The oldest temple at Pattadakal is the simple but massive Sangamesvara built by Vijayaditya Satyasraya (697-733 CE.).
The Mallikarjuna and the Virupaksha temples at Pattadakal, were built by two queens of Vikaramaditya II, to commemorate the victory of the Chalukyas over the Pallavas.
Virupaksha temple, built by Queen Lokamahadevi, was originally called Lokeshwara. This temple is built in the southern Dravida style and is the largest in the enclosure. It has a massive gateway and several inscriptions.
Virupaksha temple also served as a model for the Rashtrakuta ruler to carve out the great Kailasa at Ellora. The sculptural art of the early Chalukyas is characterized by grace and delicate details.
The ceiling panels of the navagrahas, dikpalas, the dancing Nataraja, the wall niches containing Lingodbhava, Ardhanarisvara, Tripurari, Varahavishnu, Trivikrama bear ample testimony to the sculptor’s skill as well as the cult worship that was in vogue.
The narrative reliefs illustrating certain episodes from the ‘Ramayana’, ‘Mahabharata’, ‘Bhagavata’ and ‘Panchatantra’ fitted well with these grand religious edifices.
The Jambulinga Temple at Pattadakal has a fine figure of the Dancing Shiva with Nandi (bull) & Parvathi by his side. Built with a northern style tower, there is a horse-shoe arched projection on its facade.
The Chandrashekhara and Kadasideeshwara are the other major temples here, and Pattadakal also has a Jaina basadi of Rashtrakuta times with two beautiful elephants in front.