Aihole – this place saw the beginnings of Indian Temple Architecture. As per the historical records, it was the first capital of Chalukyas and has a cluster of 125 temples built during their reign (5th – 12th century) . It is situated almost 36 kms (21 miles) from Badami in Karnataka, India.
The main temple called ‘Durga Temple’ has a distinctive shape and great architectural detailing. The pillars in the temple are beautifully embroidered with intricate designs and the sculptures of deities on the walls are elaborately crafted. It must be one of the most photographed structures in the entire area.
In total, there are 22 different groups of temples here. The groups include the ‘Jyotirlinga Complex’ which has 16 temples and most of those are from different time periods – a Shivalaya built in 8th century, a Kalyana Chalukya style Vishnu temple of the 11th century and a 12th century Sangamanatha Temple. Another one is the ‘Thryambakeshwara Complex’, which has beautiful twin temples with Nataraja Sculpture on the ceilings – built during the 12th century.
The ‘Huchchappayana Matha’, lies to the west of the village. The impressive craftsmanship is evident on the walls and columns; and also, the ceiling which is decorated with a stunning Trimurti sculpture. The main entrance bears beautiful carvings of Ganga and Yamuna; and the complex has an inscription dated back to 1077 A.D. (according to the information board).
Needless to say, all the groups of temples are splendid works of art.
It is one of the those places which should be on everyone’s list who plans to visit India and especially Karnataka.
Copyright © Vasudha Aggarwal & travel-defined.com, 2014 -15. All rights reserved.
Link – For more information about Aihole, how to get there, see the Karnataka tourism website.
Gallery of Pictures in this post: