Durga Temple

Aihole, late 7th century


The name "Durga" refers to a fort, not to the goddess; apparently at one time the building was used as a military outpost (durg). It is not known to which deity the temple was originally dedicated. The photo was taken from the southwest corner. It shows the south wall and curved west end (rear) of the temple. The entrance is east (next page).

The temple's unusual apsidal form is thought to imitate the earlier Buddhist chaitya halls. An inner wall of similar shape encloses the sanctuary (plan). An incomplete tower (closeup) perches on the roof above the sanctuary.