Mahakuta, Pattadakal & Aihole

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.

Sculpture of Lord Ganesha in Mahakuta group of temples
Sculpture of Lord Ganesha in Mahakuta group of temples

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.)  

A village scene
A village scene

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.

The Chalukyas being Shivaites have built many temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and here is a beautiful Nandi sitting opposite to a Shiv temple within Mahakuta complex.
The Chalukyas being Shivaites have built many temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and here is a beautiful Nandi sitting opposite to a Shiv temple within Mahakuta complex.
For a holy plunge into the temple tank in Mahakuta temple complex
For a holy plunge into the temple tank in Mahakuta temple complex
Premarital photoshoot in Mahakuta
Premarital photoshoot in Mahakuta

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.

Pattadakal temple complex
Pattadakal temple complex
A handsome Nandi in Pattadakal temple complex
A handsome Nandi in Pattadakal temple complex

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.

Durga temple in Aihole
Durga temple in Aihole

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.

Sprinklers watering the farmland
Sprinklers watering the farmland – a foggy morning scene
A good harvest of corn being weighed before sending it to the market
A good harvest of corn being weighed before sending it to the market
Sugarcane arrows
Sugarcane arrows
Black shouldered Kite
Black-shouldered Kite
Pretty farmland
Pretty farmland

2 thoughts on “Mahakuta, Pattadakal & Aihole

    1. Yes Monica you are right, these travel less months were such a pain that only travellers like us can correlate to. Things are getting back to normal and I hope very soon we will get back to our previous tempo. 🙂 Thank you Monica. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

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