Overview


The Durga temple is a medieval era Hindu temple that is located in Aihole in Karnataka.


About the temple


Durga temple, Aihole

The temple was constructed somewhere during the 7th and the 8th century by the Chalukya Dynasty. The architecture is Dravida with a Nagara style. 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 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 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 one to run the parikrama (circumambulation ritual). This apse gives outward through openings between the pillars. The shape of the temple, in Indian traditional architecture, is known as Gajaprasta which means the resemblance to the back of an elephant. The temple's unusual apsidal form is thought to imitate the earlier Buddhist Chaitya halls, but later studies established that apsidal design in Indian architecture is 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 shikharas and vimanas.


About the Deity


Durga temple, Aihole

The temple is dedicated to Vishnu and Shiva.


Accessibility


Durga temple, Aihole

It lies to the north-east of Pattadakal, along the Malaprabha River, while Badami is to the west of both. Aihole is around 12 kms from Pattadakal and 34 kms from Badami. The state highway running between Badami, Pattadakal and Aihole doesn’t offer good and frequent transport options. State bus frequency is very less.


Address


Durga temple,
Aihole,
Karnataka 587124

Significance

Devotees visit this temple to seek fulfillment of the following:-

  • Salvation
  • Wealth
  • Relief from diseases
  • Purchase of vehicles
  • Gain Knowledge
Shlokas

Daivi Hyesa Gunamayi Mama Maya Duratyaya Mameva Ye Prapadyante Mayametam Taranti Te

Meaning -According to this sloka, the heavenly maya of God is very complicated, but those who worship God will be able to overcome it.

Balam Balavatam Caham Kamaragavivarjitam Dharmaviruddho Bhutesu Kamo'smi Bharatarsabha

Meaning -According to this sloka, God is the isolated and aloof strength of the controlling and virtuous craving in men.

Ye Caiva Sattvika Bhava Rajasastamasasca Ye Matta Everti Tanviddhi Na Tvaham Tesu Temayi

Meaning -According to this sloka, though the only source of satva, rajas and tamas (good, obsessive and dark) elements is God, they are not present within the God or the deity.

Tribhirgunamayairbhavairebhih Sarvamidam Jagat Mohitam Nabhijanati Mamebhyah Paramavyayam

Meaning -According to this sloka, the entire world doesn't recognize the eternal God beyond them, because they are consumed by the elements of satva, rajas and tamas (good, obssessive and dark).

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