Aihole, Karnataka, India    (info1, info2)

"For 300 years after the mid-sixth century, three major kingdoms were in conflict [in south India] ... the Chalukyas of Badami, the Pallavas of Kanchipuram, and the Pandyas of Madurai, all seeking to control the fertile tracts ... The [Chalukya] temples at Aihole, Pattadakal, and Badami range from the relatively simple to the more complex, and are examples of the developed Deccan style. [They] evolved from the Gupta shrines, but in their period of maturity they had links with both the northern and southern styles of architecture - the Nagara and the Dravida. The Durga temple ... [continues] the Buddhist chaitya plan ... but [lacks] the barrel roof usual to apsidal temples. Aihole [emerged] as a temple town, possibly because it was regarded as an ancient sacred site. There were megalithic structures in the vicinity, as well as earlier Buddhist activity at the site. It was also an important trading center ...

"... Locations such as Aihole have temples of the post-Gupta style with elements of the Dravida style, and the meeting of the styles is only too evident. Changing styles reflected contacts between the Deccan, south India, and the Ganges Plain, but also reflected the evolution of political forms within the region ... from small to larger kingdoms, from reasonable to substantial revenue ... Temples now became more than places of worship, for they were recognized as statements of power and authority ... [Notably,] those commissioning and financing the temples were not only members of the royal family or ministers, but also well placed merchants.

[ - The Penguin History of Early India by Romila Thapar, 2002]

Durga temple (1, 2)

Entrance porch

Amorous couples


Frolicking couples

Durga slaying Mahishasura

Varaha (avatar of Vishnu)

What's going on here?

Amorous couple

Amorous couple

Amorous couple

Amorous couple

Ladkhan temple (more)

Amorous couple

Inside the temple (Nandi)

Amorous couple

Ravalpidi cave

Cave entrance

Facing left

Facing right

Cave sculpture

Durga slaying Mahishasura


Sunflower field near Aihole


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