Durga, Aihole

Durga, Aihole

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Aihole - The birthplace of South Indian temple architecture

The vast region below the Meguti hill in Aihole is the valley of the Malaprabha river. The river Malaprabha is described in the ancient Indian legends as the place where Parasurama washed his axe. Parasurama did a holocaust of the Kshatriyas to avenge the death of his father Jamadagni. After his anger was quenched, Parasurama came down to river Malaprabha to wash his axe, which was drenched in the blood of the Kshatriyas. The river turned red instantly. When the saw the blood red river, the local women who was taking a bath at the river shouted “Ayyo Hole” (means “Wow, the River!) The agricultural village came to be known as “Aihole” later on.

These may be mere myths, but the remote village in the Northern Karnataka is indeed a wonder land of ancient sculptures and temples. Majority of the temples in Aihole was built during the rule of Chalukya dynasty starting 544 AD. Aihole has a history of thousand five hundred years, however the remote village still seems to be stuck in that time period. There is no trace of development. Villagers still seem to occupy the deserted temples of Chalukya period. [Back]

Aihole inscription in the Meguti Hill Jain temple

Aihole was not only the nursery of south Indian architecture, it was also an important center of trade in the Chalukya kingdom. The famous “ayyovole 500” hails from this very place. They are a group of legendary tradesmen. They were famous for their chivalry and courage. They traded elephant, horses, precious stones like diamond, emerald and ruby, spices and incenses to the rest of India and even other countries. Most of them were religious Buddhists.

I started climbing the steps that leads to the top of the Meguti hill, where there is an ancient Jain temple. The Jain temple on top of the Meguti hill in Aihole is an important archeological monument. It was built in 634 AD by Ravikriti, the court poet of Pulakeshin II, the famous Chalukya king.

This small temple houses the famous Chalukya inscription named the “Aihole inscription” or the “Ravikriti inscription”. It was a key artifact that helped the archeologist to decode the history of Chalukyas and even helped them dating the Mahabharata war. This inscription praises Pulakeshin II, who defeated the famous Harshavardhan on the Narmada river valley. It was an important conquest after which the Chalukya kings ruled almost the entire Deccan plateau. Pulakeshin II was praised as the “Dakshinapadeshwara”- the lord of Deccan. The temple itself is small with an idol of Mahavira in the sanctum sanctorum.

Meguti was a forted hill in ancient Chalukyan times. The reminiscent of which is still seen around the perimeter of the hilltop. One can have a panoramic view of Aihole from the Meguti hill. There are almost hundred red sand stone temples strewn all around the village.

Durga Temple complex - Aihole

Even though there are around hundred temples in Aihole, the most important ones are situated in a protected complex. Archeological Survey of India(ASI) maintains this lovely complex where there are a number of temples worth a visit. Durga temple, ‘Badigarugudi, Lad khan temple, Guadargudi, Chakragudi, Trikudeshwara temple are some of them. Before ASI took over the temples, the villagers were staying inside them. Each temple was known by the name of its occupant. Hence most of the Aihole temple have strange names. For example, Lad Khan was a Muslim saint who used to live in the temple. Hence the temple came to be known as “Lad Khan temple”. This must be the only Hindu temple in India, known by a Muslim name.

The most elaborate and important temple in this complex is the ‘Durga’ temple. It is not a temple dedicated to Goddess Durga as the name suggests. This temple was built in AD 748 and was dedicated to God Surya (the sun God). Later, with the changing ideologies of Hinduism, the temple was re-dedicated to God Vishnu. There was a small watchtower on top this temple – locally known as Durg (or Fort). The locals called this temple ‘The Durg temple’ or later it was known as Durga temple.

The shape of Durga temple is very intriguing. It resembles the structure of Indian parliament house. Or at least a crude form of it. The guide called it the ‘Gajaprushta Akriti” means, the form of this temple resembles the backside of an elephant!

The oval shaped Durga temple is built on a raised platform which is almost four feet high. There are steep steps leading to the front portico of the temple. It is highly ornate with carved pillars and sculptured ceiling. One of the sculptures of particular importance is the seven headed serpent on the ceiling. It is the carving of “Adi Shesha” the seven hooded serpent who is an attendant of Lord Vishnu. The serpent holds a basket of flowers and has a delicately carved body.

As we pass the first portico, we enter into the Mukha Mantapa or the welcome chamber of the temple. The door that leads into this chamber is also very interesting. It is carved to such an extent that, one might doubt it is wood rather than stone. There are five layer of designs on this door frame. Each of them is a well-known pattern in Chalukya sculptural school. The ‘Naga-Shakha’ is the design of serpents, ‘Pushpa -Shakha’ – the floral design, ‘Kumbha-Shakha’ – the design with overflowing vessels to show prosperity, ‘Manava Shakha’ – the design that features human beings, ‘Makara Shakha’ – the design shows crocodiles. The door frame in itself is nothing less than a sculptural master piece.

As I entered into the Durga temple, my eyes struggled to adjust with the darkness inside. There is no proper lighting inside the temple. The ceiling of the temple is in gradual ruin as water seep through the roof. The sculptures of beautiful beings like Apsaras have partially disfigured. One drawback that I have observed in the Chalukyan temples is the insufficient light. The perforated windows don’t allow much light.

In ancient times, the temple might have been properly illuminated. Also, my theory is that, the human beings from the medieval time might have had better light sensitivity than us. Due to the constant use of tablets, phones and computer our light sensitivity must be very low. Hence we don’t feel there is enough light inside the ancient temples.

I always carry a torch on my archaeological expeditions. Here it came very handy. We entered into the inner circumambulatory path known as the “Pradikshina Path”. The inner Pradikshina Path is built around the oval shaped sanctum sanctorum of the temple, which once had the idol of the Surya. As we pass through the unlit path, one can get a closer look at the oval shaped structure of the sanctum. It is indeed a wonder that in an ancient age where there was no motorized machinery to cut the rock, the masons have bent the rock with such a perfection. The inner sanctum is now devoid of any idol. It might have been destroyed during the Adil Shahi attack in 1565.

