Aihole is a village in Karnataka, on the banks of Mallaprabha River, 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 architecture of these temples will enthrall you.
The nearest town to Aihole is Badami, 40 minute away by road . Bagalkote is 47 km from Aihole. Badami is connected by NWKRTC buses from different places of Karnataka state.
Badami ( Station Code: BDM) is the nearest railway station to Aihole. Many trains going to Bagalkote ( Station code: BGK ) from Hubbali and Bengaluru do have a stop at Badami. Mumbai CSMT to Gadag super fast express ( 11139/11140) via Pune has a stop at Bagalkot railway station.
Hubli (Hubbali) airport is the nearest airport.
Aihole is a small place; all destinations can be explored by foot. The temples are scattered all over the Aihole village. Autorickshaw ( three wheel passenger vehicle ) can be used to commute if you cannot walk for long time or distance. The roads to temples are very narrow so big vehicles may find it difficult to manoeuvre.
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. Road side shacks serve tea or local eatables or butter milk.
Tea made with cow's or buffalo milk. Buttermilk is refreshing during summer months of March, April and May.
There are few hotels in Badami. Clarks Inn and KSTDC's Mayura Chalukya are major ones. There are options of staying at Bagalkote which is 47 km away.
By B.S.N.L ( Cellone ) mobile signal service provider as it is cheap and widely available.