Aihole, Pattadakal; Karnataka

by Andrea January. 07, 2008 3674 views

These two towns are very important historical architectural sites and classified as World Heritage Sites. There is a third town nearby also, Badami also important, and it shall have its own entries. This area is so rich in the history of the development of South Indian temple architecture. They are the sites where major breakthroughs in architectural development took place.

The amazing thing is that they there are still so many buildings in such in good condition. The archeological ?Society is working on restoration as much as possible and general maintenance but unfortunately, they provide very little information for tourists about the temples. On the other hand, there are numerous signs warning visitors that it is prohibited to damage the sites.

So I go back to my guidebook for some basic information.

Most of the temples in Pattadakal date from 7th and 8th centuries AD but some are as old as the 3rd and 4th centuries AD and the most recent is a 9th century Jain temple. Most of the temples in Aihole were built between the 4th and 6th centuries when it was the capital of the Chalukyan Kingdom, though its most impressive temple is dated to the 7th century.

Curvilinear towers, square roofs and receding tiers are features of South Indian temple architecture that originate here. The earliest free-standing temple in India is found here.

The people responsible for this industry are the Chalukyas.

If there's one indicator in India of the size of the population, it is the number of school groups. So when you get to a place like the National Museum in Delhi, at anyone time, the number of school children in the building outnumbers independent visitors by a factor of maybe 50 to 1. Whatever it is, it's a lot. Schools - though sometimes empty - and school kids are literally everywhere. At Pattadakal, there was only one or two groups. At Badami, there were at least five.

Temple at Pattadakal

Temple at Pattadakal

Temple at Pattadakal

Temple at Aihole

The same temple at Aihole from the other end.

Temple at Pattadakal

Interior at Aihole.

Interior at Pattadakal.



Window at Aihole

Window at Aihole

Bas relief at Aihole

Frieze at Aihole

Temples at Aihole

Most of this area of Aihole is under restoration. In both villages there are many temples not included in the visitors complex, so if you went wandering around in the landscape you would stumble upon many more ruins, though in a state of less repair than those above.

View from a temple on a hilltop at Aihole. In the middle ground you can see chillis drying on the rooftops. Behind that is a step well or tank.

These two women are labourers. They cart stone in those plastic bowls on their heads. You can see the little cushion they are wearing on their heads. It is a bit of a shock to the system to see what sort of work women do in India. Its got nothing to do with women's rights though.

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Alan Tan 9 years, 2 months ago

falling in love with the first set... very lovely, warm and welcome... great composition...

I guess they pose for you again....
Now I agreed with you that Indians are good at posing...

9 years, 2 months ago Edited