Chalukyas ruled Karnataka for six centuries from 6th to 12th Century and we’re still underated in the history books of India. They may not be a match in temple building or architecture compared with the Cholas but we’re good in their own style, North Karnataka’s Bagalkot Districts 90 kms tourist circuit – Aihole, Patadakal and Badami relics stand to prove their skills! It’s sad they broke up into three dynasties – the Badami Chalukyas, Vengi Chalukyas and the Kalyani Chalukyas.
Aihole was once the capital city of the Chalukyas. Aihole is a very small village in the Bagalkot’s District of Karnataka. Earlier it was known as ‘Aryapura’ and sometimes referred to as ‘Ayyovole’ too historically. At Aihole today, we can see twenty temple sites today, this place is known as ‘the cradle of Indian architecture’ and was a site of 125 temples. Aihole is a recognised UNESCO site and a protected monument at India.
Malikarjuna Temple Complex at Aihole is a fascinating group of five temples built during the eight century. It is beside a hillock, just half a kilometer from the bus stand. The structure here is well carved and sculpted. The gateway arch here is beautiful plus the temple pond adds value to this architectural site. Aihole being a small village, there are no hotels to stay or restaurants to eat. It’s a travel through archeological site. Places to stay are Badami or Bagalkot. One can club visiting these places with Bijapur and Hampi. It will take you a week. Architectural buffs, Photographers, Artists, Historians will love being in this place.
Hampi is about 150 Kms taking you three hours to commute. Bijapur 90 kms, will take two hours by road. Railway Stations are at Bjapur, Hospet and Badami. Buses are connected to all these places. Local transportation is autos, taxis, buses, vans and autos. Bangalore is about 500 Kms plus. . . towards this travel circuit. A week is needed to travel around this beautiful travel circuit.
-Jagdeesh Laxman Singh
aka Jugie Singh