Cradle of Architecture, Aihole (Day-1)

Day-1- Aihole(ay-ho-leh)
We reached Badami in the morning and surprisingly found the place less crowded compared to other tourist places. Day-1 plan is to explore the Aihole. There isn't much bus facility to Aihole from Badami, only time saving way is to reach by auto. On our way we could see lots of temples and small cave temples carved in soapstone boulders everywhere around the "typical" village.
Aihole, Why Cradle of Architecture? 
Aihole has around 70 temples, the important temples are categorized in two major groups - Galaganatha and Kontigudi temples. Chalukyas experimented to bring their own style of architecture by combining different styles from South Dravidian and North Indo-Nagara Styles, also few Buddhist styles are seen. Chalukyas architecture is known as "Vesara Style" (Hybrid). Aihole was the earliest capital of Chalukya dynasty, so, many early experimental architectures were attempted and later evolved style is seen in Pattadakallu and Badami. This led to the intricate sculptures of Hoysala, later.

1. The Durga Gudi, looks like Parliament which was constructed by 7th century A.D. The temple has a statue of Durga destroying Mahishasura. Its an adaptation of Hindu and Buddist Style.
                                                            Durga Gudi, Aihole


Did you know notice the orange-hued temple? Yeah, these temples, pillars and sculptures are distinct orange-hued. Because Soapstone rocks/mountains are found abundance and are very picturesque in its own way of hued beautiful rock boulders.
The Mithuna(amorous) couples are decorated the pillars of Durga Gudi. The love-making and graceful emotions of mithuna are very pleasing and simple.     
                             
Always I m criticized for intruding insects privacy :P Here too I witnessed the rock being experiencing life and love! Wondering What I m saying? If rocks can express their feeling, aren't they alive?
These mithuna sculptures depicts that love is related divinity. And many of ancient tamil poetic lines states love is all about trust. I m quoting few tamil poetic lines here..

ஸ்ரீநம்மாழ்வார் அருளிச்செய்த திருவாய்மொழி                                                         
Grace, Isn't it?
செங்சொற் கவிகாள். உயிர்காத்தாட்
செய்மின் திருமா லிருஞ்சோலை
வஞ்சக் கள்வன் மாமாயன்
மாயக் கவியாய் வந்து என்
நெஞ்சு முயிரு முள்கலந்து
நின்றார் அறியா வண்ணம் என்
நெஞ்சு முயிரும் அவைடுண்டு

தானே யாகி நிறைந்தானே



and one more from குறுந்தொகை..
குறிஞ்சி - தலைவன் கூற்று
யாயும் ஞாயும் யார் ஆகியரோ?
எந்தையும் நுந்தையும் எம் முறைக் கேளிர்?
யானும் நீயும் எவ் வழி அறிதும்?
செம் புலப் பெயல் நீர் போல
அன்புடை நெஞ்சம் தாம் கலந்தனவே

-  செம்புலப் பெயனீரார்.


English translation..
What could my mother be to yours? 
What kin is my father to yours anyway? 
And how did you and I meet ever?
But in love our hearts are as red
earth and pouring rain:
mingled beyond parting.
I m still in awe-struck moment at their expressions. What to say if rocks can be so expressive? I have completely lost myself in the beauty of temples and sculptures. Now, I m searching for information about the artists who have carved these sculptures, rather than the King who had built these temples :)

2.Ladkan Temple, is the oldest temple in which the construction reveals one of the first experiments in Aihole. The windows, filled with lattice style, reveal a north Indian style of architecture. 
3. Badiger Gudi is constructed in Rekha-Nagara style, with Surya in the tower. It is dedicated to Surya.

4. Melguti, a Jain temple is on the top of a small hill. Its constructed in Dravidian Style. The panaromic view of village and temples around gives Google's Satellite view :)

The whole experience kindled the interest about architecture, history and Indian mythology. I m pretty much sure that I will go there in future again!
For more pics "Click here"
How to reach Aihole:
  Nearest Railway/Bus station is Badami. Its around 32kms from Badami. Autorickshaws can be hired for a day to cover all the places around.
Where to Stay:
 KSRTC and private lodges are there. (Also Bed bugs!!)
What else there to visit:
Temples.. Temples.. Temples.. Architecture.. Monuments!! Atleast one whole day is required to visit all the the temples in Aihole. And this place will be more interesting if you go after thorough research on Badami Temples.