Lad Khan Temple, Aihole, Karnataka

Lad Khan Temple, Aihole

The Lad Khan Temple is the oldest of all Hindu temples situated in Aihole and is dedicated to lord Shiva. It was constructed in the 5th century by the rulers of the Chalukya dynasty and is nestled to the south of the Durga;Temple. The temple is named after a Muslim king, who converted this temple into his home for a short span. There is a fascinating fact about this temple, which is greatly admired by the tourists, is its composition, formation and overall structure.


The temple comprises of a shrine Garba griha with  mandala ;in front part of the temple. The mukha mandapa is placed in the face of the sanctum and comprises of 12 sculptured pillars. The Sabha mandapa directed towards the Maha mandapa and the pillars are set to structure two concentric squares. The walls have flowers molded on them and the windows have  trellis ;work done in the art form depicting north India. In front of the sanctum, a second slighter sanctum is cited above the center of the passage, whose external walls have lots of engraved metaphors. Initially devoted to  Vishnu , now the major shrine depicts a Shiva Linga with a  Nandi.


The temple was constructed in a  Panchayatana  for representing a very early trial in shrine building. The special characteristic of this temple to be noticed is that it begins with a rectangular arrangement and ends with a square structure. Dependent on a wooden structure plan, the square and rectangular plan has a vertical roof which is a version of the wooden approach in stone. The Maha mandapa is open to outside by big windows flanked by the pillars. The roof above the Maha mandapa demonstrate a turret as a first report of the future towers  sikharas  and vimanas

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