About Aihole

Ideal Trip Duration: Full Day

Base Station: Badami (34 Kms)

Nearest City to Aihole: Hubli (136 Kms)

Best Time to Visit Aihole: September to March

Peak Season: November to January & April

State: Karnataka | District: Bagalkot

Aihole Weather: Maximum-42°C
Minimum-14°C

At a distance of 443 Kms from Bangalore, 136 Kms from Hubli, 33 Kms from Bagalkot, 34 Kms from Badami & 13.5 Kms from Pattadakal, Aihole is a historical site in Bagalkot District of Karnataka situated on the banks of Malaprabha River. It is being considered for World Heritage Site status by UNESCO.

Aihole, along with Pattadakal, is considered as the cradle for South Indian Temple architecture. There are more than 125 temples in Aihole constructed between 5th and 8th centuries during Badami Chalukya's rule. Few temples were built during Rashtrakutas and Kalyani Chalukya's rule until 12th century. The temples are built in different architectural styles representing Dravidian, Nagara, Phamsana and Gajaprastha models.

Most of the temples are located within 2-3 km radius while the important monuments are situated within a secured compound. Main temples are well preserved by archeology department and several other sites are still being renovated.

The main monuments in Aihole are Durga Temple, Ladkhan Temple, Ravana Pahadi and Archeology Museum. Except Ravana Pahadi, all other sites are located in same compound.

It usually takes around 4-5 hours to visit all the monuments in Aihole. The road between Badami and Aihole was worse (as of Oct 2014) and the 34 Kms stretch took almost 1.5 hours.

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Other Info
Internet Availability: Internet Not Available
STD Code: 08351
Languages Spoken: Kannada, Hindi, English
Major Festivals: Chalukya Utsava / Badami Festival / Pattadakal Dance Festival (Dec), Banashankari Temple Festival (Jan/Feb), Virupaksha Temple Car Festival (Mar)
Notes/Tips:
None

How to Reach Aihole

By Air

Nearest Airport: Hubli - Hubli Airport (140 Kms)

By Train

Nearest Train Station: Badami (33 Kms)
Bagalkot (34 Kms)
Gadag (92 Kms)

By Bus

Nearest Bus Station: Aihole Bus Stand (0 Kms)

Top 10 Places to Visit in Aihole

Heritage

#1 of 17 Places to Visit in Aihole

At a distance of less than 100 meters from Aihole Bus Stand, Durga Temple, also known as Fort Temple, is the most famous monument in Aihole with striking architecture and wonderful carvings. It is located inside the main enclosed complex of Aihole monuments. The name of temple is originated from a fortification (durgam) which existed around the temple earlier.

Build between 7th and 8th centuries by Chalukyas, the temple plan in U shape resembles that of Buddhist Chaitya halls. The temple has a mukha-mandapa, a sabha-mandapa and inner sanctum with Shiva linga. The unique part of the temple is the pillared corridor around the temple that allows pilgrims to take pradakshinas around the temple. This style of architecture is called Gajaprastha (back of an elephant). The temple tower is built in Nagara style, while the dome on the tower is missing.

The mukha-mandapa and the corridor have extensive carvings. Every corner of the pillar .....

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Heritage

#2 of 17 Places to Visit in Aihole

At a distance of 200 meters from Aihole Bus Stand and 100 meters east of Durga Temple, the Archaeological Museum inside the Durga Temple complex houses good collection of artifacts from Aihole, Pattadakal and Badami regions.

Planned as a sculpture shed in 1970, it was converted into a full-blown museum in 1987. The museum consists of 6 galleries and an open-air gallery. The artifacts in the museum are dated between 6th and 15th centuries. A variety of Ganesha sculptures, Saptamatrikas with archaic features, Nataraja, Ambika of Jaina affinity, attractive sculpture of Bodhisatva and a mutilated anthropomorphic figure of Megalithic period are some of the important exhibits.

One of the galleries accommodates bird's eye view model of Aihole and its environs (Malaprabha valley) with location of various monuments. The exhibits comprise of sculpture of Saiva, Vaishnava, Jaina and Buddhist affinity. The objects displayed reflect Chalukyan .....

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Heritage

#3 of 17 Places to Visit in Aihole

At a distance of 200 meters from Aihole Bus Stand and 100 meters south of Durga Temple, Ladkhan Temple is the oldest temple in Aihole believed to be built in 5th century by first Chalukyan ruler Pulakesi I. It is located inside the main enclosed complex of Aihole monuments. The temple is built in Mandapa style with plan roof.

Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple name is originated from Ladkhan, a Muslim general from Bijapur sultanate who stayed in the temple during their invasion of the region. Originally a Surya temple, the temple has a mukha-mandapa and a large sabha-mandapa. There is no separate garbhagriha in the temple and a stone booth is added to house the deity.

The large pillars in the mukhamandapa have beautiful carvings of gods along with floral designs. The outer walls are also exhibit extensive designs of early Chalukyas. The sabhamandapa has a big bull at the center. Large plain pillars support the sabhamandapa. .....

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Heritage

#4 of 17 Places to Visit in Aihole

At a distance of about 800 meters from Aihole Bus Stand & Durga Temple Complex, Ravanapahadi is a wonderful rock-cut cave temple situated towards north-east side of Durga Temple.