One can also find a recurring symbol of Chalukyan art, the Keerthi Mukham on many of the pillars inside the Durga temple. We exited the inner chamber of the Durga temple and entered into the outer corridor.

The oval shaped outer corridor that surrounds the inner Pradikshina Path and sanctum is a specialty of the Durga temple. Usually, Indian temples would have a single circumambulatory path around the inner sanctum. The Durga temple have two. The outer Pradikshina Path is an ancient art gallery. It displays various sculptures of high quality in the equally spaced niches cut into the wall. It must be the first art gallery anywhere in the world. The Europeans conceive the idea of art gallery in the 12th century AD during the renaissance. However, the Indian sculptures have experimented it 500 years earlier, here in Aihole.

There are sculptures with varying themes displayed in this gallery. There are Gods and common folk. For example, there is a sculpture of a married young women who is carrying her child in one hand and accompanied by her husband. The ancient ornaments and cloths are very clear. She is wearing a “Mangal Sutra” – an ornament around her neck that indicates her married status. She is also wearing a “Kanta Sutra” or an ancient style necklace. Her attire reaches just above the knees and it reminds us of miniskirts of the modern world.

The main sculptures displayed in the oval art gallery are “Tri-Bhangu-Shiva”, “Vishnu flying on Garuda”, “Durga slaying demon Mahisha” and “Varaha rescuing the Bhumi Devi (earth goddess). Each of them are master pieces.

Another interesting artifact in the Durga temple is the highly perforated windows. There are around twenty windows around the oval shaped walls. Each of them have a different design. They are not even resembling each other. Our guide told that as Aihole was an experimentation lab of the Chalukyas, they tried different designs over here. Whichever the king liked, it was replicated in other temples across the country.

The Durga temple stands on a 3 feet foundation the walls of which are also richly carved with themes from Ramayana. One of the scenes that attracted me most is from Ramayana. Sree Rama, Seetha and Lakshmana on their exile, reached the Sarayu river. They were worried as they did not find a wat to cross the river. “Guha” – the master sculptures of the Gods constructed a boat for them and the happily sailed across River Sarayu. This scene is depicted in the wall panel.

After spending a few hours in Aihole, one thing that amazed me most was our tour guide Shivanand! He was born into a remote village named Siddanakkolla in the Bagalkot district of Karnataka. He earned a degree in history and turned into a tourist guide. His knowledge of Karnataka history and that of India in general is impressive. His English is impeccable and he says he has never left the Bagalkot district ever! [Back]

Sapta Matrikas - Durga Temple complex, Aihole

We exited the Durga temple discussing about the excavation activities in Aihole. The entire Durga complex was covered in 4 feet of earth until 1958, when the archaeology department of India did an extensive excavation under the guidance of Dr. S. R . Rao – a veteran in Indian archaeology. Many sculptures have been recovered from underground later on. The archaeological museum of Aihole displays many of them. Unfortunately, we could not cover the museum as it was the weekly holiday.

There is an interesting sculptural panel placed near the entrance of the Archaeological museum. It is the depiction of “Sapta Matrikas” – the women forms of the main Hindu Gods. It was very interesting as I have never heard of such a cult. The Sapta Matrikas include - Brahmani, Vaishnavi, Maheshvari, Indrani, Kaumari, Varahi, Chamunda and Narasimhi.[Back]

Surya Narayana and the famous idol of Sun God

We moved to the next temple in the complex. It is a small temple with modest sculptures. However, it has immense archeological importance due to the ancient idol present inside the sanctum. It is the temple of Surya Narayana or the Sun God. There are not many Sun temples in India apart from the famous on in Konark. However, Konark does not have an idol. The Surya idol inside this small temple might probably the oldest Surya sculpture in India.

It is made in green granite and almost five feet tall. All the details are carved clearly depicting Usha and Sandhya – the wives of Surya, the 9 planets around him, his chariot drawn by seven horses etc. The alignment of the sanctum is also a wonder. There are no windows in Surya temple, however due to the right direction, the light directly comes and falls on the idol. It is nothing less than an architectural marvel. You can see this effect very clearly in my photograph.[Back]

Lad Khan Temple - The oldest temple of Aihole (AD450)

Archeologists suggest that the ancient architects did not have any prior experience in building a temple and neither they had exposure to other temples. So, they constructed it in form of a community hall in the lower floor and a small sanctum in the upper floor. There is a monolithic ladder leading to the upper sanctum. The historians also believe that the famous business group of Chalukyan times – the Ayyovole 500- might have used this temple as a public meeting place.[Back]

Gaudargudi - A “Dravida” style of temple of Aihole

Right next to the Lad Khan temple stands the “Gaudargudi” at a lower elevation. In front of it, we can see two miniature temples. Our guide told me that they are the experimental temples built by the sculpture students in Aihole. As I mentioned earlier, Aihole in ancient times was a famous university of architecture and sculptures. It was similar to the ancient Indian universities like Nalanda, Takshashila and Kancheepuram.

Gaudargudi is a good example of the “Dravida” style of temple architecture that prevailed in south of Narmada river in ancient days. Another style of temple architecture is called “Nagara” style. The Nagara style was popular in North India. One of the prime examples of Nagara style architecture is the Konark sun temple in Puri. According the Dravida style, the roof of the temple is low and slopping. The construction is quite simple. However according to Nagara style, the pinnacle or Shikhara of the temple is built in gradually diminishing multiple layers. Usually they are intricately carved.

The later Chalukyan architecture clearly shows influences from the Nagara style. It might be due to the military expedition of Chalukyan kings to the norther territories of India. Remember the second Pulakeshin’s military expedition and defeating Harsha Vardan on the banks of River Narmada.
There are many other smaller temples in Durga complex. The “Chakragudi” is a temple built with Nagara style Shikhara where as another smaller temple nearby named Badigarugudi is built in complete Dravida style.[Back]

Huchi Malli Temple - The temple of 'insane Malli'

After having a glance at all the temples, we exited Durga temple. The next destination is almost a kilometer away from the Durga temple. It is known as the temple of “Huchi Malli”. It literally translates to “The temple of insane Malli”.

