Pattadakallu, commonly known as Pattadakal is a small village in Karnataka and the embodiment of an Indian architectural marvel. Located on the banks of the Malaprabha River, this village is a UNESCO declared a world heritage site. ‘Pattadakallu’ translates to “place of coronation”. As the name suggests, all kings of the Chalukya dynasty were crowned here, making it a place of great historic and cultural significance.
This village is home to about ten temples including a few Jain shrines and other monuments and inscriptions. The temples in Pattadakal are regarded as architectural extraordinaire and uphold the rich history of the place. Structurally, the temples are made in both, the South Indian i.e. Dravidian style, and the North Indian i.e. Nagara style of architecture. Each temple is unique in its structure and narrates a story of its own. Built-in the 7th and 8th century CE, this complex village depicts the life people led back then. UNESCO described these monuments as “a harmonious blend of architectural forms from northern and southern India”. The temples are witness to the cultural diversity, momentous traditions, and glorious history of India. Along with being a place of worship, the temples see an influx of tourists due to their complex and attractive architecture.
To celebrate the grandeur and story of these temples, the Government of Karnataka organizes the annual Pattadakal Dance Festival. Each year, in January or February this dance festival is held in the village itself and is attended by people from all over the world.
About the Pattadakal Dance Festival
This festival is a three-day affair and a celebration of the temples. Intending to keep the cultural history of the place from perishing, this festival encourages various traditional dance and music forms of India including Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathakali, Yakshagana, and many others. These performances take place with the temples as the backdrop and some may also say that this is a view that takes the spectator’s breath away. Partakers at this festival may be performers or spectators from around the globe. Some of the most famous classical dancers come to perform at the festival every year. This festival is a striking reminder of the ancient association between people and the arts. Along with the beautiful dance and music performances, artisans and craftsmen are encouraged to open up stalls and promote their talent and work at the Craft Mela of the festival. Local merchantable crafts are put on display and the audience can buy art and other souvenirs from the stalls.
Along with being an excellent opportunity to familiarize oneself with various traditional dance forms of India, this festival also serves as a networking opportunity for artists, dancers, musicians, theatre professionals, and everyone associated with various arts.
The amazing architecture, historic ambiance, captivating performances, and unique crafts lure people from all around to come and attend the festival. This annual dose of cultural exuberance sponsored by the Government of Karnataka is not only a treat for lovers and enthusiasts of arts and history but for anyone who witnesses it. The Pattadakal Dance Festival is a promise of splendor and magnificence. In the wake of pandemic implications, it would be a low-key 3-day ritual and is scheduled to start on 1st January 2021.