Aihole came to my surprise. As an artist we always tend to explore the unfinished paintings of the European masters, or debate over the Salvatore Mundi been painted by Leonardo Da Vinci or his student.
India has a tradition of guru shishya parampara (master disciple tradition). And most of the knowledge that is shared was oral. It was stuning to see such a magnificent documentation of the “sharing of the knowledge” of 6th to 9th centuries.
I won’t give you details of the palces or feed with the historical information either. But there is something significant that you might miss on, if you don’t pay attention.
Look at the details on the sculptures of the temple. It certainly reflects the identities of the each and every artist who worked on them. At first glance it seems like they are portraying gandhrvas and gods in there art, but we cannot deny the fact that they had to take inspiration from the real life situations.
Aihole is a Testament of the naturalness in the culture in the Chalukya era. Women chit chatting, and lovers gazing towards each other, the gandhrvas striking the Stanze to impress the godess. Godess of the god who walked this earth from the imagination of artists and master visionary.
Morover the point to be noted is that this school of thought had acceptance for every flower in its garden. It was acknowledgement and naturalness in being that allowed the young, experienced and masters to work together from line towards mass and thoughts towards meanings. The zest to learn the device and technique which sees it’s fruition in the space where every body matters and becomes a matter.
Aihole is pinacle, where you get to see the open wounds of the art and architecture of India, it shows wonder which scars utterly fail to depict.
Acceptance of madness to such extinct that they had created a temple for the hucchi (mad lady) at hucchimalli gudi (temple where the mad lady lives). She lived and so the madness in the society and so the stupidity disrupts from realism to Oriental.
A breif note about the locales.
People of this village are very friendly and humble, and away from commercialisation inspite of Aihole being a tourist destination. Kids would ask for 10 rupees like a custom in Indian household; where kids are showered with ten rupee notes for sweets.
Even shopkeepers gracious point you towards other shops and hotels if they don’t have what you need. In my case it was non veg and Thumbs up!
Like every other culture who’s ruins saw the brink of modern world, most of the archeological structures are claimed by the locales. In the farms, alleys where children run half naked in the summer heat. Rest of it is reserved for the cattles.
The locales are lucky in many ways, they live and get to poop in the heritage site. It can be seen on every street and corner of this village. I have had my own anatomy class in the morning when I reach earlier than expected. Having said that mind your steps even in the heart of the durga temple where archeological museum is located. Watch while you walk, it can also be a meditative experience 🤷♂️