According to the legends, an insane women named Malli stayed inside this temple. Huchi Malli temple is of particular importance due to two reasons. Huchi Malli temple is also considered as a complete temple with all the essential elements of an Indian temple. It has a Nandi in front of it (Vehicle or Vahana of main deity), entrance hall (Mukha Mantapa), Main hall (Sabha Mantapa), Antechamber (Antarala), Sanctum, circular path (Pradikshina Patha) and a Nagara style pinnacle on the roof (Shikhara). It is only one surviving temple in Aihole where all these elements come together.

This temple has a rare sculpture of Subramanian or Karthikeya – the son of Lord Shiva. It is not very common in the Chalukya temples.[Back]

Ravan Phadi cave - Houses one of the master pieces of Indian sculptures

Our next stop was a small cave temple known as “Ravan Phadi” located near the Huchi Malli temple.

Even though it stands unnoticed in a corner of Aihole, it contains one of the master pieces of Indian sculptures. It is known as the “Dashabhuja Nataraja” or “The ten handed dancing Shiva”. The sheer beauty and perfection of Shiva, dancing with consort Parvati, sons Ganesh and Karthikeya accompanied by Sapta Matrikas is breathtaking. Standing in front of this master piece is a moment of great joy for those who love art and sculptors.

This small cave temple was built during 540 AD and it is considered to be the predecessor of the famous Badami cave temples. Apart from the ten handed Shiva, this cave temple has multiple sculptures including “Durga slaying demon Mahisha” and “Varaha rescuing the Bhumi Devi (Earth goddess).

Another interesting sculpture in the Ravan Phadi cave temple is the sculpture of Lord Shiva and Parvati along with Bhagiratha. The sage Bhagiratha is doing a penance to bring the holy river Ganges from heaven to earth. On top of Lord Shiva, there are 3 figures representing the Rivers, Ganga, Yamuna and Sarasvati.[Back]

After Ravan Phadi, we started our return journey from Aihole.

How to reach Aihole?

The nearest town to Aihole is Badami. Aihole is situated 35km from Badami. There are Karnataka Transport Public buses ply between Badami and Aihole, however they are not very regular. It is best if you have your own transportation facilities. Typically cars charge around 1500 Indian rupees for one day and auto rickshaw (tuk-tuk) takes around 600 Indian rupees per day. [Back]

How to explore Aihole?

It is good to explore Aihole in your own vehicle. If you can manage it, walking around is the best option. There are at least 125 temples in this remote village. It would be good to engage an accredited guide. Guide typically charge between 300-500 depends on the time.[Back]

Iwullee [Durga Temple, Aihole.]

Reviewed 6 September Be the first to add a question. INRChildren aihooe to 15 years: However, there are way too many sculptures of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu which leads to the idea that this was originally a temple of either of these two gods.

Aracheological Survey of India.

Earlier it was believed that the unique apsidal form of the temple was influenced by the Buddhist architecture of Chaitya halls that flourished in India during the Mauryas and the Guptas and the Palas. It is a popular pilgrim and tourist center attracting scores of visitors from all zihole corners of the Globe.

Durga temple, Aihole – Wikipedia

Currently, no worship is conducted in the temple and no festivals are celebrated here. Ranked 1 among Places to Visit in Aihole.

Aihole, for apparent reasons of tourism, is well connected with all the important cities around like Badami, Pattadakal and Belgaum. Other notable features of this impressive temple are the finely sculpted images of Lord Narasimha, Goddess Chamundi and Lord Shiva. The extraordinary episode tempple of the temple is considered to be a copy of the first Buddhist Chaitya Hall, but later the study established that the aiihole of the pan-Indian tradition in the Indian architecture was in practice even before Buddhist architecture.

Such a shape was prevalent among quite a few Indian temples and resembled the back of the elephant when seen from above. Nearby Places Archaeological Museum.

Several buses ply from the nearby cities and towns to the temple in Aihole. On another pillar is found Shiva dancing on apasmara. Email link to a friend Write a brief note to accompany the email Your friend’s email address: Naming of the temple The name of this temple in Aihole is quite confusing.

The sober and square pillars are decorated with characters around the porch and the entrance to the peristyle. For other uses, see Durga Mandir. The most basic feature of the temple is a peristyle roaming around the temple and statues of various Hindu deities are kept on the walls of the temple.

Retrieved from ” https: Ask bsd about Durga Temple. Like most of the ddurga of Aihole, the actual origin of dugra Durga Temple teemple be determined with absolute accuracy.

Log in Join Tejple viewed Bookings Inbox. Though it is called Durga Temple, it has nothing to do with goddess Durga or Durgi. Own or manage this property? Interactive zoomable image needs Flash.

Durga Temple, Sri Durga Temple Aihole -History, Benefits & Location

Your details are secure with us. The Durga temple in Aihole is a prominent heritage site rich durba culture and visitors come from far and near to admire the magnificent architectural features of the temple. Report a Concern Your name: The most important charm of this temple for which it is celebrated is the apsidal character of the posterior dudga of this architecture.

Tick box or boxes to add this item to your personal galleries.

INR 15, Citizens of other countries: You must log in to see your favourites. Privacy Policy Terms of Use. It means that the corridor with pillars between the porch and the heart of the shrine encompasses the heart of shrine and allows worshipers to perform the parikrama circumambulation ritual.

Aihole Durga devi temple

Durga temple is a medieval era Hindu temple located in Aihole in the state of Karnataka, India. The temple was built between 7th and 8th century by the Chalukyan dynasty. The architecture of the temple is in Dravida with Nagara style also used in other temples of this age. Even though there is a Durga sculpture in the temple, the name Durga is not given because the temple was devoted for goddess Durga but because the name Durga means protector or a fortress.The temple is dedicated to either Lord Vishnu or Lord Shiva because the representations of Vishnu are as many as Shiva. The most original feature of the temple is a Peristyle delimiting an ambulatory around the temple and the walls are carved with the sculptures of various goddesses.

