The ancient Chalukyan regional capital of Aihole (ayho-leh), situated about 40km from Badami, houses some 100 temples that were built during the period between 4th and 6th centuries AD. However, most of these have either reduced to mere ruins or have lost in the modern village. Ranging from the firstly formed simple shrines including most of the ancient Ladkhan Temple, to the lately developed more complex buildings including Meguti Temple, Aihole depicts the different embryonic stage of Hindu architecture of South India. Built in the 7th-century, Durga Temple is most impressive structure of its times. The visiting ticket will cost an Indian and foreigner Rs.5 and Rs. 100 respectively. Timings range between 8am and 6pm. The main attractions of Durga Temple include the vestiges of its curvilinear sikhara (temple spire) and the semicircular apse which is based on Buddhist architecture.
The interiors of temple feature intricate stone carvings. There is a small museum at the rear of the temple housing arts works from Chalukyan sculpture. Admission charge to the museum is Rs. 5 (timings: 10am-5pm, Sat-Thu). To the south of the Durga Temple lie in clusters, many more temples that comprise early structures – the Gandar, Hucchapaya groups, Ladkhan, Kontigudi. All these structures feature slightly sloping, pavilion type roofs. Moving 600 m to the southeast, you will get to see the Jain Meguti Temple, on a low hillock. Watch out for snakes while making your way to upside.
|Visit Duration||5 to 6 hours|