Aihole is yet another treasure trove you bump against on
the way to Badami from Hungud, and is only 19 km off Pattadakal. There are more
than 100 shrines built in many architectural styles like Hoyasal, Buddist,
Jain, Dravida, Nagara and Rekhanagara. Strangely enough these groups built from
5th century onwards were lying beneath the earth till a French archeologist appeared on the scene and brought them to lime light with the help of the
willing villagers. So some of them ,bear the names of the village folk as
exemplified by the Surya temple called Barigera temple. Most of them are enshrining
Hindu gods like Brahma riding his mount Swan, Shiva on his vehicle Nandi,
Vishnu sitting on the huge serpent etc. And they are artistically made.
The Ravana Phedi cave attracts the visitors with its grand icon of Hindu gods, particularly that of Siva in several aspects such as
Ardhanariswara etc. Among the others the Lakshmi temple, originally a royal
assembly hall of an rest-while prince is visit; worthy. And from this the
visitors climb up through the roof and survey the whole region studded to its
bounds several temples of many religions.