There are two different staircases which provide access into the temple at the entrance itself. The parapet is carved with small animals, the room gives access to Mukha mandapa and sabha mandapa to reach the sanctum sanctorum. The shape of the temple is known as Gajaprasta which means the resemblance of the back of an elephant.Aihole was earlier known as Ayyavole and Aryapura in its inscriptions. It has historical significance and is called the ‘cradle of Hindu architecture’.Other important temples in Aihole are Chikki temple, Rachi temple, Hucchappayya math complex, Ramalingeshwara temple complex etc.

The Durga Temple is one of the tourist hotspots of Aihole due to its rich history and architectural features. Festivals are not celebrated here.

Ticket price for rituals, darshanams & special sevas :

World’s Oldest Hindu temple

The history of India is very old and so is the history of Hinduism or Sanatana Dharma with which temples are associated. The construction of temples started somewhere 2000 years ago. But the question of finding an answer to the oldest temple in India is bit difficult. Each temple that is considered to be the oldest is questioned by another set of people claiming their temple to be the oldest one.

There was significant growth and rise of the Hindu temples between the 6th and 16th century and a great part of it can be contributed to the various dynasties that ruled India during that period. They considered that building temples was an extremely pious act and hence kings, wealthy men were ready to put their hands down and help in the building of the temples for its growth and perform various religious activities.

1. Mundeshwari Devi Temple, Bihar

Mundeshwari Devi Temple, Kaimur, Bihar is considered the oldest surviving temple which has irrefutable proofs of being build around 105 AD only. Archeological Survey of India confirms this.

Mundeshwari Devi Temple in Bihar , India, dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva and Shakti. The inscription of an information plaque erected by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) at the site indicates the dating of the temple to 635 AD. However, there are other versions for the dating stating the Saka era, prior to Gupta dynasty rule (320 AD) in India, and specifically to 105 AD according to the Administrator of the Bihar Religious Trust Board

2. Changu Narayan Temple in Kathmandu

The pagoda style temple has several masterpieces of 5th and 12th century Nepalese art. According to legends Changu Narayan temple existed as early as 325 A.D. in the time of Licchavi King Hari Datta Verma and it is one of Nepal’s richest structures historically as well as artistically. In the grounds there is a stone pillar inscription of great importance recording the military exploits of King Man Deva who reigned from 496 A.D. to 524 A.D.

The first epigraphic evidence of Nepalese history found in the temple premises during the reign of the Licchavi King Mandeva dating back to 464 A.D. shows that Changu had already been established as a sacred site in the 3rd century A.D. It is the earliest inscription known in Nepal. The temple was restored during the lifetime of Ganga Rani, consort of Siva Simha Malla who reigned from 1585 to 1614.

3. Subrahmanya Temple

The Subrahmanya Temple unearthed in 2005 after the 2004 tsunami off the coast of Tamilnadu near Mahabalipuram could be older (though not sure if it would fall under ‘Temple which still exists’category). Some Archeologists from Indian Archeological Survey opine that there is an evidence here of two temples – a Pallava temple at least 800 years old on top, and beneath, a much older one – around 2,000 years old.

4. Durga Temple Aihole

Located in Aihole, Northern Karnataka, this temple is dedicated to Vishnu and Shiva, was built by the Chalukyas in the 7th or 8th Centuries. The ‘Durga’ here means ‘protector’.

Aihole in Karnataka, described as one of the cradles of Hindu temple architecture could safely be said to have some of the oldest structural temples.
It has more than 70 temples. Here, the artisans experimented with different styles.

Lad Khan temple in Aihole is considered to be one of the earliest temples in India. It was built around 450 AD. It was converted into a residence by a prince named (Lad Khan) in later years, thus the name.

According to ancient history it is believed that temples did not exist during the vedic period . The earliest temple structure was found in Surkh kotal which is a place in Afghanistan during the year 1951 by a French archaeologist. The temple was dedicated to king Kanishka of 121-151 AD. Eventually the importance of idol worship started to gain importance towards the end of the Vedic period and thus the concept of temples for gods came into light.

During the ancient times community temples were made up of clay with thatched roofs made of straws and leaves. Sometimes in certain remote places and mountainous terrain cave temples existed. It was only later that temples were made out of stones and bricks. In fact the earliest structures that indicate idol worship can be traced back to 4th or the 5th century AD.

The 2004 tsunami which hit the coast of Tamilnadu had released two temples near Mahabalipuram about 60 km from Chennai. It has been found out that a Pallava temple is almost 800 years old whereas bottom of it is about 2000 years old.

Then there is the Jagatmandir temple in the western state of Gujarat that has some oldest parts. It got reconstructed during the Gupta reign in 413 AD.

Some consider the Mundeshwari temple as the oldest temple in India which is located in Kaimur District of Bihar. This is the oldest temple in India which is still functioning. Archeological Survey of India has restored it and its construction probably dated back tom108 AD. It is from that time that rituals and worship is being done in this temple with same devotion. Mundeshwari temple is devoted to Lord Shiva and Shakti. The temple also has other idols like Ganesha, Vishnu, Surya and Mother Goddess.

In the capital of the Chalukya Dynasty

Sometime in the 4th century,

Lay the historic holy site Aihole,

Alongside the Malaprabha river

Dedicated the aalyam to Bhagwan Vishnu

Building a total of 120 temples in the vicinity

Durga mandir, it is famously called

Deriving the name from the Durg nearby

Flaunting the Dravidian architecture

For his victory against Harshavardhana

The inscriptions you see are as old as 364 CE

In the sacred languages of the land- Sanskrit and Old Kannada


These ancient temples must be not only preserved from decoying by archialogical department but also maintained by concerned state governments to see that such of these temples are well maintained to attract devotees. Temple trustees should take initiative by preserving and making best use of lands belonging to the temples to augment income for maintenance and r arrangs regular Puja etc. By this way we can revive them. General public and philontraphists should also contribute liberally.

This is quite amazing.Hinduism is full of mystery.
We as Hindus should try to learn as much as possible from our Puranas for lot of knowledge is being written by our sages for us.
We can see the beauty of this in many Puranas and Vedas and Upanishads.
Keep me posted Sir
Thanks and regards,

The Carving on the Nose of Varaha is more like a Shankha. As the right hand is carrying a Chakra and the left carrying the Bhu Devi, the sculptor has shown the Shankha on the nose itself, as without both Shankha and chakra , it cannot be identified as Vishnu
Therefore, it is not a GLOBE

Is that Ketu that Lord Varaha has vanquished at the bottom?

