Close view of a carved column in an unidentified temple, Aihole
Photographer: Cousens, Henry
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of a carved column in an unidentified temple at Aihole, taken by Henry Cousens in the 1880s. Aihole was one of the capitals and an important commercial centre of the Early Western Chalukya, a powerful dynasty which ruled the Deccan from the 6th century. Similar to the two other Chalukyan capitals, Badami and Pattadakal, there are many Hindu and Jain temples preserved at Aihole which belong to a period that spans the 6th to the 12th centuries, encompassing the Early and Late Chalukya periods and the Rashtrakuta era. They are situated both inside and outside the walls that enclose the site and they have varied forms that show different architectural influences. The pillar in this view is elaborately carved with bands of jewelled motifs, scrollwork, kirttimukhas or monster-like faces and small figures.