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Durga Puja » The Durga Temple Aihole

The Durga Temple Aihole

The Durga Temple at Aihole is one of the most celebrated and intriguing ancient Hindu temples. One of the most beautiful and well-preserved temple, it has a unique tapered-oblong plan, and one could never be tired of walking around it and admiring its shape. The photogenic Durga or the fortress temple is planned along the lines of a Buddhist chaitya, a high molded adisthana and a tower - curvilinear shikhara. A pillared corridor runs around the temple, enveloping the shrine, the mukhamandapa and the sabhamandapa. All through the temple, there are beautiful carvings.

The temple derives its name from Durgadagudi meaning 'temple near the fort'. Dedicated to Vishnu, the temple appears to be a Hindu adaptation of the Buddhist chaitya (hall) with its apsidal end. Standing on a high platform with a 'rekhanagara' type of Shikhara, it is the most elaborately decorated monument in Aihole. The columns at the entrance and within the porch are carved with figures and ornamental relief's. The temple appears to be a late 7th or early 8th century construction.

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