Aihole, Cradle of Indian Temple Architecture

Languages Spoken:
Kannada, local dialects
Best Time To Visit:
October To March
Long Distance Code:
Ancient temples
Located on the Malaprabha River, Aihole was the ancient capital of the Chalukyas and is situated in the northern part of Karnataka. It is around 450 kms away from the state capital of Bangalore.
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!).
This tranquil village on the banks of the Malaprabha River, Aihole is acclaimed as the cradle of Hindu temple architecture. There are hundreds of temples scattered around in the nearby villages and fields. The most impressive one is the Durga Temple with its semicircular apse, elevated plinth and the gallery encircling the sanctum. The Lad Khan Temple, which is one of the earliest temples, was originally a royal assembly hall and marriage mandapa chosen as the abode of a Muslim prince, Lad Khan. The Huchimalli Temple with a sculpture of Vishnu sitting atop a large cobra, the Ravalphadi Cave Temple celebrating the many forms of Shiva, the Konti Temple Complex, the Umamaheswari Temple, the Jain Meguti Temple and the two-storied Buddhist Temple are other sights worth seeing.

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