Aihole Durga Temple is a rich historical site located on the banks of the Malaprabha River in the Bagalkot district of Karnataka.
The Aihole city has about 125 temples built between the 5th and 8th centuries. It is one of the major archaeological sites of Karnataka. Out of the 125 temples, over a hundred belong to Hindu deities like Shiva, Vishnu, and Durga, some to Jain Tirthankaras like Mahavira, Parsvavanta, and Neminath, and very few to Buddhists. Kannada is the local and official language spoken in Aihole.
History of Aihole
Aihole was long ruled by the Chalukyas. It became a cultural center for the Chalukyas along with Pattadakal. They built about 125 temples in this small town. The Chalukyas were a very powerful dynasty that ruled most of northern Karnataka from 543-743AD. After the Chalukya period, Aihole came under the control of the Rashkutas from the 9th to the 10th century. Again, in the 11th and 12th centuries, Aihole witnessed the rule of the Chalukyas of Kalyani who built many temples and monasteries of Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism.
Later Aihole was under many dynasties like the Delhi Sultanate, Vijayanagar Empire, Adil Shahi of Bijapur, Mughal Dynasty, and Tipu Sultan. Many monuments destroyed and rebuilt during this period. The monuments of Badami, Aihole, and Pattadkal show us the past history and tell us how great the architects were during that period.
However, Aihole developed into a large town during the reign of the Badami Chalukyas from the sixth century onwards. Many inscriptions of this period found here. Many of the famous temples here were built by the kings of that dynasty. Aihole, which shone with glory for about two hundred and fifty years, gradually faded with the demise of that dynasty. Some of the temples built during the Kalyani Chalukyas and Rashtrakutas were modest in quality. Gradually, Marawe became an anonymous village and remained so until the twentieth century when its architectural and sculptural splendor unveiled.