The Lad Khan Temple is one of the oldest temple in India. It is the oldest temple dedicated to Lord Shiva in India. It is one of the temple that have stood in Ahole temple complex Karnatka.
The Lad Khan Temple was built in the 5th century by the kings of the Chalukya dynasty. It was built around 450 AD. The temple also has other idols like Ganesha, Vishnu, Surya and Mother Goddess. This is small but interesting structure with stone carvings. This is one of the nice temples in Pattadakal temple complex. It is located to the south of the Durga Temple and is considered the oldest temple of Aihole.
About naming LADKHAN
The temple is named after a Muslim prince who turned this temple into his residence. Some british researchers recorded in his gazette that it was lad khans house ( he was staying in this abandoned place) and since then it is called as Lad Khan temple.
Panchayat hall style
It was built in a panchayat hall style and is indicative of early experiments in temple building. The main shrine houses a Shiva Linga with a Nandi. The temple's sloping two-tiered roof, which imitates wooden construction, is furnished with stone "logs" that cover the joints between the roofing slabs.
The temple's design contains other unusual features. The porch fronts a square mandapam. In the center of the mandapam, a Nandi faces the small interior shrine, which abuts the rear wall of the mandapam. Instead of the usual tower, a rooftop shrine is positioned over the center of the mandapam. Visualizing how Deccan architecture evolved 1600 yrs ago and how got influence by architecture styles from other part of India is an amazing experience
HOW TO REACH - This temple is in Ahole, Baglkot district in Karnatka. A village best accessed by own vehicle as public transport is at best infrequent. Aihole is aprox 35 km from Badami and the road condition is good now. You can plan to visit Ahole from Badami. Badami has good hotels to stay.