(Last Updated on : 10-01-2009)
Aihole, also known as Aryapura or Ayyavole (by the ancient times), is located in the Hungunda taluk of Bagalkot district of Karnataka. Aptly designated as the 'cradle of Indian Architecture', this village of Karnataka, once known as the cultural capital of the early Chalukyas of Badami (6th-8th century AD) is of great historical interest. The Archaeological Museum is located here in the Durga Temple Complex. In 1970, it was planned as a sculpture shed and later in 1987, it was converted into a full-blown museum.
The museum encompasses six galleries and an open-air gallery. Among these, two galleries have been reorganized in order to display the pre and proto historic material, epigraphy and architecture. Another gallery exhibits bird's eye view model of Aihole and its hinterland. The displayed items comprises of the sculpture of Saiva, Sakta, Ganapatya, Vaishanva, Jaina and Buddhist affinity. In addition to these, there are also Hero stones, Sati stones, and inscribed slabs in the open-air gallery. Other exhibits include, stone sculptures of Brahmanical, Jaina and Buddhist faith, fragmentary carved architectural members, inscriptions, hero stones, sati stones etc. Apart from these items, there are also a variety of Ganesha sculptures, Saptamatrikas with archaic features, Nataraja, Ambika of Jaina affinity, attractive sculpture of Bodhisatva and a mutilated anthropomorphic figure of the Megalithic Period.
The visiting hour of the Archaeological Museum is from 10am to 5pm except on Friday.