General view from the north-east of the Durga (Vaishnava) Temple, Aihole, Bijapur District
Photographer: Burgess, James
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the Durga temple at Aihole, in the Bijapur district of northern Karnataka, taken by james Burgess around 1874. 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 the largest Hindu temple at Aihole and belongs to the late 7th century. It is elevated on a high plinth and surrounded by an open colonnade. It consists of an apsidal-ended sanctuary with an ambulatory passageway, a columned manadapa or hall with three aisles and a porch with balcony seating. The sculptures that decorate it are among the finest of the early Chalukya period.