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Durga Temple Aihole

The Durga temple that has brilliant Hoysalan architecture was built during the rule of Hoysalan rulers. The history of the temple can be traced back to as early as between 7th and 8th centuries. A huge part of the temple is constructed using Dravidian style with the Nagara style being evident in certain places. It is one of the most brilliant temples constructed during the Chalukyan dynasty.

The temple did not mean to denote the Durga Goddess in the initial years when it was built. It was meant to denote a huge fortress that was probably built during the Maratha dynasty. This fortress is provided a huge cover and protection as it is surrounded by the Durga temple.

In this temple, there are many deities of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. Hence, it is difficult to ascertain as to which God, this temple is dedicated to. The peristyle of the temple is the most unique feature of the temple. The walls of this area are heavily decorated with beautiful sculptures that contain forms of almost all the Hindu Gods and Goddesses.

Towards the entry of the temple, there are two staircases that lead into the main hall. All the pillars that are in the shape of a square are located around the porch and peristyle. The pillars are decorated with beautiful characters and designs. The parapet has intricate carvings of animals. From this porch you can enter into the main sanctum sanctorum through the mukhamantapa and the sabhamantapa.


It was during the rule of Vikramaditya II that the Durga temple was constructed. This was during 8th century. From intricate carvings and attention to detail given to the sculptures, it can be understood that it was during 7th and 8th centuries that the Chalukyan style of architecture was in its best form.


Oblong and apsidal plan marks the structure of this Durga temple. This ensures that the pillared corridor that is found between the porch and the main shrine contains the main sanctum sanctorum and has enough space for the devotees to do a circumambulation ritual around the principal shrine. The pillars have tiny openings through which the apse gives an outward view.

As per the ancient architectural definitions of the Hindu religion, the style of this Durga temple is classified as “Gajaprastha”, meaning the backside of an elephant. This pattern is a little unusual for Hindu temples and it was believed that this style was an inspiration of architecture in Buddhist monasteries. However, it was later revealed that the Indian architecture had mentioned about this style years before the Buddhist style of architecture was formed. The Garba Griha or the main sanctum sanctorum has a huge tower which signaled the construction of future towers and vimanas.

Best Time to Visit

The climate in Aihole belongs to the tropical-dry type. It is different from other parts of the Karnataka. Summer and winter are the predominant seasons in Aihole. The district experiences reasonable amounts of rainfall between these two seasons. Though other districts experience rainfall all through the year, Aihole witnesses the same only during the monsoon season. The winter season that can be experienced in the months of October, November, December and January, are the best time to visit this place. During this time, the maximum and minimum temperatures in this area are 25 degrees Celsius and 18 degrees Celsius respectively.

Entrance Fee

All citizens belonging to BAARC nations (Bangladesh, Maldives, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Afghanistan) and BIMSTEC nations (Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar, Nepal and Bhutan) need to pay 5 INR per passenger for entering into the temple.

Citizens of other nations should pay around 2 USD or 100 INR per tourist.

Kids aged below 15 years are not charged any entrance fee.

How to Reach

By Train

Bagalkot railway station, which is located at a distance of around 34km from Aihole, is the nearest station that you need to get down for going to the temple. This station, located on a meter gauge line is well connected to all the nearby cities and districts of Karnataka. Trains are available on a frequent basis to Aihole from nearby towns of Belgaum, Hubli and Sholapur. The train fares are between 150 INR and 600 INR, based on the class of accommodation. There are lots of buses available from the Aihole bus stand to take you to the insides of the temple town.

By Bus

Buses from all over Karnataka are available to Aihole in large numbers. Pattadakal town, which is the nearest from Aihole, is located at about 17km away. From here, Badami and even Bangalore, you can choose many types of buses that are available in large numbers. You can choose a lot of air-conditioned and non AC buses, based on the route that your choose.  From Pattadakal, the bus fares are in the range of 50 to 300 INR.

By Air

Hubli is the closest domestic airport and Bangalore is the closest international airport to the temple town of Aihole.

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