Jan 10, 2015

Mallikarjuna temple complex, Aihole

August 31, 2013
Mallikarjuna group of temples is situated right besides Aihole hillock. In fact this is one of the first temple groups which comes into sight as you pass through Aihole village towards Durga temple complex. A small board at the entrance gives out some basic info about these temples:
This complex has five shrines. The Mallikarjuna, perhaps a creation of the VIII century is standing on a pedestal with a Mukhamantapa, Rangamantapa and a sanctum. Mantapa pillars have fine sculptures: A female dancer with two female instrument players, seated Narasimha, erotic couple Padmanidhi, etc. The temple has a phamsana Shikhara. It resembles the Mallikarjuna temple at Pattadakal. A row of fine guese here. Shrine no.3 has an incomplete phamsana Shikhara. The fourth shrine is called Karegudi (black Pagoda) and its Mantapa has 16 pillars, ten of them are Kalyan Chalukya style. The temple is asigned to the X century. Another shrine is Bilegudi (white Pagoda) which has no image in the sanctum, but the Mantapa's ceiling has a fine lotus in relief.

The sight as you enter the complex. The stepped tapering Shikhara of Mallikarjuna temple is iconic.

The towering Shikhara dominates the picture and the sloping roof temple adds style to the skyline.The temples are about 12 feet apart. We are looking towards east.

Five mini pillars fixed into the floor next to the temple. These are similar to the ones in front of Lad Khan temple.

The structure looks solid. It tapers out in all axes. The length-wise tapering look is beautiful.. Garbhagudi, Sabhamantapa, Mukhamantapa and the steps. The Sabhamantapa roof is tapering width-wise in a stepped manner. Wonder what type of imagination they possessed to come out with such designs. Wish I had the time to draw these temples in AutoCAD. It would be a very tough and interesting exercise.

I love this structure.. seems like a modern day garage, The Shikhara is incomplete. To be honest I never paid attention to the interior of any of these temples :( Next time surely!

An arch. Was this the original entrance to Mallikarjuna temple?

A smaller temple besides the arch.

This group also has a Kalyani, restored recently. This temple design is inverse of Mallikarjuna temple. While Mallikarjuna Gudi narrows down from Garbhagudi to Mukhamantapa this temple here narrows down from Sabhamantapa to Garbhagudi. This temple is mostly open but has a serious look. The interior has 16 columns supporting the roof. The low ceiling creates a cool atmosphere inside.

The three smaller temples of the group. I remember at least one of them have a large Shiva Linga in them.

I noticed a nearly cubic boulder with just a doorway on the hillock slope, Its beautiful! Reminds me of Ravalapadi. Its on my list of things to do during my next Aihole trip.

Aihole.. not as big as Badami, yet so much to see!

1 comment:

drmanjuortho said...

Very informative. Good research. Thank you Siddeshwar.