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Aihole: Aihole is located in Bagalkot district of Karnataka. 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.
Badami: Badami lies 40 km south-east of Bagalkot. Badami was the capital of the early Chalukyas of Badami, who ruled from this place during 6th–8th century AD. The place is known with ancient names Vatapi, Vatapiadhistana and Badavi. Even during the succeeding centuries, right up to the beginning of 19th century, it was a politically strategic place forming part of the dominions of many later dynasties. A number of religious and defense structures were built during these periods at Badami. Beautifully excavated rock caves of Bramhanical, Buddhist and Jaina affinity with massive sculptures, structural temples of Dravida vimana type illustrating different stages of experimentations all set around Agasthya Theertha tank with in the scenic beauty of sand stone formations, make this place a unique tourist destination. The museum is located at the foothills of the northern hill containing the northern fort and near the famous Pallava Narasimhavarmman’s inscription. It was established in 1979, as a sculpture shed to collect and preserve explored materials, sculptures, inscriptions, architectural members scattered in and around Badami. Subsequently it was converted into a full-fledged site museum in the year 1982.
About the collection
Aihole: The museum comprises 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 figure of Megalithic period are some of the important exhibits.
Badami: The master pieces in the collection include, Lajja Gouri, Makara Torana carved on both the sides, narrative panel depicting Bhagavata, animal figurines like lion, elephants, Kalarimurthy, Tripurantaka Siva and Bhairavi.