Photograph of a carved pillar in the porch of the Durga temple at Aihole, in the Bijapur district of northern Karnataka, taken by Thomas Biggs 1855. 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. Together with the two other capitals of Badami and Pattadakal, the site has preserved many Hindu and Jain temples which belong to a period that goes from the 6th to the 12th centuries, belonging to the early and late Chalukya periods and to the Rashtrakuta era. The Durga temple is a large and elaborate Hindu temple belonging to the late 7th century of the Chalukya period. The temple has an apsidal-ended plan, is elevated on a platform and surrounded by an open colonnade. The pillars of the porch are carved with a row of ghanas, medallions with flying figures, garland and jewel motifs and the outer columns have guardian figures and amorous couples. Around the pillared porch there are many slabs with sculptures representing divinities and amorous couples.