Durgā Temple (of Aihole)

From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Durga Temple (of Aihole), DurgA Temple (of Aihole), Durgaa Temple (of Aihole)


Durgā Temple (Aihole)

Location

Aihole is a small town in the Bijapur district of northern Karnataka.

Significance

One of the ancient group of temples built out of stone and preserved as archaeological monuments is at Aihole. The Durga temple is a major building of this group. The temple is situated inside a structure that resembles a ‘durga’ or fort. Hence it is known as Durga temple though the temple is not dedicated to the goddess Durgā.

Characteristics

  • It is assigned to the period A. D. 600.
  • Temple is of the Cālukyan style.
  • The apsidal plinth resembles Buddhist caitya in architectural style.
  • The vimāna[1] is of the nāgara type.
  • There is no image of any deity inside the sanctum.
  • There is a passage around it meant for pradakṣiṇā or circum-ambulation.
  • The pillars carrying the roof are rectangular in shape and of a very simple design.
  • The relief figures etched on the outer walls and on the pillars in the front include:
  1. Rāmā and Sitā seated in a boat navigated by Guha
  2. Siva riding his bull (Nandi)
  3. Viṣṇu
  4. Narasimha


References

  1. Vimāna is called as the tower above the main shrine.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore