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Mad Man’s Home, a 6th Century Chalukyan Lord Shiva Temple

Aihole. Huchchimali Temple Complex2Aihole, the village of present North Karnataka near Badami – the capital of the Chalukyas was the most encroached area in the history of our country. Government of India with it’s association along side with a strong partnership of Archeological Society of India (ASI) had an unhill task of evacuating the squatters who had even made these temples as their homes! One such temple today is called, ‘Huchchimalli Temple’. ‘Huch’ in the local language Kannda means ‘mad’ and ‘Malli’ was the name of the occupant!
Today it is a well resorted beautiful Lord Shiva temple on a small hillock at Aihole – this small village is a complex of 20 temples built by the Kannda Royal Chalukya Dynasty who ruled this area of present Karnataka, Maharashtra and Kokan Coast for 600 years from 6th Century to 12th Century. After the fall of the Gupta Dynasty in North India, the south saw the rise of the Chalukya’s. In 543 AD, Pulukeshin I, established the Chalukya Dynasty at Badami as their Capital. With time Chalukya’s branched out to three separate entities over a period of time.
Huchchmalli’s Lord Shiva temple was built during the 6th Century. It’s a stone structure in ‘Vesara’ style of architecture, this style is a combination of ‘Nagara’ architecture from North India and ‘Dravida’ architecture from South India. The Chalukya’s claimed they were blessed by the Seven Divine Mothers called the ‘Saptamatrikas’ and worshipped Shiva, Vishnu, Surya, Chamundi, Parvati, Vinayaka and Kartikeya – the Hindu Gods. Their presence is found at this small temple complex. The door-frame has sculpture of Garuda, Ganga, Yamuna and Elephants. One can also notice sculpture of Indra, Yamaha and Kubera too! – the Indian mythological characters. One can find a lot of inscriptions in ‘HaleKannada’ or Old Kannda. The language Sanskrit saw a lot of development here. Scenes from the fable, ‘Panchantra’ are rendered here in stone. There is a small stepped pond in this Temple Complex. It’s a must visit place, to see this restored village of 6th Century Chalukya’s. One can do a travel circuit of Badami, Patadakal and Aihole it’s a two day travel circuit. Stay at Badami is recommended. It’s 450 Kms from Bangalore. Badami has a railway station and is well-connected by buses. Local transport are autos, vans and buses. But it’s better to have your own vehicle.
Adding Hampi and Bijapur would take a week or Bijapur which is 550 Kms is a one day sightseeing place. Being a great distance place, public transport like bus or train can be availed. Bijapur is a small town of limited amenities. Hospet is recommended, if you intend visiting Hampi. A excursion here would enrich your historical knowledge of Karnataka. This place is a haven for artists, photographers and historians. A lot of walking is required when you visit these sites Here’s towards happy travelling, during vacations. Avoid these places during summer. Early Morning visit to these sites are good… 6 AM is a good idea. Carry cash, Digital India has not yet enveloped these places.
-Jagdeesh Laxman Singh
aka Jugie Singh

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