Archaeological Museum, Aihole
(District Bagalkot, Karnataka)
Aihole (Lat. 16° 01’ N, Long. 75° 52’ E) known with ancient names, Aryapura Ayyavole etc., is located in Hungunda taluk of Bagalkot district of Karnataka. It is situated 21 km west of Hunagunda and 47 km east of Badami, 40 km from Bagalkot and 135 km south of Bijapur. Badami is the nearest railway station on Gadag – Sholapur meter gauge line. Hyderbad (about 450 km away) is the nearest airport. Number of buses ply between Bagalkot, Badami and Bijapur connecting Aihole.
Aihole was the cultural capital of the early Chalukyas of Badami who ruled from Badami during 6th –8th century AD. This village is of great architectural interest containing more than a hundred temples, built in different styles and periods, aptly designated as ‘the cradle of Indian architecture’.
The Archaeological Site Museum is located in the Durga Temple complex. It was originally planned as a sculpture shed in the year 1970 and was converted in to a full fledged museum in the year 1987.
The museum mainly comprises of stone sculptures of Brahmanical, Jaina and Buddhist faith, fragmentary carved architectural members, inscriptions, hero stones, sati stones, etc. Period wise they range in date from 6th century AD to 15th century AD. These antiquities were acquired through exploration, excavation and scientific debris clearance near the protected monuments. A variety of Ganesha sculptures, Saptamatrikas with archaic features, Nataraja, Ambika of Jaina affinity, attractive sculpture of Bodhisatva and a mutilated anthropomorphic figire of Megalithic period are some of the important exhibits.
The museum comprises of six galleries and an open air gallery. Two of the galleries are being recently reorganized for displaying the pre and proto historic material and epigraphy and architecture. One of the galleries accommodates bird’s eye view model of Aihole and its environs (Malaprabha valley) with location of various monuments. Around the valley model translights on important conservation works are being displayed on the wall. The exhibits comprise of sculpture of Saiva, Sakta, Ganapatya, Vaishanva, Jaina and Buddhist affinity. Hero stones, Sati stones and inscribed slabs are also exhibited in the open air gallery, which is also being taken up for reorganization. The objects displayed reflect Chalukyan style of art and architecture besides socio-religious and cultural aspects of the early medieval period.
Opening Hours : 10.00 am to 5.00 pm
Closed on – Friday
Entrance Fee :
Rs. 2/- per head
(Children up to 15 years free)