Universität Bonn

Abteilung für Asiatische und Islamische Kunstgeschichte


Meguḍi Temple on the hill above Aihole

In early Jaina history, royal patronage played a substantial part in temple building and one of the earliest surviving Jaina temples in Karnataka, the Meguḍi Temple at Aihole, dated by an inscription to 634 CE, names the Cāḷukya king Pulakeśin as its patron. The shrine proper (mūla-prāsāda) and its internal circumambulation path (pradakṣiṇā-patha) are wider than the preceding open hall. The deep vestibule (antarāla) might have contained side chapels. The temple has a raised image chamber located above its main image chamber (garbha-gr̥ha) on the ground floor.

View from the west © Julia A.B. Hegewald
Open hall © Julia A.B. Hegewald
Raised image chamber © Julia A.B. Hegewald

Jaina temples in town

Many of the tenth and eleventh-century Jaina temples at Aihole belong to the relatively early temple examples from Karnataka, which display the classical arrangement of three sanctums arranged in the manner of a cloverleaf design. In some, the Jaina statues carved onto the door lintels have been forcibly removed, indicating a period of annexation probably by Hindu religious groups. Unfortunately, today many of the temples have fallen into disuse and are not in a good state of preservation.


Jaina temples in town © Julia A.B. Hegewald
Jaina Temple No. 5 © Julia A.B. Hegewald
Jaina Temple No. 5, interior view © Julia A.B. Hegewald
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