Built in 6th century, the cave temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The exterior of the cave is simple with 4 pillars and dwarapalakas. The inner part of the cave has a rectangular verandah followed by a square hall and a garbhagriha. The major attraction of the cave is a carving of Lord Shiva with 10 hands in different Bharatanatya postures (a similar figure with 18 hands can be seen in Cave 1 of Badami).

The other important carvings in the cave include Mahishasura Mardhini, Varaha carrying Bhudevi, Lord Shiva & Parvathi. The inner hall of the cave is mostly plain and the garbha-griha has a monolithic Shivalinga. Outside the cave, there is a platform with nicely carved Nandi. There are two stone mandapas outside the cave on both sides of the entrance.

This temple is open till 6 PM.

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Heritage

#5 of 17 Places to Visit in Aihole

At a distance of about 500 meters from Aihole Bus Stand & Durga Temple Complex, Mallikarjuna Temples are a group of temples situated on the way to Meguti Jain Temple past Jyotirlinga Temple Complex.

The complex has several temples build in different styles ranging from small to medium. Some of these temples are preserved while a majority of them are still in ruins. Excavation and restoration work is going on for several temples.

The complex features few unique structures. One of the Phamsana style temples built on an elevated platform has a roof sliding down through the sikhara to entrance. One temple with collapsed sikhara has a small mukhamandapa which is closed on one side. The mukhamandapa and rangamandapa of the temple are separated by lattice design windows.

There is a wonderfully built gateway in the center of the complex. There are also several large pillars scattered around the complex. The complex also comprises a large stepped temple tank in great condition.

The .....

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Heritage

#6 of 17 Places to Visit in Aihole

At a distance of 800 meters from Aihole Bus Stand & Durga Temple Complex, Meguti Jain Temple is situated inside the fortified walls of Aihole fort on a hillock (past Buddhist Temple) south-east of Durga Temple Complex.

Constructed in 634 AD, Meguti Jain Temple is the only dated monument in Aihole. The temple has very valuable inscription in the form of poetry from the reign of Pulakesi II. The temple has two levels, ground level with a large pillared mukhamandapa with empty inner sanctum and a small shrine on top of it which can be reached through steps. The temple has seated figures of Jain teerthankaras. The construction of the temple appears to be incomplete.

One can have a panoramic view of the entire Aihole village and all the monuments of Aihole from the hilltop. The hill is supposed to be the site of Aihole Fort, but except the walls, none of the structures survive today.

From main road, the temple can be reached .....

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Heritage

#7 of 17 Places to Visit in Aihole

At a distance of about 2.5 Kms from Aihole Bus Stand & Durga Temple Complex, Galaganatha Temples are a group of about 30 temples situated on the banks of Malaprabha River.

Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the complex has several medium and small temples. Built in Dravidian and Nagara styles, some of the temples have a Shivalinga though no active poojas are done here. One of the temples has a large hall with Nandi and Shivalinga in the sanctum. Pillars in the hall are nicely carved in round shape with several wonderfully engraved images of gods at the bottom of pillars. The hall and sanctum are separated by richly designed lattice windows.

To reach Galaganatha Temple Complex from Aihole, you have to go towards Pattadakal for 2 km and take diversion to the right towards the river and driver for 500 meters.

The complex is open till 6 PM.

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Heritage

#8 of 17 Places to Visit in Aihole

At a distance of 300 meters from Aihole Bus Stand and 200 meters south of Durga Temple, Chakra Gudi is a 9th century temple on southern end of Durga Temple Complex.

Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the temple sikhara is built in Nagara style with a large mandapa of round pillars. The temple accompanies few good carvings on the doorway and the seating stones near entrance of the temple. The doorway has an image of Garuda holding two snakes. The temple sikhara is intact and attractive.

There is a pushkarini (temple tank) beside the Chakra Gudi.

Complex Timings: 9 AM to 5 PM

Entrance: Rs. 5, Rs. 25 for camera.

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Heritage

#9 of 17 Places to Visit in Aihole

At a distance of 200 meters from Aihole Bus Stand and 100 meters south of Durga Temple, Goudaragudi Temple is one of the oldest temples in Aihole assigned to 5th century. It is situated beside Ladkhan Temple.

This temple is built in Madapa style on an elevated platform, few feet below the ground level of remaining temples. Dedicated to Mahalakshmi or Bhagavathi, the temple has a verandah supported by 16 pillars with slanting roof. The sanctum has circumambulatory path for pradakshinas. There are beautiful carvings of kalasha along the outer wall of the temple.

The entrance of the garbhagriha has image of Garuda and Gajalakshmi with four elephants above. The roof has a square platform, larger than the one seen on top of Ladkhan temple without any image.

Complex Timings: 9 AM to 5 PM

Entrance: Rs. 5, Rs. 25 for camera.

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Heritage

#10 of 17 Places to Visit in Aihole

At a distance of 200 meters from Aihole Bus Stand and 100 meters south of Durga Temple, Suryanarayana Gudi 7th / 8th century temple situated opposite to Ladkhan Temple.

Dedicated to God Surya, this temple is built in Rekhanagara style with curvilinear tower. The temple consists of a small mandapa with four pillars, rangamandapa with four tall pillars and 12 half pillars followed by the garbhagriha. The doorframe of the sanctum has an image of Garuda holding two snakes, Ganga, Yamuna and an image of Surya in seated posture.

The sanctum has a statue of God Surya. The sanctum also has four pillars inside, which is a peculiar design. The sikhara is partially damaged.

Complex Timings: 9 AM to 5 PM

Entrance: Rs. 5, Rs. 25 for camera.

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