Hinduism is the nectar of our heritage
We should taste the essence by being good to each other humans and all other life

The problem with the new generations is asking too many questions why what and how
They should know that Hinduism, its customs, traditions and teachings are based on knowledge of technological and for wellbeing. They have problem to every. custom following. They shoud accept that ancient technologies, carvings etc are far more superior with logic and the explanations are being burned down by the invaders. Unless they follow the traditions and accept as it is our ancient culture, our country will not prosper fully

It is very rare photos worth millions of dollars

The initial narration and subsequent elaboration of the Varaha avatar statue is self explanatory. Kudos for the right interpretation. Santana Dharma neither needs a recommendation or derogation. It’s self illuminated.

That is Hiranyaaksha, who has been vanquished by Varaaha Dev.

I concur with the author of the text
Ours is Sanatana Dharma
There is no need to attribute antiquity to every aspect of our ancient temples
In fact many dynasties and rulers have contributed to old temples, over the years, by adding features for instance the temple of Srirangam
Our ancient temples are treasure troves
Next time you pay a visit, do spend time in observing the intricately carved sculptures, the architecture , besides paying obeisance to the deity
Our skilled artisans of yore could teach engineers of today a lesson or two
Let us together sustain our temples

The magnificence of Hinduism known to us is just the tip of an iceberg… We have infinite treasures by way of temples, scriptures, shlokas, shastras and many unknown sciences and logics…
…. . I hope the govt of each state and the indian govt work together in preserving and reviving them for the generations to benefit….
Lets start with reviving the temples, establish the deities and get the daily pujaas started.

I have seen a few pictures of the earth sitting on Lord Varaha’s nose when He went to the depths of the sea to retrieve the earth. In this picture, it does not appear to be so. Having said that, it does not mean that we diminish Lord Varaha’s accomplishment. Faith will keep us on the right path by following our Puranas which have withstood the test of millenniums. We should not either get too excited or worked up by such observations.

I am astonished to see such beautiful picture of Lord Vishnu Avatar. Hinduism is Ocean and all are part of it.

The photos displayed above a lively and eloquent . India has its resplendent glory to show the world and its immortal treasures of knowledge to teach the world from decay and decomposition.Congratulations

Very nice article – in the ever-excitement to project our culture to be old and scientific, some over-zealous enthusiasts do circulate lot of baseless information like this. Though their intention is not bad, what they do not realise is that it is not easy to pass off anything and everything these days. A well-thought article!!

Lord Krishna blessed mother Earth by eating the clay and sand. And the mother Earth appeared also in-front of him by accepting the blessings. Now what does it matter whether its Cube Structure, Sphere Structure, Cylindrical Structure or any other else for that matter. What matters is that the Earth is our mother and we are grateful for the mother earth, She fulfils all our requirements and accepts all our tortures just like a mother does. In her grand gigantic surface, we are accepted always even if we commit crimes and cut so many animals and trees. She is just tolerating. We need to help the nature and ultimately it is our duty to serve mother earth. And if we can not then finally, Lord will anyway descent on this planet to uplift it by killing all other creatures who forgot this duty! Mother Earth, Mother Yamuna, Mother Ganga all are personalities and they got the forms to serve the Lord. We don’t need to fall into such discussions and instead pray to these forms to elevate us. May the Lord Krishna and Mother Earth both bless us and give us mood of gratitude, service attitude, devotion and humbleness. Thank you for giving us birth here please help us realise your true kind and protecting nature. Please take us into your shelter.

one of the the DASA AVATARAS, many Hindus don’t see in temples the deities of Varaha avatar.
almighty has done so much to save this plant as well keeping the balance of our solar system,

it tells a lot about this sculpture, when you think deep, it now apply to our present state of affairs,
let us save our planet, he has already given one chance, let us not blow it.

Notwithstanding what Hindu haters go on saying, it is to be understood that Hindu culture has no parallel
There is depth in the knowledge imparted many many centuries ago and now this is receiving close attention and appreciation all over the world.

Agree with the comments of Mr Manjunath and Mr Gopal Srinivasan.

I also agree with Mr KP & Mr KS Hindu cultural has no parallel.

Agree with the comments of Mr Manjunath and Mr Gopal Srinivasan.

Very nice to know,I am hearing of this type of sculpture for the first time in my life.I am sure that many more are waiting to be discovered.

“The problem with the new generations is asking too many questions why what and how”

I disagree with your statement above. The young must ask questions about their religion and way of life. If they don’t then they will become just mindless of a faith. Yes there are things that they must just accept as being true but questioning is the path to the truth.

Harihi Om! It is a good picture of rare sculpture! Article is a good information as such!
Questioning is a good trait of present generation. Even Lord Krishna tells Arjuna to inquire
,give thought & then except or reject!
Problem is the present older generation is not gone into the depth of our scriptures & rituals! hence they cannot answer the queries from youngsters.They are following the system laid by their fathers & forefathers!
Our education system is based on what Britishers wanted us follow ! Hope now the New Education Policy will take care of the anomalies!
Please do continue to publish such rare Pics & explanations!
Jai Hind! Mera Bharat Mahan!

This is my good luck to see this article and I also agree with the above said comments. Thank you.

Good article written with concern for truth and facts. This is the right attitude to understand our ancient India.

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Durga Temple at Aihole – Durga Temple

It does feature a Durga sculpture but is dedicated mainly to both Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva, equal representatives of the holy trinity of Hinduism, along with Lord Brahma. Numerous images of Shiva and Vishnu can be found in the temple and it is aiholle brilliant aihoke to the religious and spiritual life of Karnataka.

It is a popular pilgrim and tourist center attracting scores of visitors from all four corners of the Globe. Auhole historical events can be attributed to the Durga temple in Aihole and it was built sometime between the 7th and 8th century by the Chalukya Dynasty.

Many factors also suggest that It once served as a part of the fortification of the Marathas sometime after that. This magnificent temple is famous for many prominent features and forms a quadrilateral shape. The distinctive shape of the shrine is in Gajaprasta style, indicating it was built in the contours of the rear portion of an elephant.

