Aihole is located on the banks of Malaprabha river in Bagalkot district of Karnataka, at a height of around 590 mt.. It was the first capital of the early Chalukyas. Aihole contains over 125 temples from the Early Western Chalukya and later periods (6th – 12th century).
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. Inscriptions have also been discovered by archaeologists in the area in the Sanskrit language which date back to 634 CE. It is about the achievements and victory of Pulakeshi II over Harshavardhana. It is said that after his slaughter of many key Kshatriyas, Parasurama returned here and washed his bloody axe in the Malaprabha River.
The Durga Temple is said to be built in late 7th or early 8th century. The Durga temple derives its name from “Durgadagudi” meaning ‘temple of the fort’. The features of this temple are semicircular apse, elevated plinth, and the gallery encircling the sanctum.
The Ravanaphadi temple is a rock cut temple, with a rectangular shrine, with two mandapams in front of it and a rock cut Shivalingam. This temple dates back to the second half of the 7th century.
Lad Khan temple, located south of the Durga Temple, is the oldest temple in Aihole that was built around 7 th or 8 th century with Lord Shiva as the main deity. The temple consists of a shrine with two mantaps in front of it, the windows are filled up wih lattice work in the northern style.
Kontigudi Group of Temples is situated in the middle of Aihole bazaar. The earliest of these temples was probably built in the 5th century. The first temple has panels of Brahma, Shiva & a reclining Vishnu on the ceiling.
The Meguti Jain temple stands on a hillock. The dated inscription is found on one of the exterior walls of the temple and it records its construction by Ravikeerti, who was a commander and minister Pulikeshi II.
The Galaganatha group is one of nearly 30 temples on the bank of the river Malaprabha. The main shrine of the Galaganatha temple enshrining Shiva. Galaganatha has a curvilinear shikhara.
The Huchimalli Gudi temples dedicated to Lord Shiva, Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu.
Best Time to Visit:
The best time to visit Aihole is between October and March. During these months the climate remains pleasant.
How to reach Aihole:
Nearest Airport: Dabolim
Roads: Aihole is well connected by roads.