Aihole is a temple complex at 33 kms from Badami (Karnataka, India). Aihole has been described as one of the cradles of temple architecture and therefore a must visit for any heritage traveller. Here artisans worked over centuries to perfect different temple architectures.
The temples are broadly divided into two groups. Kontigudi group and Galaganatha group. Some of the major structures and sub-groups are as under:
# Durga temple is the best known of the Aihole temples. There is a museum as well.
# Lad Khan Temple bears a Shiva lingam having a set of 12 carved pillars. One of the oldest temples here dated back to 5th century.
# Ravana Phadi cave is one of the oldest rock cut temples in Aihole, This temple dates back to the 6th century
# Jyothirlinga Group of temples is now in mostly dilapidated condition except two structures.
# Meguti Jain temple stands on a hillock. It is the only dated monument built in 634.
# Galaganatha group temples is one of nearly thirty temples on the bank of the Malaprabha River.
# Suryanarayana temple has a 0.6 m high statue of Surya along with his consorts Usha and Sandhya being drawn by horses. The temple dates from the 7th or 8th century
# Ambigera Gudi Group is a group of Three temples in the group built in 10th century structure.
# Chikkigudi Group is a set of 7th century structure.
# Huchimalli (gudi) temple built in the 7th century
# Gaudara gudi - An 8th century inscription here refers to this as Bhagavati temple. To the north of the Jaina temples is the Gowri temple. It is in Kalyana Chalukya style assignable to the 12th century.
# Rachi gudi lies to the west of the village constructed in about 11th century.
# Huchappayya Matha, 11th Century Temple
# Charanthimatha Group of temples it is about 11th -12th century A.D., built in the Kalyana Chalukya style
# Huchappayya (gudi) temple has a curvilinear tower (shikhara) over the sanctum, a style diff from earlier era temples
# Group Of Yeniar Shrines, a group of eight temples, 12th century temples
# Ramalinga group of temples, 11th century Complex
Aihole is a must visit for any heritage traveller or anyone interested in heritage and history.