Durga Temple, Aihole
Early inscriptions call this town Ayyavole and Aryapura. Aihole has its own historical significance and is called as cradle of Hindu rock architecture. Many temples and caves of historical importance can be found at Aihole.~ Wikipedia
Aihole was the first capital of the early Chalukyas. Here they built over 125 temples in various styles and is said to be a laboratory of experiments in rock cut architecture. Pulakesi I, one of the greatest rulers of this dynasty, moved the capital to Badami nearby. Badami was then known as Vatapi. It is from these temples that the Chalukyas gained their experience and went on to build the great temples of Pattadakal. The first phase of temple building in Aihole dates back to the 6th century CE, the second phase up to the 12th century CE. Some temples were even built as early as the 5th century CE.
We left Hampi and the boulder kingdom in the morning, rather late. The drive northwards was uneventful. We were heading for a place called Aihole, the earlier capital of the Chalukyas. We travelled up to Hungdung and took a left on the SH-20 going towards Amingarh. Coming from Bangaluru side, there are information signs and boards about tourist spots all over the road. It was easy to find the turnoff south for Aihole.
The small road lead through some very remote and romantic farmland. Of people living old style and in nature's lap. My forefathers come from this land. Aihole is a dot on the landscape visible because of its historic significance. The dept. of Archaeology has done a wonderful job trying to preserve and present this site. Green lawns, extremely clean fenced area around the temples. I loved it. There is a hotel cum lodge were we had lunch. It is a largish place but slightly run down. The manager showed us some sites from the terrace and also told us of the birds which frequent this place.