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Aihole - The Cradle Of Rock Architecture


The rock architecture at Aihole can mesmerise the pious as well as archeological buffs. The town has numerous temples built by the Chalukyas. In fact, the temples of Aihole are often regarded as symbols that stand testimony to the evolving styles of the Chalukya kings in their attempt to bring about a definitive Chalukyan architectural heritage.

The Legend Behind The Name

Aihole was the first capital of the Chalukyas. Located on the banks of the Malaprabha river, the town has several legends associated with it. One of the legends claims that Parasurama, the warrior-brahmin, lived here. It is said that after his slaughter of many key Kshatriyas, Parasurama returned here and washed his bloody axe in the Malaprabha river. The axe was so heavily blood soaked that the river water turned red. This gave the area the name Aihole, which literally means “What a river!”

What Aihole Is Famous For

There are around 125 Chalukya temples in Aihole and the Lad Khan Temple is the oldest one dating back to the 5th century. The other famous temples include the Gowda Temple, Suryanarayana Temple and the Durga Temple. The Ravana Phadi Cave is one of the oldest rock-cut cave temples. Aihole is also famous for an inscription which recounts the history of the period.

The place lies 483 kilometres from Bangalore and has good road connections. The nearest railway station is at Badami.

Aihole is Famous for

Aihole Weather

Best Season / Best Time to Visit Aihole

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How to Reach Aihole

  • By Road
    There are numerous buses plying to Aihole from places, such as Badami, Pattadakal and Bangalore. Air conditioned as well as non air conditioned buses are available from these places.
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  • By Train
    Bagalkot railway station is the nearest railway station to Aihole located at a distance of about 34 km. This railway station is well connected to major cities in India and the nearby areas.
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  • By Air
    Belgaum Airport is the nearest domestic airport to Aihole, situated at a distance of about 162 km and Bangalore International Airport is the nearest international airport (514 km). Bangalore airport is well connected to major European, Asian, American and Middle East countries along with all the major cities of India.
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