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.