Aihole is a village in Karnataka. It is on the banks of Mallaprabha River. It is close to 122 km from Hubli, the Silicon Plateau of India. Aihole was the first capital of the Chalukya Kings. It had a school of temple architecture where artisans used to learn the craft of temple building and sculpture. Consequently, Aihole has hundreds of temples in villages and fields nearby.
The nearest town to Aihole is Badami where one can find accommodation. Aihole can be reached by a 40 minute drive by road from Badami.
Aihole is a small place and once you reach here, all destinations can be explored by foot.
Bear in mind that this was a school of temple architecture, so you will see temples built in different styles. An artisan was taught to move progressively from simple to more complex forms of sculpture (as seen on pillars in the Durga Temple). Yellow sandstone is a relatively soft material and easy to carve on. Hence this was used as the material here.
Unlike most Indian temples, the names of the temples in Aihole do not reflect the deities placed inside. When the British stumbled upon these temples, they were inhabited by local villagers who were using these as shelter. So some of the names reflect the residents at the time, others describe their location, and so on.
- 1 Durga Temple (Fort Temple). A temple with many beautiful carvings.
- 2 Huchchimalli Temple.
- 3 Jain Meguti Temple.
- 4 Lad Khan Temple.
- 5 Ravalphadi Cave Temple (southeast of Hucchimalli temple). This one of the oldest temples carved in rock.
Please pack food for your trip as there are no restaurants in Aihole.