some more architecturally wonderful locations.
The Pattadakal Dance Festival is held every year during the month of January by the Government of Karnataka. Famous dancers from all over India come here to participate in this festival. It provides a musical treat to all admirers of dance and music and is a must visit if you like Indian classical dance and music. The event is organized by the Government of Karnataka and attracts many spectators as well as performers. Another added attraction at Pattadakal Dance Festival is the crafts mela that is organized for various craftsmen to showcase their works of art. The festival gives an open market to the dying art form of craft-making, thus reviving the art that has lost its glory to globalization. While the artisans from all over Karnataka get an opportunity to put on the market their art and craft, tourists too get a glimpse of the expertise and take back beautiful souvenirs.
How To Reach
By Air: Belgaum Airport is the nearest aerodrome, sited about 135 kms away. Apart from that, you can also take a flight for Bangalore International Airport and then hire a cab or take a train for Pattadakal.
By Rail: Badami is the nearest railway station located at a distance of 22 kms from Pattadakal.
By Road: The State Highway 14 links Pattadakal with Badami. Aihole is round 10 km from Pattadakal.