Location: 43 Kms From Kudala Sangama, Karnataka
Famous as: Cradle Of Indian Temple Architecture
Also Called As: Ayyavole, Aryapura
Best Season: October to February
Cradle Of Indian Architecture Located 43 Kms from Kudala Sangama, Aihole was the ancient capital of Chalukyas. Famous as the cradle of "Indian Architecture", Aihole has over a hundred temples scattered around the village.
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.
The Legend: The name Aihole has an interesting story behind it. According to one legend, Parashurama after avenging the murder of his father came to the Malaprabha and washed his axe here. The river is said to have turned red causing him to exclaim "ai, ai! Holi!" (Ah, the river!)
Lad Khan Temple: The oldest temple here is perhaps, the Lad Khan temple dating back to the 5th Century. Originally a royal assembly hall and marriage mandapa, a Muslim official converted it into his residence. On the roof of the main temple is another shrine-like vimana.
The Durga (Fort) Temple:It is notable for its semi-circular apse, elevated plinth and the gallery that encircles the sanctum. Fascinating carvings of Chamundi Devi trampling the buffalo demon; Narasimha, the 'half-man-half-lion god'; the Ardhanari, half man and half woman deity; Mahishasura Mardini and many more sculptures can be seen here.
The temple on the outskirts of the village has a sculpture of lord Vishnu sitting atop a large cobra.
Ravalphadi Cave: Dedicated to Shiva, the cave is remarkable for its details. Dating back to 6th century, the cave celebrated the various forms of Shiva.
Not-to-be-missed are the Konthi Temple Complex (Kwanthi Gudi), the Uma Maheswari Temple with a beautifully carved Brahma seated on a lotus, the austere Jain Meguti Temple and the two storeyed Buddhist Temple.
HOW TO GET THERE
Rail: The Nearest Railway station is Bagalkot.
Local Transport: Cycle Rickshaws, Tongas, and City Bus Service.
Road: Aihole is connected by road to: Pattadakal (17 kms), Badami (46 kms) Bangalore (438 kms).