Aihole also referred to as Aivalli, Ahivolal or Aryapura, is a historic site of ancient and medieval era Buddhist, Hindu and Jain monuments in north Karnataka (India) dated from the fourth century through the twelfth century CE.Located around an eponymous small village surrounded by farmlands and sandstone hills, Aihole is a major archaeological site featuring over one hundred and twenty stone and cave temples from this period, spread along the Malaprabha river valley, in Bagalakote district.
Aihole is 22 miles (35 km) from Badami and about 6 miles (9.7 km) from Pattadakal, both of which are major centers of historically important Chalukya monuments. Aihole, along with nearby Badami (Vatapi), emerged by the 6th century as the cradle of experimentation with temple architecture, stone artwork, and construction techniques. This resulted in 16 types of free-standing temples and 4 types of rock-cut shrines. The experimentation in architecture and arts that began in Aihole yielded the group of monuments at Pattadakal, a UNESCO world heritage site.
Over one hundred Aihole temples are Hindu, a few are Jain and one is Buddhist. These were built and coexisted in close proximity. The site is spread over about 5 square kilometres (1.9 sq mi).The Hindu temples are dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu, Durga, Surya and other Hindu deities. The Jain Basadi temples are dedicated to Mahavira, Parshvanatha, Neminatha and other Jain Tirthankaras. The Buddhist monument is a monastery. Both Hindu and Jain monuments include monasteries, as well as social utilities such as stepwellwater tanks with artistic carvings near major temples.
The city is well connected by air, rail and road to all major cities in the country.
The nearest airport is Belgaum which is 189 km from Aihole. There are regular flights to Belgaum from all major cities in the country.
The nearest railway station is Bagalkot, which is 34 km from Aihole. There are several direct trains to Bagalkot from all major cities in the country.
The city enjoys connectivity to nearby places through a network of busses. Package tours are conducted from Bangalore (490 km away) a during tourist season. The city is 44 kms and 17 kms away from Badami and Pattadakal respectively. From Belgaum via Bagalkot one can easily reach the city by road.
Ladh Khan Temple
Konti group of temples
Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, this temple is the most elaborately decorated monument in Aihole. It owes its name due to its proximity to a fort or ‘Durg’ and not to Goddess Durga, which is a common misconception. The temple dates back to Chalukyan times and the elements of Dravida style in its architecture with exquisite carvings adorning the columns at the entrance attract several art enthusiasts every year.