The Durga temple is a medieval era Hindu temple located in Aihole in the state of Karnataka, India. It is part of a pending UNESCO world heritage site.
About the Temple
The temple was built between the 7th and the 8th century by the dynasty of the Chalukyas. The architecture of the temple is predominantly Dravida with Nagara style also is used in certain areas. The Durga Temple belongs to the Chalukyan period. Even though the temple features a Durga sculpture, the origin of the name is not because of its dedication to Durga goddess, but because Durga means protector or a fortress. The temple formed part of a fortification probably of the Marathas.
The temple is dedicated to either Vishnu or Shiva as the representations of Vishnu are as numerous as those of Shiva. The most original feature of the temple is a peristyle delimiting an ambulatory around the temple itself and whose walls are covered with sculptures of different gods or goddesses.Two staircases provide access to the porch at the entrance of the temple itself. The sober and square pillars are decorated with characters around the porch and the entrance to the peristyle. The parapet is carved with niches and small animals. The porch gives access to rooms with pillars ('mukhamantapa' and "sabhamantapa") to get into the heart of the shrine (garba griha).
The Durga temple is an example of southern (Dravidian) architectural type, with a northern type superstructure imposed upon it- an incongruity apparent from the fact that the superstructure is a square structure clumsily fitted over an apsidal cella (a domed semi-circular inner structure). The temple stands on a high moulded upapitha (sub-base), apsidal on plan and carrying a peripheral row of columns on its edge that surround the moulded adhishthana and walls of an apsidal vimana and its front mandapa. Thus the colonnade forms a covered circumambulatory with a sloping roof. The open mandapa is continued forward on a base of smaller width. The peripheral pillars of the front mandapa and those at the forward end of the circumambulatory have large statuary on them. The adhishthana inside is again apsidal, moulded with all the components, and carries the apsidal wall enclosing the inner apsidal wall of the cella or garbha-griha and a closed maha-mandapa in front of it, with two linear rows of four columns in each row that divide it into a central nave and lateral aisles.
Legend and Stories
The advanced features of the temple, the variety of evolved shrine-fronts displayed in its niches, the style of its sculpture, its diverse corbel-forms and the existence in it of a chute, water-spout and the gargoyle-like pranala-a late feature-would justify placing the temple in the eighth century. This is also indicated by an inscription of Chalukya Vikramaditya II (733-46) on the ruined gopura at the south-eastern part of the enclosing-wall. The name 'Durga' for the temple is misleading, since it was not dedicated to Durga, and is due to the fact that till the earlier part of the last century the temple formed part of a fortification (durga), probably of the Marathas.
Between the 7th and 8th century, the temple was built by the dynasty of the Chalukyas. The architecture of the temple is predominantly Dravida with Nagara style, used in certain areas in the Chalukyan period. The Durga temple is a unique and magnificent temple. It is dedicated to either Vishnu or Shiva as the representations of Vishnu are as numerous as those of Shiva. The most original feature of the temple is a peristyle delimiting an ambulatory around the temple itself and whose walls are covered with sculptures of different gods or goddesses. The temple has two staircases provide access to the porch at the entrance of the temple itself. The sober and square pillars are decorated with characters around the porch and the entrance to the peristyle. The parapet is carved with niches and small animals. The porch gives access to rooms with pillars to get into the heart of the shrine (garba griha).
The plan of the temple is oblong and apsidal. It means that the corridor with pillars between the porch and the heart of the shrine encompasses the heart of shrine and allows running the parikrama (circumambulation ritual). This gives the outward through openings between the pillars.In Indian traditional architecture, the shape of the temple is known as Gajaprasta which means the resemblance to the back of an elephant. The temple's semicirucular form was thought to imitate the earlier Buddhist chaitya halls. But in later studies, the apsidal design in Indian architecture is seen to be of pan-Indian tradition, which was in practice even before Buddhist architecture. The heart of the shrine (garba griha) is surmounted by a tower which announces the future higher towers sikharas and vimanas.
How To Reach Durga temple
Aihole can be accessed by road from the nearest town of Badami. Bagalkot Station (34 km) is the nearest railway station and trains to all major towns are available here. The Nearest Airport is the Goa International Airport.
Aihole, Karnataka - 587124
Devotees visit this temple to seek fulfillment of the following:-
- Trouble-free marital life
- Removal of physical ailments
- Freedom from economic Problems
- Fearless disposition
Yaa Devii Sarvabhuuteshhu Maatrirupena Sansthitah Yaa Devii Sarvabhuuteshhu Shaktirupena Sansthitah Yaa Devii Sarvabhuuteshhu Shaantirupena Sansthitah Namastasyaih Namastasyaih Namastasyaih Namo Namah
Meaning -Goddess Durga is omnipresent and a personification of the universal mother, who is omnipresent and who embodies power and energy. Oh great mother, who also embodies peace, I bow to you, mother, I bow to Durga and I bow to Shakti.
Ayi Giri Nandini Nandita Medini Vishva Vinodini Nandi Nute Giri Vara Vindhya Shiro Adhi Nivaasini Vissnnu Vilaasini Jissnnu Nute Bhagavati He Shiti Kannttha Kuttumbini Bhuri Kuttumbini Bhuri Krte Jaya Jaya He Mahissaasura Mardini Ramya Kapardini Shaila Sute
Meaning -I offer my salutations to the mountain's daughter, who fills the world with joy, who is praised by Nandi, who lives on Vindhya's summits, who gives joy to Her brother Lord Vishnu and who Lord Indra praises, Oh Goddess who is Lord Shiva's consort and who created abundance. The destroyer of the demon Mahishasura, the one with beautiful hair and the mountain's daughter, victory to you.
Madhu Kaittabha Vidhvamsi Vidhaatr Varade Namah Ruupam Dehi Jayam Dehi Yasho Dehi Dvisso Jahi
Meaning -Oh Devi Durga, we salute you for destroying Madhu and Kaitabha and granting Lord Brahma the boon of protection. Please bestow on me spiritual beauty, victory and glory and crush my inner enemies.
Mahissaasura Nirnaashi Bhaktaanaam Sukhade Namah Ruupam Dehi Jayam Dehi Yasho Dehi Dvisso Jahi
Meaning -We salute Goddess Durga who destroyed Mahishasura, the demon, who bestows a lot of happiness on Her devotees. Please bestow on me spiritual beauty, victory and glory and crush my inner enemies.
The temple is open 07:00 to 19:00 (All days of the week)