At Aihole, heritage structures turn into open toilets

At Aihole, heritage structures turn into open toilets

The temple premises are also used for drying/threshing grain

Sacks of grains piled up at a historical memorial in Aihole. Credit: DH Photo/Venkatesh

The monuments of Aihole -- the earliest capital of the Chalukya Empire and the cradle of Indian temple architecture -- are lying in utter neglect.

A few heritage structures have been converted into open toilets by the villagers. Many locals were spotted defecating on the premises of the 12th century Tryambaka Temple, built in the Kalyani Chalukya style of architecture, and in the interiors of the Rachi Temple.

A walk through the temple town will make you realise that most of the monuments are encroached upon. The locals have turned the heritage structures into cattle sheds and godowns to store their produce and keep agri equipment. The temple premises are also used for drying/threshing grain.


A woman entering Tryambak temple premises to defecate in open in Aihole, the cradle of Indian temple architecture.

A few locals have made some heritage structures their home. The district administration in October 2018 had decided to relocate 1,052 families and 51 acres of land for the same was also identified. But the decision has since remained on paper.

Piles of garbage, unbearable stink, massive encroachment and poor access have made these heritage structures uninviting. This has resulted in a fall in tourist footfall.

Ironically, the Archaeological Survey of India has put up notice boards here warning people of imprisonment and/or fine if the heritage structures and their premises are misused. But, this hasn’t deterred the locals, says Ishtalinga Sirsi, a guide.

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