Aihole

Aihole

About:

Once the capital of the early Chalukyan dynasty (6th to 8th centuries), Aihole is a picturesque village on the banks of the Malaprabha river. Variously called Ayyavole & Aryapura in the inscriptions, Aihole is historically famous as the cradle of Hindu temple architecture. There are about 125 temples divided into 22 groups scattered all over the villages and nearby fields. Most of these temples were built between the 6th & 8th centuries and some even earlier

Only mere traces of a fort dating from the 6th century can be seen today. A large number of prehistoric sites have been found in Morera Angadigalu, near the Meguti hillocks in Aihole. Excavations near some temples have yielded traces of antique pottery and bases of structures constructed with bricks of pre-Chalukyan times. More temples are being excavated every day bearing witness to the vigorous experimentation on temple architecture which went on at Aihole more than 14 centuries ago.

Location info:

Address:A tranquil village, located on the banks of the Malaprabha River, Aihole is known as the cradle of Hindu temple architecture. It is situated at a height of around 590 mt. and about 480 km from Bangalore.
District:Bangalore
Nearest City:Pattadakal
Best time to visit: October to February . Summers tend to be very hot.

Climate/Weather:

Area - 4 sq. Kms.
Altitude - 593 meter

Temperature -
Summer(Mean Max)-41oC
Summer(Mean min)-28oC
Winter(Mean Max)-31oC
Winter(Mean min)-20oC

Rainfall 58.4 cms
Best Seasons October to March

History:

A tranquil village, located on the banks of the Malaprabha River, Aihole is known as the cradle of Hindu temple architecture. It is situated at a height of around 590 mt. and about 480 km from Bangalore. Aihole was the first capital of the Chalukya kings and was built around the 4th-7th century. There are hundreds of temples in the villages and fields nearby. It is said that here, within a one km circumference, there are 125 temples and the most impressive one is the Durga Temple. The first phase of temple building in Aihole dates back to the 6th century AD, while the second phase extends up to the 12th century AD.

Aihole, Badami and Pattadakal near Bijapur in Karnataka are centers of Early Chalukyan art. Badami is located at a distance of about 500 km from Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka and is well connected by road. Aihole was the first capital of the early Chalukyas. Aihole is to the west of Badami, along the Malaprabha river, while Pattadakal is to the east. Pulakesi I, one of the greatest rulers of this dynasty, moved the capital to Badami nearby. Badami was then known as Vatapi. The first phase of temple building in Aihole dates back to the 6th century CE, the second phase to the 12th century.

Interesting things to do:

Food Specialities:
No specialty restaurants are available at Aihole. Small tea shops serving snacks can be found. Food can be served by the Tourist Homes at Aihole but on advance notice

Shopping at Aihole:
Ilkal (36 Kms) is famous for its traditional handloom, art silk and silk sarees

Interesting things to Visit:

Durga Temple:
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.

Ladh Khan Temple:
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.

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 II. Apparently a Jain Temple as seen from the seated Jain figure here, the superstructure rising above the sanctum wall of the temple is not original & the 16-columns porch and hall extension are later additions

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

Hucchimalli Temple:
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.

Gowda Temple:
Close to Ladh Khan Temple & built in the similar lines, the Gowda Temple was dedicated to Bhagavati. Standing on a high molded base and having about 16 fairly plain pillars, this temple was probably built even earlier.

Surayanarayana Temple:
Located to the north-east of Ladh Khan Temple, the sanctum of this temple has a 0.6 meter high icon of Surya along with his two consorts Usha & Sandhaya, being drawn by horses. The temple, dating from the 7th - 8th centuries, has a four pillared inner and a 'Rekhanagara' tower over the sanctum.

Konti Group of Temples:
Situated in the middle of bazaar, the earliest of these temples was probably built in the 5th century. The first temple has panels of Bramha, Shiva & a reclined Vishnu on the ceiling.

Museum & Art Gallery:
A sculpture gallery ismaintained by the Archaeological Survey of India in the Durga Temple compels.

Mobile range info:


How to reach?

Nearest Railway Station:The nearest railway station is Badami.
Nearest Airport:Bangalore
Road Transport:Aihole is connected by road to : · Pattadakal (17 kms) · Badamli (46 kms) · Bangalore (483 kms)

Nearest Visiting places:


Nearest Petrol Pump:

Pattadakal

Hotels/Lodge/Accommodation:

* Tourist Rest House
Aihole, Hungund Taluk
Ph: +91-8352-41

* Tourist Rest Houses of Tourism Department

Things to carry:

Clothing -
Summer - Light Cottons
Winters - Light Woolens

Tips & Suggestions:

Local Transport: Cycle Rickshaws, Bus Service

Help Line/Phone Number:

Police Station:Pattadakal
Nearest Hospital:Pattadakal
Society/Community Phone Number
Links:
http://bagalkot.nic.in/aihole.htm>http://bagalkot.nic.in/aihole.htm>http://bagalkot.nic.in/aihole.htm
http://www.shunya.net/Pictures/South%20India/Aihole/Aihole.htm
http://www.karnatakatoursandtravel.com/karnataka-travel-guide/aihole-travel.html