Numerous pillar reliefs are a hallmark of the structure and it also depicts a Buddhist Chaitya which features intricate carvings. The sculpture of Goddess Durga in the temple is a splendid piece of work and speaks volumes of the brilliant workmanship prevailing in those days.

An exquisite sculpture of a seven headed serpent is carved on the ceiling of the Durga temple and the walls are replete with sculptures of various Hindu deities. One of the several rooms in the shrine is the Garba Griha Sanctum Sanctorum where the spiritual essence of the temple is palpable.

DURGA TEMPLE AIHOLE – Picture of Kanthi Resorts, Bagalkot – TripAdvisor

The two main pillars along with an elevated plinth and the high galleries form the other unique characteristics of the shrine. Other notable features of this impressive temple are the finely sculpted images of Lord Narasimha, Goddess Chamundi and Lord Shiva. The Durga temple in Aihole is considered an architectural marvel and the presence of numerous pillar reliefs indicate the brilliance of the Chalukyan era.

Built in an oblong apsidal shape, the corridors encompass the heart of the shrine. The construction of the temple is suggestive aiholr Indian traditional architecture in the Dravida and Nagara styles, and its unusual shape is reminiscent of the early Sihole style of building. The Durga temple in Aihole is a prominent heritage site rich with culture and visitors come from far and near to admire the magnificent architectural features of the temple.

Currently, no worship is conducted in the temple and no festivals are celebrated here. If you wish to have customized spiritual tours or pilgrimages arranged in India for yourself or for a group of people, please contact Brindavan Mystic Services at.

The nearest airport to the Durga Temple of Aihole is located in Belgaum, aijole km from the temple.

Aihole is easily accessible from the major cities of Karnataka hemple road. The Railway Station is the Hubli- Sholapur meter gauge line, which is around 34 km away. Several buses ply from the nearby cities and towns to the temple in Aihole. Click the ‘Play’ button to read out loud this webpage content.

Architectural Charm of the Chalukyan Durga Temple in Aihole, Karnataka

The pillared enclosure before the sanctum goes around the core area of the shrine encompassing rurga sanctum region forming an apse. The large number of pillars in this temple have been utilized by the artists to carve a large number puranic stories and self-supporting sculptures. Retrieved 21 October How to Reach Durga Temple Aihole, for apparent reasons of tourism, is well connected with all the important cities around like Badami, Pattadakal and Belgaum.

Aihole is easily accessible from the major cities of Karnataka by road. Own or manage this property? Unlike other temples in the area, which have square or rectangular plans, the Durga Temple is apsidal.

The extraordinary episode form of the temple is considered to be a copy of the first Buddhist Chaitya Hall, but later the study established that the design of the pan-Indian tradition in the Indian architecture was in practice even before Buddhist architecture. This apse gives outward through openings between the pillars. Though it is called Durga Temple, it has nothing to do with goddess Durga or Durgi. Online Shop Buy books and more from us now.

Durga temple is the biggest and arguably the most attractive temple at Aihole.

Architectural Charm of the Chalukyan Durga Temple in Aihole, Karnataka | The Talkative Man

This mighty temple has long been desolate and parts in ruins, and there is no deity commanding the abode of the sanctum sanctorum. Hindu Temples in Karnataka. The architecture of the temple is mainly used in some areas of Nagra and Dravid style. Volvo buses are a popular mode of transport to reach the Durga Temple.

History of the temple Several historical events can be attributed to the Durga temple in Aihole and it was built sometime between the 7th and 8th century by the Chalukya Dynasty. Due to which the temple looks very beautiful and djrga. Which Bagalkot hotels are on sale?

NCERT Solutions for Class 6th Social Science History Chapter 12 Buildings, Paintings and Books

1. Read the story on page 130. In what ways in the monkey king similar to or different from the kings you read about in Chapters 6 and 11?

Ans: The monkey king in the story on page 130 is similar to the kings mentioned in chapters 6 and 11. The monkey king like the other kings has a huge army.

He himself is wise, diplomatic and brave. He has the virtue of taking right moment. When he observes the situation of the attack on his community by the king’s men, he makes a quick plan to save his army. First, he let all of them cross the river. As he is the last, he gets tired and exhausted, he falls down and is dead. In this way, he sacrifices his life for the safety of his kingdom. This is the supreme virtue of a king. So, he is in no way different from the other human kings.

2. Find out more and tell a story from one of the epics.

Ans: We have a number of stories in our epics that inspire us in many ways. They guide us and teach us the ideals of life. Such epics are the Mahabharata and Ramayana.

In the Mahabharata, we have one such story. The battle was finalized between Kauravas and Pandavas. Both the parties were making efforts’ to win the favour of their relatives and another king. Krishna who was related to both was considered as a superman, possessing the qualities of gods. So, Duryodhana, the eldest of the Kauravas approached him. On the same day Arjuna, one of the five Pandavas, also went to Krishna. Duryodhana was a proud fellow. He sat on the head-side of Krishna who was sleeping at that time. Arjuna, a humble fellow, reached thereafter Duryodhana. But he sat at the feet side of Krishna and began pressing his feet.

As Krishna opened his eyes, he saw Aijuna. Krishna had already promised them that he would be from the side of the man who would reach him first. As Krishna saw Arjuna first he said that he would be in favour of Arjuna. Duryodhana opposed it because he had reached there first. Krishna said that those who want to get something from anyone then should be humble and courteous. Here, Duryodhana lost Krishna. We learn from this story that we should not show our arrogance to those from whom we ask for something.

3. Match the following:

Stupa Place where the image of the deity is installed.
Shikhara Mound.
Mandapa Circular path around the stupa.
Garbhagrika Place in temples where people could assemble.
Pradakshina Patha Tower.

Stupa Mound.
Shikhara Tower.
Mandapa Place in temples where people could assemble.
Garbhagriha Place where the image of the deity is installed.
Pradakshina patha Circular path around the stupa.

