Aihole Temples

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1. Badiger Gudi temple. Since there are so many pictures of Aihole split pics into 2 groups, Durga Temple Aihole and this one. In this section see the Ravanapadhi rock cut cave o/s, Huchchimalli temple, Jain caves/temples amongst others.

2. Assigned to 9th century, this was originally a Surya temple made in the Rekhanagara (curvilinear) style.

3. Ambigera Gudi complex is opposite the Durga Temple complex. It has 3 temples of which we show the biggest one in the next picture. The 2nd temple is a ordinary structure that has a broken image of Surya or Vishnu with two female figures. As the Ambiger (boatsmen) community stayed near the temple the complex has secured this name.

4. This is the larger temple ie has Niagara Shikhara and two entrances from right and left of mantapa. Temple stands on a elevated platform and appears to be a 10th century creation. The third temple is a ordinary shrine.

5. The complex has 3 stages of temple construction. One is a flat-roofed temple with a small mantapa in front, two is a Kalyana Chalukya monument of the 11th century with a stepped Shikhara and three is the Huchchimalligui Temple that you see in the next picture. It indicates a phase of experimentation in temple making.

6. The temple stands on a platform and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Door frame has loving couple, elephants. It is a small but very aesthetically designed temple. It has figures of Brahma, Shiva, Gandharvas, Indra, Yama etc. It has a tank ie full of fine sculptures. Have seen that most temples have a water tank.

7. The temple has wonderful sculptured figures. Ceiling of temple has Karthika with his vehicle Peacock.

8. Ravanaphadi is a rock cut cave with o/s o/s sculptures. It is a Shivalaya, similar to Badami but smaller. The interior has a tall dancing Shiva with ten hands, equally tall Saptamatrikas (ladies and others. The cave is made up of a hall with 2 pillars and ante-chamber inside. Assigned to 6th century.

9. This is the entrance to the rock cut cave. Could never expect to see such o/s work inside. How did our ancestors do it over 1,500 years ago? In front centre of pic u see image of Nandi.

10. This blending of good and bad is typically brought out in the iconographic representation of Siva called Ardha Nareesvara which shows him with one half of the body as male and the other half as female the principle behind which is portrayed in a soothing poetical form in the Sri Rudra Prasna. This portrayal visualises the belief that the sacred ultimate power of the universe as being both feminine and masculine, being mutually complimentary and corollary to each other signifying the bipolar nature of the world.

11. Next wall is Saptamatrikis ie ladies. There are 7 ladies shown for 7 days of the week. They are Kalematha, Durgamatha, Chamundi is what you see.

12. Next is Hagnimatha, Budevi, Lakshmi and Saraswati. This picture has the first three. There is a lingam inside the cave.

13. Ten handed Shiva in a dancing posture. On Shiva`s right is Parvati. Lower level u see Shiva`s sons Ganesha (engaged with favourite food `modakas`) and Karthik. Shiva has snakes in hands, see top and center of picture.

14. Can someone help with a narration for this picture and a picture of overall view of temple inside. Missed clicking.

15. Varaha is the third Avatar of the Hindu Godhead Vishnu, in the form of a Boar. Varaha is depicted in art as either purely animal or as being anthropomorphic, having a boar`s head on a man`s body. The avatar symbolizes the resurrection of the Earth from a pralaya (deluge) and the establishment of a new kalpa (cosmic cycle).

16. This is Deviroop killing the Asura who is in the form of a buffalo so she is known as Mahishasuramardini that is what you see.

17. U see Harihara. Also known as Shankaranarayana ("Shankara" is Shiva, and "Narayana” is Vishnu), Harihara is thus worshipped by both Vaishnavites and Saivites as a form of the Supreme God. Swami Sivananda states: "Shiva and Vishnu are one and the same entity. They are the names given to the Different aspects of the all-pervading Supreme Soul or the Absolute. “Sivasya hridayam vishnur - vishnoscha hridayam sivah, yathantharam na pashyami — Vishnu is the heart of Siva and likewise Siva is the heart of Vishnu and I do not know the difference in them”.

