Dec 4, 2013

Lad Khan temple & Gaudara Gudi

Lad Khan temple is the second most important temple in Durga Gudi Complex in terms of size and aesthetics. However, his temple is said to be one of the oldest i.e. built during V century CE. This is one of the few temples in Karnataka where a stone ladder can be seen; the ladder connects the ground floor to the sloping terrace. On the terrace is a small chamber at the center. The temple has a primitive look, the entrance looks like a cave's mouth. The terrace is sloping and an array of stone bars on the terrace creates an effect of a thatched roof.

It is believed that Lad Khan temple was originally a hall where Pulikeshin I had performed the horse sacrifice and later it was used for religious functions. Then it became a Surya temple, and subsequently a Shivalaya. Lad Khan temple is named so because a general by that name had used this building as a residence in recent times, perhaps during the time of Adil Shahi rule.

The amorous sculpture on the front pillar represents the saying 'love is blind'. The six stubby pillars have Kannada inscriptions on them, however the surfaces are eroded text is visible only on one or two pillars.

In the Mukhamatapa are massive decorated square columns, decorative images include the royal emblem of Chalukyas, Kirthimukha, human beings, animals and floral motifs.

Royal emblem of Chalukyas; Varaha, Shankha, Chakra and a mirror.
Royal umbrella and fans.
Jewelry like design decorate the columns in Mukhamantapa.
A sculpture of Nandi at the center of the hall. In the background is one of the many decorative mesh windows providing ventilation to the interior.

Starting with top-left image and going clock-wise: An inscription on one of the outer walls. A pair of fish-wheel windows. Floral mesh window. Checkered mesh window.

Rear view of the lone chamber on the terrace.

Rear view of Lad Khan temple.

Gaudaragudi is believed to be the oldest among the 100+ temples of Aihole. Said to be built during V century CE, it was Mahalakshmi or Bhagavathi temple and back then the town was also known by the name Bhagavathi Kolla. Gaudara Gudi is smaller but looks similar to Lad Khan temple.

Gaudaragudi is believed to be the Bhagavati temple whose deity was worshiped by the famous trade guild of Aihole. Gaudara Gudi is named so because a village head had used this building as a residence in recent times.

Simple yet beautiful 1500 year old sandstone temple.

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