Visit Aihole: Places To See In and Around Aihole in Karnataka (2023)
India is known for its diverse heritage and culture, and the proof of that are all gorgeous and antique temples that stand tall and proud on this holy ground. If you want to plan something on a more spiritual level for your next vacation, we suggest you visit Aihole. Aihole is a small village that you will find in the district of Bagalkot, Karnataka. Famous for the many temples and pilgrimage sites, Aihole is the perfect getaway for a spiritual vacation that you can enjoy solo as well as with your family. Read on to know all about this beautiful place!
Of Legends And Stories
Aihole is home to 125 temples, with one dating as far back as the 5th century. Once serving as the first capital for the Chalukyas, Aihole sits on the Malaprabha river bank. Existing from such a long time ago, it definitely has several stories and legends associated with it. The most famous legend is one of the great warrior Brahmin, Parasurama. It is said that after slaughtering the murderers of his father, he came and washed his bloody axe in the waters of the Malaprabha river. According to legend, Parasurama’s axe was so bloodstained that the river’s water turned red when he washed them in the river. Seeing that, an old lady had exclaimed, “Ayo! Hole!” which in Kannada literally translates to “Oh no! Blood!”. Thus, this is how the village came to be known as Aihole.
What To See In Aihole?
As we have already mentioned, Aihole has many temples and structures to offer you a rich experience. A total of 125 temples, to be exact. Of them all, here are the most famous ones which make up the must-visit places in Aihole.
Unlike popular misconception, the Durga Temple of Aihole is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, and not Goddess Durga. The name comes from the word ‘Durg,’ which means fort. It has a heavy Dravidian style of architecture and has intricate carvings found all over the temple that is sure to leave you awe-struck! Image Source:
Jain Meguti Temple
Built by the Minister and Commander of Pulakesin II, Ravikeerthi, the Jain Meguti temple was built around 634 AD. Though it has fallen victim to time and now sits partially in ruin, it still is a wonder to behold and gives you the earliest specimen of the Dravidian architecture style.
The Ravana Phadi is yet another famous place to visit in Aihole. One of the oldest cave temples, Ravana Phadi, is dedicated to Lord Shiva and has numerous, beautifully crafted carvings and Lord Shiva statues around the temple. One of the best spots for pilgrims and devotees of Lord Shiva, Ravana Phadi, is a monument that you need to visit while at Aihole.
Ladh Khan Temple
Initially built by the Chalukyas, it got its name the Lad Khan Temple from the Muslim Prince that once resided in this place. Ideal for both art-lovers, history-lovers, and devotees, visitors will fall in love with the beautiful sculptures, carvings, and the building itself.
The Gowda temple was built way back in the 12th century and had many common elements in structure to the Ladh Khan temple. Dedicated to Goddess Bhagavati, the one thing that you can call special about this temple are the pillars. You will find 16 pillars here, all devoid of carvings or decorations, unlike those in other temples—a real minimalist treat for fellow visitors.
Places Near Aihole That You Must Visit
If you want to step out of Aihole for an extended vacation, there are plenty of sites that Karnataka has to offer to you to see.
Panaji is the capital of Goa and offers you exquisite Portuguese life-style and flavors because of the fact that it was under the Portuguese colonial rule for the longest time. Apart from the Portuguese effect that you will find prevalent in all of Panjim, look out for their mouth-watering food, the magnificent and famous white Church, and the aesthetic houses built along the roads, all still retaining touches of the clans that once ruled this land.
Hampi is a town recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site because of the beautiful monuments that adorn this little village. You can visit all the antiquarian sites such as the Virupaksha Temple, the Devi shrines, the Jain temples situated on the Hemakuta hill, and the site where the Kishkinda, kingdom of the monkey was located.
Another capital of the Chalukyas, Badami, sits in the lap of a ravine and is surrounded on all sides by beautiful golden hills. If you are visiting Badami, then do not forget to visit the alluring cave temples and the Agasthya lake.
When To Visit Aihole?
Aihole has a humid and hot climate throughout the summer. Even though you may visit it whenever you like, because there are many places to visit in Aihole on foot, visiting in summers may become exhausting and uncomfortable. Therefore, the best time to visit Aihole would be from October to around May. Around this time, the weather stays pleasant and perfect for walking around and taking in the beauty of this place.
How To Get To Aihole?
You can reach Aihole by various means. Have a detailed view of the available routes.
- Air: The nearest domestic airports are the Hubli (106 Kms) and Belgaum Airport (166 Kms). For international transports, the nearest airport is the Bangalore International airport, located about 514 km away.
- Road: You can get both air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned buses to Aihole from Pattadakal, Badami, and Bangalore.
- Train: Located at around 34 km away, the nearest station is the Bagalkot railway station and is well-connected with major cities around India.
Aihole is among the most prominent tourist places in Karnataka and is a delightful and pleasant destination for a weekend getaway. Lose yourself in the calm of the place and heal spiritually by taking a glimpse of the beautiful architecture and places of devotion that has stayed strong against the tide of time.