18. Shiva, Parvati and Bhagirathi rishi muni. Similar one found in Badami. Above is Ganga, Yamuna, Saraswati that you cannot see in picture. Why does the Rishi look famished. The rishi took a vow never to worship female goddess, went to Kailash worshipped Shiva. Parvati cursed him that all blood, flesh shall go so you see him in skeleton form. Note that importance is given to worship of both forms ie male and female.

19. There is a hill on which is the Meguti Jain temple and Buddhist one. U see the steps. The cave that u see straight up is a Buddhist one.

20. An image of Lord Buddha in the cave ceiling.

21. This is the picture of the hill taken from the Durga Temple on the top of which is the Jain temple. This must have been the last temple built at Aihole since it is dated 634 A.D.

22. A close up view of the Megiti Jain temple ie built in pure South India style. The outer walls of temple are all plain. There is a image of a Tirthankara within the cell but could not get a good picture.

23. The Mallikarjuna temple complex is at the foothill of the hill that you saw in the earlier picture. Very aesthetically done. Like other temples has a tank. It has 5 shrines, is perhaps a 8th century creation.

24. A view of the main temple. It has images of female musicians etc. The smaller temples may be an attempt and experiment to build a temple hence Aihole is called `Laboratory of Indian Architecture`.

25. Gauri temple has two female images one of which is Gauri. It is assigned to the 12th century. The temple is actually part of the village with houses all around.

26. An overview of the Gauri temples - pic taken from temple top. U can see village houses in the background.

27. An image of the Gauri inside the temple.

28. A pillar inside the Gauri temple. Note the design and work - all is stone.

29. In the same complex are Jain temples. They are `Jaina Narayana or Yogi Narayana`. Assigned to the 11th century. The central Garbhagraha has Parshwanatha seated with five lions flanking him. Unfortunately the picture did not come well.

30. Image of a Tirthankara inside one of the temples.

31. Outside the Mallikarjuna temple saw the man in the centre doing some work so clicked. Right of picture is Ravi. I met him in the Jain temple, he was nice enough to to show me around since the guide only takes you to the Durga temple complex and Ravanaphadi caves.

32. These are Jain rock cut caves. Again think how did they make sculptures inside. The cave is a distance from other temples, u will need a vehicle.

33. An image of a Tirthankara. Noted the pillar design and arch. Unable to get date when made. If know please mail me.

34. The cave ceiling has swastiks made on them. O/s work.

35. Lotus carving in cave ceiling. The cave has more images of Tirthankaras and decorated walls. Was unable to get good pictures so not sharing.

36. The Huchchappayana Matha has two sections as you shall see in the next picture. One is a temple and second a matha.

37. U can see temple to your left and matha to picture right. Temple date around 1077 A.D. The images at temple entrance are those of Ganga and Yamuna. Took this picture from top of the hill so got temple top.

38. Temple has some lovely sculptures. Ananta-Vishnu relief. You see Lord Vishnu.

39. U see Lord Shiva sitting on a Nandi.

40. 3 headed Brahma sitting on a Lotus flower is what you see.

41. A few minutes walk from the matha is the Konti Gudi complex. A series of small temples with o/s work. Part of the village but well maintained.

42. In ceiling various images, not in the best condition. U see Lord Shiva sitting on a cobra.

43. U see three headed Lord Brahma sitting on a lotus flower.

44. Temples have massive square sized pillars inside. U see them.

45. The Thryambakeshwara complex is part of the village. In the next you see an overview. They are 12th century Kalyana Chalukya works.

46. Overview of temples in the Thryambakeshwara complex.

47. The Jyothirlinga Complex is a series of 16 big and small temples most of them in ruins. Dated between 8th and 12th centuries. U cannot enter since the gates are closed.

48. An overview of the Jyothirlinga complex. Wow is what I could say at the end of this. Keep a day to see Aihole. Stay at Badami since no hotels here. For narrations taken inputs from Tourist Guide published by Shri Veeresh B Angadi and respected Shri T N Sethumadhavan.

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