4. Fill in the blanks:

  1. ………. was a great astronomer.
  2. Stories about gods and goddesses are found in the ……….
  3. ……… is recognized as the author of the Sanskrit Ramayana.
  4. ……….. and ……….. are two Tamil epics.

5. Make a list of the chapters in which you find mention of metalworking. What are the metals objects mentioned or shown in those chapters?
(a) List of the chapters in which we find mention of metalworking:

  1. In the earliest cities.
  2. What Books and Burials Tell us.
  3. Kingdoms, Kings, and The Early Republic.
  4. Vital Villages, Thriving Towns.
  5. Traders, Kings, and Pilgrims.
  6. New Empires and Kingdoms.
  7. Buildings, Paintings and Books.

(b) Following metals objects are mentioned or shown in these chapters:

  1. Tin
  2. Copper
  3. Bronze
  4. Ivory
  5. Silver
  6. Gold
  7. Iron.

6. Read the story on page 130 (NCERT book). In what ways is the monkey king similar to or different from the kings you read about in Chapters 6 and 11?
The Monkey King was a great king, who lived on the banks of the Ganga River in the Himalayas. He was having 80,000 followers. They fed on the fruit of a special mango tree, which was very sweet. The kings we have read about in chapters 6 and 11, they used to have permanent armies but some of their soldiers were supplied by Samantas. This army did not eat fruit but used to eat wheat, rice, etc. They occupied the highest position in society.

In these chapters, we came to know about bigger states, known as Janapadas and Mahajanpadas. In both types of states, the position of the king was hereditary. But the king had to feel the pulse of the public. He used to work for the welfare of his subjects, otherwise, he could be removed when the situation demanded.

Question 5.
Find out more and tell a story from one of the epics.
The Ramayana is an epic written by Adi Rishi Valmiki. This epic is about Rama, a prince of Kosala, who was sent into exile for fourteen years. His wife Sita was abducted by the King of Lanka, named Ravana, and Rama had to fight a battle to get her back. He won and returned to Ayodhya, the capital of Kosala, after his victory.


Choose the correct option to complete the statements given below:

(i) The iron Pillar is situated at………………
(a) Junagarh
(b) Mehrauli
(c) Aihole
(d) Ahmedabad.

(ii) The height of the Iron Pillar is …………….
(a) 7.2 m
(b) 8.2 m
(c) 9.2 m
(d) 10.2 m.

(iii) The small box placed at the centre or heart of the stupa is known as a……………………
(a) Relic casket
(b) Sacred box
(c) Trunk
(d) None of the above.

(iv) The Puranas contained stories about …………………
(a) Kings and queens
(b) Gautam Buddha
(c) Mahatma Gandhi
(d) Gods and goddesses.

(v) Sanskrit Ramayana is written by ………………
(a) Valmiki
(b) Vyasa
(c) Tulsidas
(d) Vishnu Sharma.


Fill in the blanks with appropriate words to complete each sentence.

  1. The ………. at Aihole was built about 1400 years ago
  2. The small box placed at the centre of the stupa contains bodily remains of the and his followers.
  3. The……. were recited in temples by priests and people came to listen to them.
  4. Both the……….. and the…………. are supposed to have been composed by Vyasa.
  5. developed a scientific explanation for eclipses.


State whether these sentences are true (T) or false (F).

  1. Most temples of this period had a hall like structure known as the mandapa.
  2. Mahabalipuram and Aihole are known for the finest stone temples.
  3. Merchant and farmers usually decided to build stupas and temples during this period.
  4. The Tamil epic the Silappadikaram was composed by a poet named Ilango.
  5. Meghaduta is a famous poem composed by Tulsidas.
  6. Women and Shudras could hear the stories of the Puranas.
  7. It was Ravana who abducted Rama’s wife Sita.
  8. The Jatakas and the Panchatantra are collections of stories told by birds and animals.
  9. Aryabhatta was a famous story-letter.
  10. The Bhagavad Gita is a part of the Ramayana.
  1. True
  2. True
  3. False
  4. True
  5. False
  6. True
  7. True
  8. False
  9. False
  10. False.


Match the items in column A correctly with those given in column B.

Ans. (i)—(b), (ii)—(d), (iii)—(a), (iv)—(e), (v)—(c).


1. When was the Iron Pillar made?
Ans: It was made about 1500 years ago.

2. Mention the most striking feature of the Iron Pillar.
Ans: The Pillar has not rusted in all these years.

3. What do you mean by the word ‘Stupa’? [V. Imp.]
Ans: The word Stupa means a mound. It is a Buddhist religious building.

4. Why did devotees walk around the stupa in a clockwise direction?
Ans: They did so to show their devotion.

5. Why was Amaravati famous?
Ans: Amaravati was a place where a magnificent stupa once existed.

6. Marne the deities worshipped in the earliest Hindu temples.
Ans: Vishnu, Shiva, and Durga.

7. What was the garbhagriha?
Ans: It was a room in the temple during this period.

8. Why was the garbhagriha so important? [V. Imp.]
Ans: The image of the chief deity was placed in the garbhagriha. Also, the priests performed religious rituals here.

9. What was the shikhara?
Ans:It was a tower built on the top of the garbhagriha to mark this out as a sacred place.

10. What do you know about the monolithic temples at Mahabalipuram?
Ans: Each of these temples was carved out of a huge, single piece of stone.

11. Why did only Kings or queens decide to build stupas and temples?
Ans: Building stupas and temples was an expensive affair. Ordinary people could not think about it.

12. How were the gifts brought by the devotees used?
Ans: The gifts brought by the devotees were used to decorate stupas and temples.

13. How were paintings done in the dark caves?
Ans: The caves were dark. Therefore paintings were done there in the torchlight.

14. What are epics? Give examples. ‘ [V. Imp.]
Ans: Epics are grand, long compositions about the heroic deeds of men and women, They include stories about gods as well. Example—the Mahabharata, the Ramayana.

15. Which gods and goddesses were mentioned in the stories of the Puranas?
Ans: Vishnu, Shiva, Durga or Parvati were mentioned in the stories of the Puranas.

16. How were the Puranas different from the Vedas?
Ans: Women and Shudras were not allowed to study the Vedas but these people could read and hear the verses of the Puranas.

