The architectural experimentation of the early Chalukyas extended beyond its centre at Badami to Aihole and Pattadakal. Aihole and Pattadakal temple architecture became the melting point of ideas from South and North India and thus was considered the cultural centre of the Chalukya dynasty. As a continuation of my Badami post I share the Pattadakal, Aihole and Mahakuta temple story in this post.
Though the story here will mostly be pictorial showcasing the architectural remains of the places. In my previous post on Badami I shared the history of the rise of the Chalukya dynasty and their magnificent creations in the form of temple architecture. (Read my previous post on Badami.)
Located at a distance of 6.4 km from Badami, the Mahakuta Temple Complex is another architectural signature of the Chalukyas. Two inscriptions found here provide ample information about the creation and addition to this temple complex. This complex was built around a mountain spring that feeds the central holy tank. The Mahakuta temple complex is considered as a holy site and is religiously functional till date.
Pattadakal was again considered a holy place where another group of temples were built. Most of the temples here were dedicated to Lord Shiva. The flow of Malaprabha river turned northward (towards Himalaya or the Kailash) at Pattadakal, so the place was considered holy and was used as the site for coronation of the Chalukya kings.
Aihole, too, emerged as the experimentation ground of temple architecture of the Chalukya dynasty with 16 types of free-standing temples and 4 types of rock-cut shrines. Aihole archaeological site comprises 120 Hindu, Jain and Buddhist temples and caves built during the 4th – 12th century CE.
Apart from the magnificent creations from the ancient world, our short drive to these places from Badami was smooth with some interesting subjects popping out of the regular village life, which I captured and would love to share with my readers.