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Destination Details Aihole

 

Destinations » KARNATAKA » Aihole

Aihole Aihole is famous as the 'Cradle of Indian Architecture'. Located about 40 Kms from Badami, it had been the ancient capital of Chalukyas for more than 200 years. Aihole, a picturesque village nestling on the banks of the Malaprabha river is home to more than 125 temples, each intricately carved and rich in detail, scattered all around the village. These temples were built between the 6th -11th centuries and some of them even earlier. The most important temple is the Durga Temple situated in the heart of Aihole. The interior of this temple is full of fascinating Carvings. Not to be missed spots here include the two-tiered Buddhist Temple, the Jain Meghuti Temple and the Museum behind the Durga Temple. Other attractions in Aihole are Lad khan Temple, which is perhaps the oldest temple in the region dating back to 5th century. Hutchimalli Temple has a splendid sculpture of Lord Vishnu sitting atop a giant cobra, the Uma Maheswari Temple with a beautifully carved Brahma seated on a lotus and Ravalphadi Caves that is dedicated to Lord Shiva
   
 

How to reach

 
  By Air

By Air

  The nearest airport is Belgaum situated 189 kms away.  
  By Rail

By Rail

 
  The nearest railhead is Bagalkot (34 km) on the Hubli-Sholapur metre gauge line.  
  By Road

By Road

 
  Aihole has convenient road connections to important places around it. Badami (44 km.), Aminagad (10 km.), Bagalkot (34 km.), Bangalore (510 km.), Bijapur (135 km.), Pattadakal (22 km.)  
     
 

Places to Visit

 
  Durga temple  
  The most important temple is the Durga Temple situated in the heart of Aihole. The interior of this temple is full of fascinating Carvings. The temple derives its name from Durgadagudi meaning 'temple near the fort'. Dedicated to Vishnu, the temple appears to be a Hindu adaptation of the Buddhist chaitya (hall) with its apsidal end. Standing on a high platform with a 'rekhanagara' type of Shikhara, it is the most elaborately decorated monument in Aihole. The columns at the entrance and within the porch are carved with figures and ornamental relief's. The temple appears to be a late 7th or early 8th century construction.  
     
  Ladhkhan temple  
  Ladkhan Temple, which is perhaps the oldest temple in the region, dating back to 5th century. The experimental nature of temple building by the Chalukyas is best elaborated in the Ladh Khan Temple, located south of the Durga Temple. Not knowing how to build a temple, they built it in the Panchayat hall style. The windows were filled up with lattice work in the northern style and the sanctum was added later on. The sanctum is built against the back wall and the main shrine has a Shivalinga along with a Nandi. Above the center of the hall, facing the sanctum, is a second smaller sanctum with images carved on the outer walls. The temple, built about 450 AD, gets its name from a Muslim prince who converted it into his residence.  
     
  Hutchimalli temple  
  Hutchimalli Temple has a splendid sculpture of Lord Vishnu sitting atop a giant cobra.This appears to be one of the earliest groups of temples in Aihole, located to the north of village behind the Tourist Home. The sanctum has a northern style "Rekhanagara" tower over it. The vestibule in front of the sanctum was introduced for the first time here.  
     
  Ravanphadi Cave  
  Located south-east of the Hucchimalli Temple, this rock-cut temple is assigned to the 6th century. The sanctum in there are wall is larger than these in Badami cave temples and it is provided with a vestibule flanked by carved panels, entered through a triple entrance. Despite the variety of images found here, the Mahishasuramardhini, the great Dancing Shiva linga with Ganesha and sapta-matrikas and the linga inside the sanctum an overall Shiva application.  
     
  Meguti Temple  
  The only dated monument in Aihole, the Meguti Temple was built atop a small hill in 634 AD. Now partly in ruins, possibly never completed, this temple provides an important evidence of the early development of the Dravidian style of Architecture. The inscription dating the monument is found on one of the outer walls of the temple and records its construction by Ravikeerti, who was a commander & minister of Pulakesin.  
     
     
 
 
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