This sleepy little place has seen better days during Badami Chalukyas times who ruled from the year 540 to 753 AD. It was in fact a capital & a trading center in their initial days before Pulkesi II shifted the capital to Badami 33 km away.
A local mythological legend says that Saint Parshurama avenged his father's death by killing the giant Ilavala brother of demon Vatapi here hence the name Ilavalapura. There are about 125 small & large temples scattered all over the fields & are in crumbling conditions. The place has rock-cut temples in early variety of Vedic, Jain & Budhist architectural styles. These temples have been divided by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in 22 groups based on architectural styles & age.
ASI has lot of work to do here & has done also. Entry fee for Indians is Rs. 10/- & for the foreigners Rs.250/-. This 'discrimination' to me is unwarranted. In such far flung places only backpackers turn up & not all of them are millionaires. This is likely to discourage visitors. Another thing that irks is poor maintenance of monuments & their surroundings. There is a need to bring local population & administration on board & make them understand the importance of heritage.
|This narrow road amid the agriculture land takes you to Aihole.|
|One of the 125 ancient temples|
|Main attraction in Aihole is Durga Temple also called Durg Temple as it was primarily meant for the people in Durg or Fort.|
|Magnificent carvings on pillars & walls|
|Water management - steps lead to the well|
|Crumbling stone pillars|
|Temples in Jain Basadis|
|Protected monument says the blue board on left. In use for meetings, parking & cattle yard.|
|Temples of Huchchapayya Math|
|Temple in the village getting ready for festival season|