17. Where are the stories told by ordinary people preserved? [V. Imp.]
Ans: The stories told by ordinary people are preserved in the Jatakas and the Panchatantra.

18. Name the book written by Aryabhatta In which language is it written?
Ans: This book is Aryabhatiyam. It is written in Sanskrit.


1. Write a few lines on the Iron Pillar located at Mehrauli, Delhi

  • The Iron Pillar located at Mehrauli, Delhi was made about 1500 years ago.
  • It is made of iron. Its height is 7.2 m and its weight is over 3 tones.
  • It was probably built during the Gupta dynasty.
  • It is amazing that the pillar has not rusted in all these years.
  • The pillar is a remarkable example of the skill of Indian craftspeople.
  • The pillar is famous all over the world.

2. How were stupas and temples built? [V. Imp.]
Ans: Building stupas and temples was not an ordinary job. It needed huge wealth which only kings or queens could afford. There were several stages in building a stupa or a temple. Firstly, the good quality stone had to be found, quarried, and transported to the place that was often carefully selected for the new building. Secondly, these rough blocks of stone had to be shaped and covered into pillars, and panels for walls, floors, and ceilings. Thirdly, these had to be placed in precisely the right position. Kings and queens spend money from their treasury to pay the craftspersons.

3. What are the main features of Ajanta paintings? [V. Imp.]

  • The paintings of Ajanta are world-famous. Ajanta is a place where several caves were hollowed out of the hills over centuries.
  • Most of these were Buddhist monasteries while some of them were decorated with paintings.
  • The caves are dark inside and therefore most of these paintings were done in the light of torches.
  • The colours are vivid even after 1500 years.
  • These colours were made of plants and minerals.

4. Write in brief about Kalidasa’s Meghaduta. [Imp.]
Ans: Kalidasa’s Meghaduta is the best-known poem. It is one of his best literary creations. It is in Sanskrit. It was written during the Gupta reign. There is a description of monsoon in this famous book. The monsoon cloud is imagined to be a messenger between lovers who are separated from one another.

The poet beautifully describes the breeze that will carry the cloud northwards. It is a cool breeze. It blows with the fragrance of the earth. It is delightful, swollen by the cloud’s showers. Elephants inhale it deeply. It causes the wild figs to ripen. It blows gently with the cloud. This description is very sensuous and appealing. It creates a real picture of the cloud and the breeze. Kalidasa was really a poet at par.

5. What are Puranas? Mention some of their features.
Ans: The term Purana literary means old. The Puranas are collections of old Hindu religious stories. Here are some of their features:

  • They contain stories about gods and goddesses such as
  • Vishnu, Shiva, Durga, or Parvati.
  • .They also contain details on how these deities were to be worshipped.
  • There are accounts as well about the creation of the world and about kings.
  • Puranas unlike Vedas could be read and heard by everybody including women and Shudras

6. Describe the contribution of Aryabhatta to Science. [V. Imp.]
Ans: The name of Aryabhatta emerged during this period. He became famous as a mathematician and astronomer. He wrote a book in Sanskrit known as the Aryabhatiyam. He stated that day and night were caused by the rotation of the earth on its axis, even though it seems as if the sun is rising and setting everybody. He developed a scientific explanation for eclipses as well. He also found a way of calculating the circumference of a circle, which is nearly as accurate as the formula we use today.


1. What are stupas? Mention some of their striking features.
Ans: Stupas are Buddhist religious buildings made of brick and stone. There are several kinds of stupas.

  • Some are round and tall while some are big and small. Here are some striking features of stupas.
  • There is a small box, known as a relic casket, placed at the centre or heart of the stupa. The box contains bodily remains of the Buddha or his followers, or things they used, as well as precious stones and coins.
  • This box was covered with earth. Later, a layer of mud brick or baked brick was added on top. And then, the dome-like structure was sometimes covered with carved stone slabs. ‘
  • A path called the pradakshina patha was laid around the stupa. This was surrounded by railings. The entrance to the path was through gateways.
  • Devotees walked around the stupa in a clockwise direction, as a mark of devotion.

2. Describe the earliest Hindu temples.
Ans: Some Hindu temples were also built during this period. The deities worshipped in these shrines were Vishnu, Shiva and Durga. The most important part of the temples was the garbhagriha, which was a room where the image of the chief deity was placed. It was at this place that priests performed religious rituals and devotees offered worship to the deity.

The garbhagriha had a tower known as the shikhara built on its top. This marked the place as a sacred one. Building shikharas require careful planning. Most temples also had a mandapa. This was a hall like structure meant for the common people to assemble.

Mahabalipuram and Aihole in south India were famous for their temples. These were stone temples. The monolithic temples of Mahabalipuram were very beautiful. Each of these temples was carved out of a huge, single piece of stone. It is therefore they are known as monoliths. The Durga temple at Aihole was built about 1400 years ago.

3. Describe the two Sanskrit epics the Mahabharata and Ramayana.
Or Why are the epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana so popular even today?
The Mahabharata and Ramayana are the most popular of the epics and other religious books of the Hindus. They are also famous among the followers of other religions. The causes of their popularity are almost the same. The story of the Mahabharata tells family drama followed by a great war between the two groups of the same family, the Kauravas, and Pandavas.

Here, we learn how are fights for the right cause. The Pandavas are dethroned and banished diplomatically by their cousin Duryodhana. They are always subjected to humiliation and injustice. Finally, they are put in a great battle to get their own right.

In the Mahabharata, we know how much tolerance one should have, how one can fight for a justified cause, how we should respect our elders, etc. There are so many teachings of the ideal life in it. The Gita, which constitutes a part of the Mahabharata is in itself considered a great epic. It unfolds all the mysteries of life, the life before, and life after.

In the same way, the Ramayana, written in the most popular language of the time, teaches us the high ideals of life. Rama, the most prominent character, shows how a man should follow the ideals of life. He possesses all the virtues of a highly idealistic and realistic human being. He follows the system in a humble way. He fights for justice and his right. This story is told in a very realistic way. It seems to be the story of a common man. So, it has a great appeal in our society today.

Watch the video: Durga Temple, Aihole (August 2022).